Norville Ray Gish

Norville Ray Gish

Norville Ray Gish, retired banker and journalist, died March 4, 2014 at Aberdeen Village Retirement Home. He was 88. A resident of Johnson County since 1953, he retired in 1988 after a career spanning 39 years as a bank executive, editor, publisher, Federal Reserve Bank employee and university faculty member.

Memorial services will be 3:00 PM, Saturday, March 8th at the Penwell Gabel Funeral Home, 14275 Blackbob Rd., Olathe, KS. Cremation. The family suggests memorials to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,

Survivors include a daughter, Virginia A. (Ginny) Wilkins of, North Carolina, and a son, Stephen J. Gish of Lawrence, Kansas. Another son, Thomas R. Gish, died in 1984. Also surviving are Ginny's husband Lee Wilkins, and their three children, Sarah Erha (and her husband Kyle), Beth Wilkins and Adam Wilkins; Steve's wife, Bobbie Gish, and their four children, Matthew, Kristen, Caroline and Michael, and Cheri Stubblefield, widow of Tom Gish. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Betty Argabright Gish.

Norv Gish was devoted to his family. He also valued each of his friends and worked diligently at keeping in touch with them over the years. He was active in his church and a frequent volunteer worker for several organizations. He and Betty enjoyed many happy times traveling together.

Norv had a lifetime love affair with sports, as both player and fan. In his youth he participated actively in basketball, baseball, track and swimming. He earned two varsity letters in basketball and one in track and was elected basketball captain in is senior year at Manhattan high school. At Kansas State College, he earned a varsity letter in basketball as a freshman in the 1943-44 season. In later years, he became an avid golfer at Indian Hills Country Club.

He was born in Hays, Kansas, November 22, 1925, the only son of Ray W. and Marie Gish. The family moved to Manhattan, Kansas, in 1926 and Norv graduated from Manhattan High School in 1943. He enrolled immediately at Kansas State College but left after a summer semester to join the U.S. Army. After training in Florida, Texas and Mississippi for several months, he served 17 months in Europe, including 6 months of combat duty with the 69th Infantry Division assigned to the First U.S. Army as it fought its way across Germany to link up with Russian troops. Following Germany's surrender he became a member of the headquarters staff of Gen. George S. Patton in Bad Nauheim, Germany.

Discharged as a sergeant in April, 1946, he returned to Manhattan to complete work on his degree at Kansas State. There he met Betty Argabright in September and they married about a year later on August 10, 1947. As a journalism student at K-State, he served as editor of the student newspaper, associate editor of the student yearbook, campus correspondent for the Kansas City Star, reporter for the daily Manhattan Mercury, and sports columnist for a weekly Manhattan newspaper. He was named the outstanding journalism graduate of 1949 at K-State. He was also a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

After graduating with honors in 1949, he accepted appointment as a member of the journalism faculty at Oregon State College, Corvallis, Oregon. There he taught journalism courses, served as agricultural experiment station editor, worked in the college news bureau, did free-lance writing, earned a master's degree in economics and welcomed the birth of son Thomas.

After receiving his advanced degree, he was recruited to become the first public information director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Three years later he accepted an offer to join Financial Publications, Inc., a Kansas City-based company which published several magazines, including Bank News. There he became an owner and director of the company, serving as senior vice president and editor of its banking publications. In 1970, after 15-years in the publishing business, he accepted an invitation to become vice president of the First National Charter Corporation and its principal affiliate, First National Bank of Kansas City. There he began an 18-year career in banking during which he became senior vice-president and senior marketing officer responsible for product development, market research, public relations, corporate communications, advertising and sales training until he retired in 1988.

Norv maintained a close church affiliation throughout his adult life. He had been an active member of the Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas, since 1990. For 35 prior years, he was a member of Countryside Christian Church in Mission where he served in many official capacities, including chairman of the board, elder and deacon.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. Revelation 21:4

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Penwell-Gabel Cremations, Funerals & Receptions
14275 Blackbob Road South Olathe, KS 66063

Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Mar. 7, 2014