In Remembrance of a local legend


William Yeager's Farm 1996 Photo by Mike Wuyek

Benjamin Hunter Mark "Raccoon" Gibbs
died on Saturday September 23, 2006 at the age of 42.
His funeral was held on Sat. Sept. 30, 2006  at St. John's Catholic Church
in Front Royal, Virginia
Our brother was laid to rest at the family cemetery in Linden, Virginia
Memorial donations can be made to Catholic Relief Services,
P.O. Box 17152, Baltimore MD 21297-1152. Phone: 866 608 5978

"Raccoon was a talented musician and songwriter who traveled far and wide spreading music everywhere he went.  In the same spirit of famous folk artists Arlo Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Raccoon seldom found a situation in life that could not be sung about.

We will miss him and his wonderful spirit and talent."

William Yeager's Farm 1996 Photo by Mike Wuyek

  • From the family and friends of Raccoon:

"Letter to Hunter/ Raccoon, 27 September 2006"

"My dear, sweet little Hunter, how I wish we could sit and talk, like we always said we would… maybe one day. Now it is too late and I wish I had said many things. Please take with you my good wishes and travel well on your journey to the Milky Way, to be the star in the sky that will always be there to greet us.

As the youngest of we ten little Indians, you brought us joy and wisdom, the bright star of our family. We will miss your creativity, your songs and your presence with us in gatherings. We will always have you in our hearts when we gather. The world was a better place for the gifts you left us, and your mark will stay with us forever, for you are still a part of us.

The world did not give you enough back, for your love. You lived in loneliness and used it as a forge for your creativity. You were not and are not alone, but you are a part of the bigger family and came from the Big Mother Earth. She is accepting you back now, and you will become part of the rich tapestry of those who have gone before. You were loved and belonged to the family of humanity, and many followers adored you.

Your life was blessed, but I am sorry if you suffered.

In 1999 you and I went to the Sundance, and we found help. I thought we knew a lot of the same things about Nature. Then a month ago, when we last spoke on the phone, you said you would come to Australia, never to return. When a bird flew into my house last Saturday, I thought you were paying me a visit. It was the message of your passing. The equinox is the time when the heavens are open, and people can pass into the spirit world.

I know you are at peace. We will wait to hear your songs on the wind.

Thank you for your beautiful spirit, for the benefits we gained from sharing your life. We know what you would want, and in some way, perhaps you will continue on in another form. At the very least, you will live in our hearts. Love and safe travel."

Joan Gibbs and family – Terry Reardon, Ben Reardon and Rochelle Gibbs

William Yeager's Farm 1996 Photo by Mike Wuyek

"Raccoon was a unique individual. I will miss his music and talent, but most of all I think I will miss his humor.  He had a way of making you smile or even laugh even if you didn't feel like it.   Rest easy friend."

Bill Ford

"The guy was extremely talented; natural talent, and when he played he projected this awesome image. There is no replacing Raccoon and sadly, most of the world never got to see or hear him play; but we did... and for that we are blessed.
Goodbye Raccoon..."

William Yeager


"How many times I have sat near a fire and Raccoon sang for us, how many gatherings have I been to that he serenaded us? Am I to miss his talent of making music fit the times? Be well old friend residing up high, may you have a great horse to ride on the rainbow trail through the heavens."

Mike Twofeathers


"Over the years Raccoon's music has touched many people. Personally, Raccoon nurtured me into reaching a new level of making music. I am blessed to have been able to play with him one last time the Saturday night before he passed. It was a wonderful performance that everyone enjoyed. I am going to see that his music lives on and touches many more. Thank you for everything Raccoon! I miss you so much!!"

John Pedemonti


"Raccoon and I hung out a lot at the W. Virginia 05 Gathering. One night
he came to CALM and played us the most beautiful music about praising
Jah. He gave me a back massage I won't soon ever forget! He was a kind,
sweet, gentle brother. I bless his spirit and won't ever forget him.
Every time I hear his music I once again feel connected to him."



"was so sad this evening when I heard of raccoons passing on. been listening to him all night. hadn't heard heads or tails of him since west virginia when he camped with us at the Green Circus for a while and played at our fire for us. such a mellow sweet hearted spirit. and whoever mentioned about him being able to make you crack a smile or an impromptu laugh even when joy was the last thing on your mind was so true.

the only musician i ever met who could play the melody with some fingers while playing the harmony with others; just wish i could chill with him again.

love and peace, in this life, his spirit will live with me forever,"



"raccoon was my godfather.....i never actually thought he could die...he was like one of those people who was supposed to live forever...if that makes any sense
its really sad i dont remember a lot of things about him.....this memory of him that just kinda stands out is when i was really little at earth day and i remember him singing and he had on a surgical mask because he had allergies or something hahaha.......i also remember him coming to my school one day and singing during recess.....
i just wish i could've said goodbye and how much he meant to me....."



"I am so very sorry that I missed this news. I learned of Raccoon's passing just last night.  I have cried many times since and I dont think I am ready to say goodbye.  I dont know if I ever will.

