Stuart Wynn Gibbs ’41

Dr. Stuart Wynn Gibbs, Sr., 94, formerly of Gastonia, died January 14, 2014, at Parkview Retirement Center, Sanford, NC, with family by his side.  He was born August 19, 1919, in Sautee, GA, to the late Reverend Dr. Charles Mitchell Gibbs (Davidson, Class of 1915) and Woodfin Carson Gibbs.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years Sara Bowen Gibbs; a sister Margaret Gibbs Lob of Metairie, LA; and a brother The Reverend Charles Mitchell Gibbs, Jr. (Davidson, Class of 1948) of Cornelia, GA. 

Dr. Gibbs was raised in Erwin, NC.  As a youth, he picked cotton and worked in the Erwin cotton mills where he swept floors and filled hoppers. His interest in medicine began as he accompanied the town’s young doctor on night calls as the doctor’s driver.  He graduated from Erwin High School and attended Blue Ridge School for Boys in Asheville for a year before beginning undergraduate studies.  He was a 1941 graduate of Davidson College and received his medical degree from Wake Forest Bowman Gray School of Medicine in 1944.  He served a rotating internship at Watts Hospital, Durham, and his radiology residency at North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem.

Dr. Gibbs practiced radiology in Rocky Mount for four years followed by service in the US Army Medical Corps at Fort Gordon, GA.  In 1954 he joined his medical school friend Dr. Leslie M. Morris in Gastonia in private practice, and together they established Gaston Radiology, PA, which served Gastonia and the surrounding area including Gaston Memorial Hospital, Garrison General Hospital, Gaston County Negro Hospital, Kings Mountain Hospital, and Divine Savior Hospital in York, SC.  The practice continues to date.

He retired in 1985 after 31 years of practice in Gastonia.  He was a former chief of staff of Gaston Memorial Hospital, a past president of the Gaston County Medical Society and a past president of the NC Radiological Society.  He was a Fellow and Councilor in the American College of Radiology and a member of many professional organizations including the American Medical Association and the NC Medical Society.

Dr. Gibbs was dedicated to his patients and loyal to and loved by office and hospital staff and others whom he encountered in his work.  He was devoted to working with and teaching staff, and he taught physics at the GMH School of Radiation Technology.  He was always regarded as an ethical, tenacious, unselfish professional.

A devoted member of First Presbyterian Church, Gastonia, he served as an Elder and choir member. He enjoyed spending time on Hilton Head Island with family and friends. Stuart was a loving, faithful and generous husband, son, father and brother; he enjoyed being an active, attentive grandfather.  He was an avid supporter of Davidson and Salem Colleges.  He was a longtime member of the Gaston Country Club where he pursued the sport of golf and shared that interest with his son.  He remained active and supportive of his community in retirement.

Dr. Gibbs is survived by his children Ann Blatzer and husband Bruce of Columbus, OH; Gail Parker and husband Byron of Laurens, SC; Sara “Penny” Shields and husband Paul of Sanford; and Wynn Gibbs, Jr, and wife Cindy of Greenville, SC.  He was blessed with eleven grandchildren:  Leah Blatzer and Julia Blatzer of Richmond, VA; Shannon Medlin and husband Mark of Gilbert, SC; Clay Parker of Hopkins, SC; Stuart Parker and wife Kathryn of Bristol, TN; Dan Shields and wife Kathryn of Raleigh; Frank Shields and Lisa Duke of Asheville; Stuart Shields of Sanford; Miller Wofford, Mary Wynn Gibbs, Stuart Gibbs III of Greenville, SC; and six great-grandchildren.  Also surviving are a sister Tilda Herring of Clinton; a sister-in-law Ann Gibbs Tennant of Alcolu, SC; a brother-in-law David S. Clay and wife Anne of Salisbury; and 18 nieces and nephews.

A witness to the resurrection and celebration of Dr. Gibbs’ life will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Gastonia on Sunday, January 26, at 2 pm officiated by The Reverend Dr. John Frye and The Reverend Paul Shields.  The family will greet visitors after the service in the church Fellowship Hall.  Private interment service will take place at Forsyth Memorial Park, Winston-Salem, on March 1.

Dr. Gibbs’ family offers their gratitude to those who lovingly supported him with care, prayers, visits, and correspondence, including the staff of Parkview Retirement Center, Parkview-In-Home Care, and Community Home Care and Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to First Presbyterian Church, 1621 E. Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054; Barium Springs Home for Children, PO Box 1, Barium Springs, NC 28010; Community Home Care and Hospice, 1836 Doctors Drive, Sanford, NC 27330 or a charity of your choice.

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