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Ernest W. Gibson III
Ernest W. Gibson III (Vermont Supreme Court Justice).jpg
Gibson as a first year student at Harvard Law School in 1954
Associate Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court
In office
February 11, 1983 – July 31, 1997
Preceded by Franklin S. Billings Jr.
Succeeded by Marilyn Skoglund
Judge of the Vermont Superior Court
In office
Preceded by Rudolph J. Daley
Succeeded by Alan W. Cheever
Chairman of the Vermont Public Service Board
In office
Preceded by John D. Paterson
Succeeded by William Gilbert
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives from Brattleboro
In office
Preceded by Robert T. Gannett
Succeeded by Anthony C. Buraczynski
State's Attorney of Windham County, Vermont
In office
Preceded by John S. Burgess
Succeeded by John A. Rocray
Personal details
Ernest Willard Gibson III

(1927-09-23)September 23, 1927
Brattleboro, Vermont
Died May 17, 2020(2020-05-17) (aged 92)
Northfield, Vermont
Resting place Morningside Cemetery, Brattleboro, Vermont
Political party Republican
Spouses Charlotte Elaine Hungerford (m. 1960-2020), his death
Children 3
Parents Ernest W. Gibson Jr.
Dorothy P. (Switzer) Gibson
Relatives Ernest Willard Gibson (grandfather)
Education Yale University
Harvard Law School
Profession Attorney
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service 1945-1946 (Army)
1951-1953 (Army)
1953-1956 (Reserve)
1956-1971 (National Guard)
Rank Major (Army)
Unit United States Army
United States Army Reserve
Vermont Army National Guard
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War

Ernest W. Gibson III (September 23, 1927 – May 17, 2020) was an attorney and judge who served as an associate justice of the Vermont Supreme Court.

Early life

Ernest Willard Gibson III was born in Brattleboro, Vermont on September 23, 1927, the son of Ernest W. Gibson Jr. and Dorothy P. (Switzer) Gibson. Ernest Gibson Jr. served as Governor of Vermont and a judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont. The grandfather of Ernest Gibson III, Ernest Willard Gibson, was a member of the United States House of Representatives and a United States senator.

Start of career

Gibson graduated from Washington, DC's Western High School in 1945. He served in the United States Army at the end of World War II (1945 to 1946), and attained the rank of technical sergeant. He received his bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1951, and served in the Army again during the Korean War, this time as a captain of field artillery in the 45th Infantry Division, for which he received the Bronze Star Medal. Gibson received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1956, and was admitted to the bar the same year. Gibson continued his military career as a member of the Vermont Army National Guard, and attained the rank of major in the Judge Advocate General branch before retiring in 1971.

Political career

A Republican, he served as state's attorney for Windham County from 1957 to 1961. He was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1960 and 1962. Gibson served one full term and part of another, 1961 to 1963, and he was appointed chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1963. In the House, Gibson joined a group known as the "Young Turks", members who worked for the passage of progressive legislation regardless of party affiliation; the Young Turks were instrumental in ending the Republican Party's 100-year grip on statewide power by electing Philip H. Hoff as governor in 1962.

Gibson was Chairman of the Vermont Public Service Board from 1963 to 1972.

Judicial career

In 1972, Gibson was appointed a judge of the Vermont Superior Court, and he served until 1983.

In 1983, Justice Franklin S. Billings Jr. of the Vermont Supreme Court was appointed as chief justice. Gibson was nominated to replace Billings as an Associate Justice, and took office on February 11, 1983. He served on the court until retiring on July 31, 1997.

Later career

In January 1997, Gibson administered the oath of office to Howard Dean, who had been reelected as governor in 1996. Gibson served until reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70, and was succeeded by Marilyn Skoglund.

Personal life

Gibson was Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont from 1977 to 1998 and President of the Board of Trustees of the Diocese from 1991 to 1998. In 1960 he married Charlotte Elaine Hungerford. They were the parents of three children: Margaret, Mary, and John. He died in Northfield, Vermont on May 17, 2020, and was buried at Morningside Cemetery in Brattleboro.




  • Myers, Ed (November 6, 1969). "Judge Gibson to be Buried Friday in Brattleboro". Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT): p. 1.
  • Graff, Chris (February 3, 1983). "Gibson Named to Court". Burlington Free Press. Associated Press (Burlington, VT): p. 1.
  • "High Court Drops Charges Against Gibson". Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT): p. 21. August 29, 1987.
  • Graff, Christopher (May 10, 1988). "Former Vermont Supreme Court Justice Found in Violation of Conduct Rules". Associated Press.
  • Remsen, Nancy; Lisberg, Adam (January 10, 1997). "Dean Wants Action This Term". Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT): p. 1.
  • Graff, Christopher (December 29, 1997). "1997 Was Year of Woman". Burlington Free Press. Associated Press (Burlington, VT): p. 9.
  • O'Connor, Kevin (May 19, 2020). "Former Supreme Court justice Ernest W. Gibson III dies at 92". (Burlington, VT).
  • "Obituary: Ernest W. Gibson III, Longtime Public Servant and Supreme Court Justice". VT Digger (Montpelier, VT). May 17, 2020.
  • "Ernest W. Gibson III Obituary". Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT). May 17, 2020.


  • Thomas, Richard C. (1969). Vermont Legislative Directory, 1969. Montpelier, VT: Vermont Secretary of State. p. 640.
  • Director of the National Guard Bureau (1971). Army National Guard Register. Provo, UT:, LLC. p. 105.
  • Davis, Sumner Augustus (1973). Barnabas Davis (1599–1685) and His Descendants. Talladega, AL: S. A. Davis. p. 202.
  • Milne, James F. (1995). Vermont Legislative Directory, 1995. Montpelier, VT: Vermont Secretary of State. p. 338.
  • Hand, Samuel B.; Marro, Anthony; Terry, Stephen C. (2011). Philip Hoff: How Red Turned Blue in the Green Mountain State. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England. pp. 28–30. ISBN 978-1-61168-032-4.


  • Marchant, Robert J. (September 1, 2010). "Tribute to David A. Gibson". The Legislative Administrator (Milwaukee, WI: American Society of Legislative Clerks & Secretaries): 7.
Legal offices

Preceded by
Franklin S. Billings Jr.
Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Marilyn Skoglund
Political offices
Preceded by
John D. Paterson
Chairman of the Vermont Public Service Board
Succeeded by
William Gilbert
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