Gilbert E. “Gib” Marcucci
- October 7, 2023
Gilbert E. “Gib” Marcucci
Gilbert E. “Gib” Marcucci, 88, of Monmouth, Iowa, a beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, renowned horse trainer, and well-respected figure within the equestrian community, passed away on the evening of Oct. 3, 2023, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Gib was born on Sept. 23, 1935 in Oregon, Ill., to Emil and Helen (Haun) Marcucci. He was a respected part of the community, known for his dedication to his family, his craft, and his ponies.
Gib’s early life was spent in Maquoketa, where he attended school and graduated from Maquoketa High School in 1953. He proudly served his country in the Army and returned home with an honorable discharge. Using money earned from training ponies to fund his education, Gib attended the Iowa State Teacher’s College in Cedar Falls, earning a degree in Education.
On Feb. 19, 1955, while still in the Army, Gib married his high school sweetheart, Betty Nairn. The couple settled in Monmouth, Iowa, where they raised their two daughters, Lorrie and Cindy, creating a loving and nurturing environment. Gib and Betty’s love story was one that endured the test of time lasting 54 years, until Betty’s passing on March 19, 2009.
Gib’s passion for horses and ponies was a defining aspect of his life. He balanced teaching school with training ponies, a testament to his dedication and hard work. In 1960, with the support and help of Betty, he founded Gib Marcucci Stables in Monmouth, Iowa. His stable was not just a business, but a home for his family and a testament to his love for ponies. Over the years, his customers became good friends and were treated like extended family members. His daughters Lorrie and Cindy followed in his footsteps, becoming accomplished drivers and his granddaughter Tabitha continues the family tradition.
Gib’s hard work and dedication paid off in his professional career. Gib was an acclaimed figure in the equestrian community, recognized with numerous awards and trained several World Champions in every Hackney division at the World’s Championship Horse Show. Gib was inducted into the Iowa Horsemen’s Hall of Fame in 1991. He was the first recipient of the AHHS Bill G. Robinson National Trainer Award in 2001. He was inducted into the Road Horse & Pony Association Hall of Fame in 2003, the UPHA Tom Moore Professional Horseman Hall of Fame in 2008, and the American Hackney Horse Society Hall of Fame in 2009. Gib was awarded the Pegasus Award from the United States Equestrian Federation in 2012. He was the first trainer that trained Hackney ponies exclusively, to be inducted into the World’s Championship Horse Show Hall of Fame.
Gib was a founding member of the United Professional Horseman’s Association and a respected judge at the World’s Championship Horse Show. He was a man of strong principles, an unmatched work ethic, and a deep sense of loyalty. When asked about his legacy, Gib simply expressed his wish to be remembered as “a nice guy, and someone willing to help a fellow horseman.”
Gib is survived by his daughters, Lorrie (Tim) Terrell of Swisher, Iowa, and Cindy (Kevin) Ireland of Ely, Iowa; his brother, Jim Marcucci of Indiana; three grandchildren, Andy Terrell, Kalli Terrell, and Dr. Tabitha (Jacob) Galloway; five great-grandchildren, Kellen and Jade, Owen, Chloe, and Isaac; and his loving companion of the past several years, Ruth Mckenzie of Monmouth, Iowa. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Annette, and his wife Betty.
Gib’s legacy is one of passion, dedication, and love. His devotion to his family, his ponies, and his community will never be forgotten. His memory will continue to inspire those who knew him, and his contributions to the equestrian community will be remembered for generations to come.
A celebration of his life will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, at Carson Celebration of Life Center in Maquoketa. Visitation will be held prior to the funeral from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be at Union Cemetery, rural Maquoketa.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials may be directed to his family.
Online Condolences may be left at www.CarsonAndSon.com.