I have known Raccoon for about 18 years now.  We spent a lot of time over the years talking, laughing, cuddling, singing and I listened as he tried to resolve the struggles we all face on a daily basis.

I remember having a crush on him back in the early 90's.  At Billy Beams he came on the microphone and called me out of the crowd to sing with him.  I was so nervous but excited.  We sang Yahweh and it was such a wonderful feeling to be singing with such a great song writer and friend.

I will miss the song bird and all of the joy and love that he brought to our campfires.

Bessy and Robin - I knew you two more then the rest of the family and I am truly sorry that he is gone.  I wish the best for your family.

Raccoon - I will see you in another life.  Keep smiling sweetie."

Lee Davidson

Arralea (Lee) Davidson

"This is my tribute to our dear friend, Benjamin Hunter Mark "Raccoon" Gibbs. He was a pure hearted, free spirit with such amazing talent. I will carry the memories and music in my heart forever and I feel fortunate to have been his friend. He left us too early but as he his "soul is set free to soar with the eagles". I hope he's soaring high. I only wish I had made this slideshow when he was alive, he would have loved it. I cherish these photos and am now able to share them and his music with my friends.

I chose the song The Angels Cry, performed by Raccoon with Rhythm Glide, March 31, 1995 at Centerfold Coffeehouse, New York City, NY. This song always made me cry while he played it under the stars, around the campfire. Now it makes me cry even harder.

My fondest memory of Raccoon is back in the 90s at his family's chestnut orchard in Linden, where musicians/friends and everyone in-between gathered for his rockin' campouts. My cousin (Carol Blum) and I were writing a song about Raccoon. Actually, she did all the writing; I helped with harmonies and some lyrics. We recapped the weekend's events in a song and called it The Merit Song. "I smoke Merits and you smoke dope" was the catch phrase in the song.

Raccoon loved it and loved the fact that someone wrote a song about him. It was a catchy tune and pretty humorous. So, we got up on stage and sang if for him. He had us sing it to him over and over for the rest of that weekend, he was really digging it! From time to time, he'd say "Hey Jane, sing me The Merit Song, come on, sing it!" So, after much coaxing, I would finally give in. Of course, it was always better when Carol and I sang it together. The tradition started from there. Every year he would find us in the crowd and have us come up on stage or around the campfire to sing his song.

Last verse..."Thanks Raccoon for havin' us here, throws this party 'bout twice a year. So don't you ?? (hm hmm hmm, don't remember), don't you piss him off, save your screaming and your morning cough. And don't you ask Raccoon for a smoke because he smokes Merits and you smoke dope. He smokes Merits and you......smoke.......dope!" Heh.

I met Tina through Raccoon and we became friends. I helped her with her and Racoon's wedding, along with Lori and Cheryl. Kim Fields wrote a song especially for them and she and I sang it at the ceremony. It was one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. I was honored to be present at the Justice of the Peace the day they legally tied the knot. A small group of us shared coffee and stories at a corner cafe following the ceremony. It was a joyful day, filled with laughter. Those were good times.

I miss Raccoon. I miss his warm smile and soothing voice. I miss his spirited music and genuine nature. I miss his crazy sense of humor and bad (really bad) jokes. I will never forget you. Now you are free Raccoon. Now you are at peace."

Jane Brack

Jane's MySpace Blog

"Angels Cry" by Raccoon


My name is Kevin Turner and I'm a wholesale CD distributor. I recently purchased a box of 91 CD's and as I was going through them and cleaning them, prepping them for sale, I came across one that intrigued me so I gave it a listen. It was Raccoon - Rainbow Warrior 1987 in A- Condition. I listen to hundreds of CD's and normally I don't listen to more than one song. However, this CD literally abducted me and left me with an unknown sadness upon the completion of the final song. See, I also play the drums and I immediately wanted to play with Raccoon, but I told my friend I don't think he's alive. Why I would say or think that, I don't know. But I felt it and wept. I have never even heard of the guy, but my God, he touched me. So, I reluctantly started poking around on the net and surely enough, I came across your site. I will never sell this CD and the video on Jane's Blog was extremely touching. I haven't felt this kind of sadness for a loss of a musician since the passing of Michael Hedges, truly my favorite guitarist of all time.
I don't even know why I'm emailing you. I guess I feel as though we have a connection, through Raccoon, a man that truly touched my heart and soul on this day.



William Yeager's Farm 1996 Photo by Mike Wuyek

If you would like to add your thoughts and memories of Raccoon, please email them to us and we will post your sentiments on this board.

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Lasst updated: 5-9-2006

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Other Raccoon Links

If would like more of Raccoon's music please visit

Some really nice photo's have been posted by Mike Wuyek

To hear a rare live recording
visit Raccoon's page on My Space

This page is dedicated to our brother who inspired us all to become better musicians and better human beings.

 May his music live on in all of us.

If you have any photos or sentiments you would like posted, please email us and we will post them on this site.

Photo by Mike Wuyek

This page will permanently remain dedicated to the memory of Raccoon.