Clarence "Sonny" Vincent Tibbs Jr.
December 3, 1935 – September 29, 2020
TIBBS, C. V. “Sonny” – Passed away peacefully on September 29, 2020.
He was born in Nashville, TN, on December 3, 1935. He was the son of the late Jeanette Phillips Tibbs and C. V. Tibbs, Sr. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Carolyn Peterson Tibbs, his 2 daughters, Stephanie Tibbs Schmahl (Jonathan) and Sonja Tibbs Roberts (Hayward) Pensacola, FL, and his son Ronnie Tibbs (Kammi) Pensacola, FL, six grandchildren, Rebecca McMillen (Karl),, Melia Schepper (Wade), Morgan Burkett (Matt), Holden Tibbs, Jackson Schmahl, Andrianna Schmahl and five great-grandchildren. He had one sister, the late Dorothy “Dot” Tibbs Foster and one daughter (also deceased), the late Tiffany Louise Tibbs. C. V. (Sonny) graduated from David Lipscomb Academy in 1955.
Among other activities, he participated in chorus, baseball, basketball. He received the honor of “Most Athletic” in his senior year. Upon graduation he became a member of the Marine Corp. Reserves. Continuing the Tibbs family business in south Nashville, Tibbs Nursery, he became a third generation nurseryman in the Tibbs history, being one of the first to propagate evergreens in Tennessee (and helping mentor many businesses in McMinnville). His favorite pastime, however, was racing cars on area dirt tracks as owner & competitor of his team known as the “High Lifts”. His love for continued physical conditioning landed him a job as manager of Cosmopolitan Health Spa. He both coached fellow members and personally competed in “Weight Lifting and Body Building” contests state-wide. Two of his protégés placed 1st and 3rd in the “Mr. Tennessee” body building competition.
Mr. Tibbs enjoyed many sports, and along with the late Vic Varallo, Harold Bradley and his wife, Eleanor, formed a water ski team which also competed throughout the south known as the “Ski Bees”. In opposition to continuing the Tibbs Nursery business, Mr. Tibbs gained his pilot’s license from Nashville Flying Service in 1967 and his instructor’s license from the University of Tennessee in 1968. He was recruited by a large company in New Orleans that same year to train and pilot their private jet. Mr. Tibbs completed “Jet Commander” training in New York, achieving the prestigious “Flight Safety Award”. The private Jet Commander was later leased along with his services to the famous trumpeter, Al Hurt, whom he flew for throughout the United States over a time of 3 years. His lifelong love for the University of Tennessee and his home state called him back to Knoxville in 1974 where he established the largest landscape management company in the city, winning multiple “beautification” awards. His late daughter, Tiffany, became a cheerleading mascot for the University squad from the age of 3 to 7 years old. During that time he never missed a game at home or away! In 1975 Mr. Tibbs was granted a patent and an “Achievement Award for Inventors & Scientists” for the manufacture of SEC collegiate purses, lamps and banks for his company "Balls 'n All", many of which he donated to the University of Tennessee bookstore.
His popularity awarded him the coveted title of “Kentucky Colonel” by the governor of Kentucky in 1976, Governor Julian McCarroll. In 1979 Mr. Tibbs was recruited by the Knox County Sheriff’s Department to be a duly appointed and commissioned Deputy Sheriff. He held that commission for 3 years. He returned home to Nashville in 1984 establishing “Sonny Tibbs Landscape Management” company. A hobby after retirement of building bird houses, feeders, etc. led to the start of another company “Sunny Nest – Assisted Living for Birds”. He gained the reputation of the “Bird Man” of Crieve Hall, which he enjoyed for many years. His passion for living life to the fullest and many quiet acts of kindness will be his legacy.
A Memorial Service will be held at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ, Brentwood, TN, on November 14 at 4:00. Visitation from 2-4:00. Minister Chris Smith will be officiating. Testimonials welcome. Mr. Tibbs, “Sonny” as he is best known, rededicated his life to Christ and was an active member at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Harpeth Hills Church of Christ "Good Samaritan Fund".
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Harpeth Hill Church of Christ
1949 Old Hickory Blvd,
Clarence "Sonny" Vincent Tibbs Jr.
October 5, 2020
Dear Carolyn and Stephanie,
Thank you for the sweet photos and the precious words of my cousin Sonny. He is now well and Joyful in the Presence of THE LORD. My heart is full and tears wash my cheeks. In my mind are pictures and memories: Papa Tibbs' Nursery, Bud's Nursery, Grandmother Tibbs, The Home Place, Jeanette, Dorothy Jean and a young lively Sonny at David Lipscomb. My Prayer; "The Lord Bless you and Keep you, The Lord make His Face to Smile upon you, and Give you Peace." Love, Nita Fisher
October 2, 2020
So sorry for your loss. Sorry that the COVID prevents a celebration of his life. Mary Greer