Mary Chambers Gibbs, lovingly known as “MawMaw”, passed away peacefully at home on January 3, 2024, at the age of 88. Born on July 18, 1935, in Pantego, NC, she led a life filled with love and beauty.
With her green thumb, Mary could work wonders with flowers and plants, so much so that it is said that she could “put an old stick in the ground and something beautiful would grow”. It was known that she could take a dried-up stick or brown leaf, plant it in the dead of winter, and grow a flourishing small forest by springtime. Whether it was tending to her garden or birdwatching, she found solace and joy in the natural world. Her love for reading books and being outside often led her on long walks in the woods or spontaneous road trips to explore new places. Mary also had a deep appreciation for the arts and enjoyed attending plays whenever she had the chance.
Mary’s passion for music and singing was evident as a devoted choir member of the West Belhaven Church of Christ. Her voice lifted spirits and filled hearts with pure delight. She also had a passion for good old comfort foods (and according to PawPaw making the best fried chicken ever) but was always willing to try something new.
Family has the fondest and usually the best memories; Mary’s sisters will tell you of a time growing up when all six girls would bath in the same washtub. The oldest sisters would always want to go first because the younger ones would pee in the water. Or how much MawMaw “enjoyed” PawPaw’s homemade fireworks. Then there was the bridge that was built to keep her from jumping the ditch well into her golden years. Nobody was fooled when MawMaw took the kids to the playground so that SHE could go so she could swing on the swings and go down the sliding boards.
Along with Melvin Gibbs Sr., her loving husband of over 50 years, Mary was also preceded in death by her father, Dallas Clinton Chambers, her mother, Carrie M. Chambers, her grandson, Melvin Gibbs III, her granddaughters, Rebekah Kenney and Shenandoah Kenney, and her sisters, Ann Morgan and Katie Sawyer.
She is survived by her daughters, Mandy Swinson (Dean), Millie Gibbs Kenney (David Sr.), her sons, Melvin Gibbs Jr., and Mike “Squck” Gibbs (Susan Cox), 13 beloved grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters, Carolyn Sullivan, Marie Russ, and Doris Wallace, whose lives were forever enriched by Mary’s presence.
Services for Mary will be held on Monday, January 8, 2024. A graveside service will take place at 3:00pm, officiated by James Scheffler at the Belhaven Community Cemetery.
Flowers are welcome and appreciated, and donations in Mary’s name may be made to the West Belhaven Church of Christ – 1080 W. Main St, Belhaven, NC 27810.
Mary Chambers Gibbs will be remembered for her vibrant spirit, her love for nature, her contagious laughter, her legacy of joy and warmth will forever live on in the hearts of those she loved.
Joseph B. Paul Jr. Funeral Service is honored to be assisting the Gibbs family.
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