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Joel Whitney Tibbetts


1936 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Joel Whitney Tibbetts Obituary
Arlington, VT - Joel Whitney Tibbetts, 81, a resident of Bentley Lane, passed away March 1, 2018 at Albany Medical Center surrounded by his family.

Joel was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 16, 1936 the son of the late Norris Lowell Tibbetts, Sr. and Mary Powell. Joel received his early education in New York, earned his undergraduate degree at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and earned his Doctorate at Vanderbilt Divinity School.

Joel is the very definition of Renaissance man. His work, passions and interests extended from the Mid-West, across the country and up through New England. He will be sorely missed not only by his family, but by his former students, co-workers, church communities, volunteer and local communities. Joel was an ordained minister and throughout his life served the communities of various churches and institutions in Illinois and Vermont.

As an educator, he was beloved by students all over the country. Joel retired from his position as a Professor of Religion and English at Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois and, shortly thereafter, when his wife Karen retired from her position as Library Director from the same college, they moved together to Arlington, Vermont and found their dream home just a couple miles down the road from the Tibbetts family summer home, where they had spent many wonderful summers.

Joel was a member of the Federated Church in East Arlington, where he sang in the choir, served on the Church Council, the Mission Board and various other committees. Joel is renowned for a Bible Study that he led at the Church for ten years. The Bible Study members were devoted. He continued his Ministry as guest preacher at several area churches. He was very active with Hospice as Hospice Chaplain and sang with the Serenity Singers. Joel was also on the Board of the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Library. He especially enjoyed playing guitar and singing, keeping family tradition alive. He also enjoyed counted cross stitch, loved trains and his Westies, Holly, Fiona and MacKenzie.

Joel is survived by his wife Karen H. Tibbetts of Arlington, VT, daughters Lucy Gravatt of Marion, IL and Liza Lara of Reston, VA, grandchildren Jake, Josh, Leo and Lucianna, sisters Louise Smith of Bethesda, MD and Eleanor Hanrahan of Arlington, VT, brother Norris Tibbetts, Jr. of Madison, Wisconsin and many loving nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

Funeral services for Joel will be announced at a later date. There are no visiting hours.

If friends desire, memorial gifts in Joel's memory may be made to VNA Hospice, c/o Hanson-Walbridge & Shea Funeral Home Arlington Chapel P.O. Box 528 Arlington, VT 05250.

To send the family personal condolences please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com

The family has entrusted arrangements to the care of Hanson-Walbridge & Shea Funeral Home

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Published in Bennington Banner on Mar. 9, 2018
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