William Lee Gibson, 72, died peacefully in his sleep at home in Bernardsville, NJ on January 5 after fighting a courageous battle with cancer. Through the exercise of his quiet intelligence and unassuming manner, Mr. Gibson had a tremendous positive influence on those with whom he worked. He was highly regarded in the financial community as First Vice-President - Wealth Management of Merrill Lynch at their Short Hills branch after joining the firm in 1994 as a second career. Mr. Gibson, who grew up in Short Hills and graduated from Newark Academy, then earned dual degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering at Bucknell University. His initial career began with Dow Chemical Corporation in Midland, Michigan and finished with Allied Signal/Honeywell in Morristown. He subsequently earned a Masters in Business Administration in Investment Finance from NYU graduate business school after attending Harvard Business School. Mr. Gibson also served ably in a philanthropic role. He was a long time board member and former Treasurer of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers. He was Treasurer of the Leavens Foundation and also served on the board of the Wrightson-Besch Foundation. He was a board member of the New Jersey chapter of the Trust for Public Land and former board member of the New Jersey Symphony. He was an avid and accomplished sailor, skier and scuba diver. He enjoyed deep water diving adventures in Palau, Galapagos Island, Bikini Atoll and Truk Lagoon. Mr. Gibson is survived by his wife, Lorraine Besch and his brother-in-law Stephen Besch. Through his mother’s re-marriage to William B. Leavens, Jr, he maintained a close relationship with his brother Bill Leavens III and sister Nancy Leavens. Graveside Service will be held on Friday, January 14, 2022 at Restland Memorial Park, 77 Deforest Ave, East Hanover, NJ 07936 at 2:00pm. In lieu of flowers, Mr.Gibson requested that contributions be made to the New Jersey chapter of The Trust for Public Land in support of their urban greening work, 60 Park Place, Suite 901 Newark, New Jersey 07102.