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Betty Jane Tibbs

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Betty Jane Tibbs Obituary
Betty Jane Tibbs

NEWARK: A celebration of life service for Betty J. (nee Clark) Tibbs will be held at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at the Criss Wagner Hoskinson Funeral Home, Newark. Friends and Family are invited to gather for viewing from 3:00-5:00 & 7:00 -9:00 pm on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Mrs. Tibbs, age 91, passed away Friday April 11, 2014, at the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, OH after a brief unexpected illness.

She was born January 18, 1923, in Wellsville, (Columbiana County) Ohio, a daughter of the late James Robert and Lenora Bell (nee Jackson) Clark. A graduate of Girard Senior High School in Girard (Youngstown Area) Ohio in 1941, she was an innovative and creative problem solver, a socially active and community oriented home-maker. Mrs. Tibbs, who in her early twenties, worked in the industrious steel manufacturing plants of Northeast Ohio, joining the ranks of "Rosie the Riveter" in the WWII efforts to secure democracy, as a trained fighter aircraft rivet inspector on the P-38 ~Lightening~ production line; she also succeeded in the retail industry. She was honored to have served in excess of 25 years as a local and state member of The Board of Directors for the Young Women's Christian Association; while representing the Association she was a delegate to the San Francisco, CA convention for the Equal Rights Amendment in 1971.

Mrs. Tibbs was a life-member of The Order of the Eastern Star; a member of Queen Ann Lodge (#50 in Newark, OH) and a member of Prince Hall F&AM Lodge-Eastern Star Chapter (#42 in Ironton, OH) attending numerous Grand Chapter Sessions over the years. She remained an active and vocal contributor and dues-paying sponsor of several select civic and civil organizations until the day of her passing.

Mrs. Tibbs was a "shining champion as an advocate and activist of women's rights," leading by example. She was a strong, proud and exemplary earth mother to all she met, taking pride in her abilities to create a safe environment that influenced, nurtured, and supported many children and adults in her lifetime. Over the years she had successfully and consistently taught government, economics and finance, language, vocabulary, and the proper use of grammar to the community; she continually stressed the requirement to stay abreast of current political affairs as to the rigors of a democracy which demands an "educated electorate."

Mrs. Tibbs was known and recognized in each community that she entered as a "lady" in the finest traditional and classic sense of "the grand damé", perfecting her abilities as a kind, intelligent, superiorly graceful communicator, known to all as a "Talker" spending countless joyful hours on the phone, and building her personal bonding connections while engaging in her social pastime skills of reading to children, flash cards, playing cards, and her penchant passion for games of chance; she was always blessed with charm and good luck followed her. Mrs. Tibbs was known by many that it was a pure joy to be in her presence, meals, holidays and festivals were always a sensory and culinary treat for dinner parties, as well as emotional and spiritual sustenance. Mrs. Tibbs was prolific in sending greeting cards and uplifting letters of encouragement; and delivering special care packages to loved ones, and she possessed and held onto an uncanny ability of recall, for birthdays, anniversaries and special dates in her and others personal lives. She often served as a guide and helpful resource for context and meaning upon significant dates in modern world history, her mind sharp-as-a-tack until her last day with us as a family and extended community. Both she and her late husband Howard loved music and concerts as he was an accomplished saxophonist when they met in 1936. He continued to perform and entertained in several U.S. Army Air Corps bands and ensembles while in service with the legendary Tuskegee Airmen from 1942-1946. They married afterward, upon his return from active duty on January 23, 1947.

She is preceded from this life by her husband of 39 years, Howard Arthur Tibbs (September 23, 1919 - January 27, 1986); by her father, James R. Clark; by her mother, Lenora B. Clark; by her father-in-law, Roy Tibbs; by her mother-in-law, Emma C. (nee Howard) Tibbs; by a brother, Paul M. and Jane (nee Boone) Clark; by a sister, Winifred A. and Albert N. Bradley; by a brother, Robert T. Clark (1930 at age 3 months); by a sister, Marguerite J. and Harold R. Dykes; by a nephews, Scott Bradley and Craig Clark.

She is survived by her four sons, Howard Anthony and Gloria (nee Scott) Tibbs of Columbus, OH, Clark Allen Tibbs, Philip Andrew Tibbs and David Arthur Tibbs, all of Newark, OH; grandson Howard Wesley Tibbs of New York, NY; by twin grandsons, John Clark Tibbs of New York and Matthew Allen Tibbs of Ohio; by a granddaughters, Elyn J. A. Tibbs of Mt. Vernon, OH and Madeleine E. Tibbs of Columbus, OH; in addition to a host of loving loyal family members, including first cousin, Helen Jackson of Youngstown, OH (also age 91) and a list of 17 surviving nieces and nephews that knew that they held a special bonding with their "Dear Aunt Betty." Mrs. Tibbs' memory is bolstered by a vast collection of friends and children's-children that knew and loved her simply as "Mom Tibbs" or "Momma-do."

One of Mrs. Tibbs' favorite words of wisdom was "Can't means Won't" and went on to explain, "There is nothing You Can Not Do" "Put your mind to it, and it Can Be Done!" thus the nickname "Momma-do." She also stressed and promoted "Use your imagination, think of something that everybody needs, and no one has, and you will have a mint!" and "A mint is where money is printed and made legally."

In the event that flowers, contributions or expressions of condolence are offered, they may be delivered to the Funeral Home, also envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

Criss Wagner Hoskinson Funeral Home, 179 Granville Street, Newark, Ohio is honored to care for the Tibbs family. To sign an online guest book, please visit


Published in the Advocate on Apr. 13, 2014
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