Resident Feature

Meet the Keese/Gibson Family

A family that never stops learning

  The Keese love story began when Meg Gibson and Marty Keese were just 13 years old in a small town in Texas near Corpus Christi. Meg says, “Marty was new to our very small town junior high school, and on his first day of school we saw each other across the playground. I walked over and introduced myself. We did not start dating until we were 16, though, and then Marty ended up going to another high school in another town for his last year. We kept in touch by writing each other actual letters each week.” 

They went away to different colleges, but they stayed in touch and eventually fell in love. Meg went to the University of Texas, Austin and received a BA in Anthropology and Art History. Marty went to Trinity University in San Antonio and received a BS in Business and a Master’s degree in Accounting. 

After getting married in 2001, they moved to England so Meg could pursue her lifelong love of education. She received her Master’s degree 

in Museum Studies at University College London. Having moved there just one week after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Meg recalls, “It was a very intense time to be an American living abroad.” Meg went on to work towards her Ph.D. at the University of Texas, Austin, but stopped just before finishing her dissertation to raise her boys. She is now working on her California teaching credential and her Montessori credential. She works as an Assistant Montessori teacher at Eagle Peak Montessori School. “I used to work for the Lafayette School District as a librarian, but after working for them during much of the pandemic I decided to switch to classroom teaching at a school in our own neighborhood so that I can contribute more to our own community.” 

Keese boys wrote cards for the elderly during the pandemic

Meanwhile Marty was working for the accounting firm KPMG at various offices including London, San Antonio and San Francisco. His job is what brought the family to California in 2015. Marty came to the Bay Area six months before the family and began searching for a home. As Meg recalls, “He spent all his weekends looking for just the right neighborhood and house. He immediately loved Northgate for the wide streets, ample sidewalks and the FLATNESS. In San Antonio, we lived on a steep hill, and it was almost impossible for a child to ride a bike on our street. He knew immediately when he saw Northgate that he wanted the boys to be raised here. When he found the house on Naranja he called me and told me to fly out the next weekend to see it. I loved it too!” Marty now works for Rodan and Fields as the Global Director of Tax. 

Simon is 13 and involved with Boy Scouts (Troop 832) and an organization called Future Problem Solving where he competes in writing contests. Last year he won 1st place in the junior division for his essay “No Pain, No Gain,” a science fiction short story based on the topic of personalized medicine. (His story was featured in the September 2021 issue of this magazine.) This year he won 2nd place in the intermediate division. Simon also loves performing and appeared in several Walnut Acres plays; he wrote his own one act/one person script for another category of competition in Future Problem Solving. 

Ian, 9 years old, attends Eagle Peak Montessori and also swims with Scottsdale Swim Team. He loves baseball, scouts, and rock scrambling. He’s also an avid reader and story writer like his brother. 

The pandemic brought new opportunities for the Keese family. The boys used their downtime to write hundreds of cards for seniors in care homes who weren’t able to see visitors. They also began a lemonade stand near the canal trail at Naranja and Walnut Ave. 

The family also took the opportunity to take long road trips between California and Texas in a renovated VW RV, stopping at many places in between like the Grand Canyon and Marfa, TX to see the Marfa Lights. 

Another pandemic silver lining was becoming closer with their neighbors, the Rogers. Both families have two boys and created a pandemic bubble to keep the boys entertained during the shelter in place days. That grew into a close friendship that they consider like a family now. 

A gaggle of pets is also part of the Keese/ Gibson clan. Four backyard chickens are named after the Golden Girls TV show: Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Sofia and provide fresh eggs for the family. An adorable poodle mix pup named Princess Leia (after the Star Wars character, a favorite movie of the boys) and three cats were all adopted by the family. 

The Keeses love Northgate and have helped create a great neighborhood tradition. “Soon after we moved here I got together with several other women on our block, and we decided to apply for a block party permit at Halloween. That little party has grown and grown and now our block is a well known destination for Halloween trick or treating for children. We love that!” 

They will be traveling to Boston this summer as Simon competes in the International division of Future Problem Solving along with kids from all over the world. This is truly a family that embraces learning and opportunities to connect to their neighborhood. We’re glad they found their way here from Texas.

Do you know a neighbor who has a story to share? Nominate your neighbor to be featured in one of our upcoming issues! Contact us at 

By Kara Navolio, Resident since 1991