Mary Stella Gibbs

June 1, 1931May 30, 2018
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MARY STELLA GIBBS, age 86 of Morristown, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at Group Home in Mooresburg. She was a member of Calvue Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Gibbs; father, William Wilby Rhea; mother, Ellie Pauline Jarnigan; brother, Billy Jay Rhea, Billy Jack Rhea and Buddy Rhea; sister, Alma “Sally” Hedrick. She is survived by her sisters, Ruth Hollifield, Sarah Nolen and Josie Dickerson; special sister-in-law to whom was considered a sister, Peggy Rhea; numerous nieces, nephews and a host of friends. We would like to extend a special thank you to her caregiver, Nancy Turk. Funeral services will be held on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. in the chapel of Stubblefield Funeral Home with the Rev. Bob Zavattieri officiating. The family will receive friends on Sunday, June 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home. Interment will follow in Hamblen Memory Gardens. Pallbearers will be Nick Knight, William Dickerson, Johnny Dickerson, Tony Knight, Jacob Davis and Justin Davis. Arrangements by Stubblefield Funeral Home.


  • Visitation Sunday, June 3, 2018
  • Funeal Service Sunday, June 3, 2018
  • Interment Sunday, June 3, 2018

Mary Stella Gibbs

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      In the song of life, Mary Stella Gibbs was surely the composer. A very observant woman who would rather spend her time creating than talking, Mary preferred to live in a world of harmony where everything around her made sense. In fact, she depended on her sensory world to provide her with concrete data. A free spirit, Mary believed that actions definitely spoke for themselves. She seemed to know what fit and what didn’t fit in everything she did. Mary perceived that all of life’s possibilities were open to her, yet she lived with a definite sense of purpose. She was a woman who was always ready to share her creations with those around her.

      Mary was born on June 1, 1931 at Greeneville, TN in Greeneville, TN. Her parents were William "Wilby" and Ella Pauline Rhea. Mary was raised in Around Pather Creek in TN. As a young child, Mary was optimistic in her outlook. She sought out the possibilities in a given situation and looked for ways to apply her creative energies. Mary rarely calling attention to herself, but when she did speak out, her message was clearly understood by those around her.

      Early on in her family relationships, Mary showed that she was a tolerant and flexible person, and she got along fairly well with everyone. She was raised with 7. She had three brothers; Buddy, Billy Jay, BIlly Jack and four sisters; Bretie Ruth Hollifield, Josie Dickerson, Sarah Nolen and Alma Hedrick. She was a calm and playful child who was adaptable to any situation.

      As she was growing up, Mary developed into a person who enjoyed physically doing things, and she took pleasure in using her hands in order to create. Whether it was drawing pictures, working with building kits, or even just tapping out a rhythm to play by, Mary liked concrete things. In her spare time she liked to cook. Mary's memorable achievements included. However, to Mary, the most fun she had was simply playing, and spending time with friends.

      Those who didn’t know Mary well might not view her as being an outgoing person, those who called her their friend knew differently. Mary was shy and sensitive, a person who never forced her opinions and values on others. Close friends knew that her kindness was unmatched, and once you became a friend of Mary’s, you understood how true a friend she could be. While growing up, some of her best friends were Jean Marlow.

      A person who was sensitive to others’ feelings, modest and tolerant, Mary had the ability to become completely devoted to another when that affection was returned.

      Mary found ways to enjoy what she did for a living. She worked hard and did her best to succeed every day. Her primary occupation was homemaker. She was employed for Cords in Dekalb, Ill. Mary tended to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done without imposing her will on others.

      Mary enjoyed her leisure time by taking part in various hobbies. Her favorite pursuits were gardening. Mary was content to enjoy her hobbies alone but was also willing to share her interests with others. She was relaxed in her approach to her leisure time because she wanted to savor the present moment.

      Mary’s faith was important to her. She was a member of Calvue Baptist Church for 10 years. Mary's passionate commitment to upholding her values placed her at home in her religion, where she took comfort in the company of others who believed as she did.

      Because she loved the world around her, Mary enjoyed traveling and going away on vacations. It was an opportunity for her to kick back and relax, to visit new places and experience new things. Mary put her personal trademark on any leisure planning that she undertook. Favorite vacations included the beach.

      Mary was a lover of animals and cherished her pets. One of Mary’s favorites was Bruno, a Poodle. They were best friends for many years. Her family was rounded out by her dog and stray cats.

      When Mary’s retirement finally arrived in 1985, she was well prepared. Her new life involved relocating to Dekalb, Ill. Even in retirement, Mary continued to stay in touch with her old friends while making plenty of new acquaintances. In these later chapters of her life, she became active in the community, feeling fulfilled with the opportunities retirement offered her and simply enjoying what she had worked so hard to attain.

      Mary passed away on May 30, 2018 at Group Home in Mooresburg, TN. Mary suffered a heart attack. She is survived by sisters, sister-in-law and nieces and nephews. Services were held at Stubblefield Funeral Home. Mary was laid to rest in Hamblen Memory Gardens in the Garden of Gethsemane II.

      Mary was a good woman, a kind woman, and a practical woman who will for all time be remembered by her family and friends as being warm and deeply caring. She leaves behind her a treasury of life-long friendships and wonderful memories. Mary always had much to give and was able to make those connections in her life where her gifts were appreciated. Mary was a faithful, practical and loving person. Everyone whose life she touched will always remember Mary Stella Gibbs.