OBITUARY

Linda MacMurray Gibbs

January 15, 1941March 19, 2021

Linda MacMurray Gibbs, 80, passed away after a brief illness on March 19, 2021 with family at her side. We are heartbroken to see her go, but know she is now in peace. For those that knew her, Linda embodied the words of William Shakespeare, “though she be but little, she is fierce.” She was a loyal friend, an inspiring leader and a dedicated mother and grandmother. She is survived by her son, Todd Belveal, daughter Shannon Reid (Colin Reid) and her beloved grandchildren Conor and Cayleigh. Over her long career as a Head of School and educator, Linda influenced countless lives and the messages we received from friends far and wide were a comfort to her and us during the last days of her life. She was a natural leader and mentor and gave her all to everything she set her mind to do.

Born in Nashville, TN, Linda attended the Harpeth Hall School, received her undergraduate degree from Hollins College and her graduate degree from Wesleyan University. She was a long time teacher, administrator and leader at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, FL from 1965 through 1985 before moving to Garden City, NY to become the Head of the Cathedral School of St. Mary. She went on to work as a Director with the National Association of Independent Schools, helping to educate and inspire others to lead schools as Heads and as Board Members. In 1994, she moved to Memphis to lead the Hutchison School before moving to NYC as Head of School at the Hewitt School in 2001. Her years at Hewitt and in NYC were among the best of her life. She retired from Hewitt in 2010 and moved back to Tampa to be close to her grandchildren and worked as an executive search consultant for independent schools for 9 years before finally retiring fully in 2019.

We will be hosting a memorial service in Mom's honor on April 10, 2021 at 2 PM at Blount & Curry MacDill 605 S. MacDill Ave. Tampa, FL. The family will receive guests at 1 PM. For anyone wishing to honor mom’s memory, we request donations in lieu of flowers to the Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, FL or the Hewitt School in New York, NY.

Mom, we wish you peace and love. You were a force of nature and set an amazing example for all of us. We will see you again, and please know we love you with all our hearts.

  • FAMILY

  • She is survived by her son, Todd Belveal, daughter Shannon Reid (Colin Reid) and her beloved grandchildren Conor and Cayleigh.

Services

  • Gathering of Friends and Family

    Saturday, April 10, 2021

  • Celebration of Life

    Saturday, April 10, 2021

Memories

Linda MacMurray Gibbs

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Casey Hayes

April 11, 2021

Dear Shannon and Todd,
My heart breaks for you both and your children. Linda was the most formidable woman I ever met...words can only attempt to describe the force that was your mother. I write this from Vienna, Austria where I am a Fulbright Scholar, in part due to your mother's inspirational words throughout my career at Hewitt. She always said "there's a great big world out there and they want to hear what you have to say". She was the one who pushed me out the proverbial door to find my wings. I now speak around the world on issues concerning LGBTQ rights. Although we did not part on the best of terms, she will always be dear to me, as I would not be the person I am today without her help, guidance, and motivation. Bless you and all of your family.

Tammy Rovitz

April 7, 2021

Linda Gibbs was a fearless leader and a great force at The Hewitt School. Everything she said made absolute sense. She was essential in my two daughters education and I am saddened by this news. I will remember her with fondness, appreciation and kindness.
Sincerely,
Tammy Rovitz

Karen Landau

March 29, 2021

Ms. Gibbs memory will live on with me and my daughter, Lily. I was torn about where to send my only child to kindergarten, and then I heard Ms Gibbs speak at an assembly for families of children who were considering attending the Hewitt School. Her charisma and vision persuaded me. Ms. Gibbs had a certain undefinable spark when she spoke of Hewitt’s potential. Her leadership brought the school from meh to “look at me.” She embodied leadership and never disappointed. I cannot remember a day when Ms. Gibbs was not present at drop off to welcome my daughter to school with a warm handshake and a friendly smile.

My sincerest condolences to your family. May her memory be a blessing.

Warmest regards,
Karen and Lily Landau

Jayne Geiger

March 29, 2021

Dear Shannon and Todd,

We loved your mother! She launched so many of us from the New Heads class of 1992, and through the years continued to be a mentor and support. Her great sense of humor was always with her, and her advice was keen. Ours was a particularly close group of New Heads; we continued to have reunions. That's because of your mother. I believe Linda was most instrumental in teaching us the power of a support group and seeking help.

She talked about you and the grandkids so much. I always admired her spunk-- living in NYC, forming the Supper Club, becoming an RG175 partner, moving to Tampa, making the rounds at Headmistresses and CDSHA. Linda always made me feel better, laugh and put things in perspective.

I visited her once in her office at Hewitt. We had a delightful visit. I was fascinated that she could sit in the same room with the largest jar of peanut M&M's that i ever saw and not eat them.

I hope it consoles you to know that she lives on in our hearts. She was one special lady.

With deepest sympathy,
Jayne Geiger

Pam Clarke

March 26, 2021

Dear Shannon and Todd
Your Mom was in charge of Head Camp when I was a new Head; she helped us "newbies" get over the jitters and try to become heads. She also followed our careers, and at one point we were both Heads in NYC. We bonded over knee replacements and had a few+ drinks in Maine! I admired her enormously. She will be missed, for sure, and we thank her for her strong contribution expecially to women in independent schools. All the Best, Pam Clarke

Joan Beauregard

March 25, 2021

Dear Shannon and Todd,
I met your Mother just about 30 years ago. We kept in touch and through the years became good friends. I always enjoyed the time we spent together sharing stories. She was very proud of both or you and always had an update that include a story of the family. She especially loved being a Grandmother!
I can't imagine what it will be like to go to a CDSHA meeting or a NAIS meeting without grabbing lunch and a glass of wine with your Mom.
Warmly,
Joan Beauregard

Sue Groesbeck

March 25, 2021

Dear Todd and Shannon,
Your Mom was a good friend and an uplifting colleague. We always had fun and although petite in stature, she commanded a room, as you know. We laughed and shared silly stories because our jobs were so important. One NAIS Conference in Montreal, she tried meaningful to convince me to buy a fur. She was a romp in a small package and I will miss her.
My sincerest condolences,
Sue Groesbeck
Fellow NAIS Head of School

Ralph Davison

March 25, 2021

Dear Todd and Shannon,
I have heard your names ever since your mom and I first met when I was a candidate for the headship at Berkeley Prep back in 1984. I didn't get the job, and both of our careers went in different and wonderful directions (life is like that!). While your mom was at NAIS, she brought me in to work with her at the Institute for New Heads in the early '90s, something we did together for several years. She and I both joined the Country Day School Headmaster's Association (which gave us a chance to catch up annually) and then we both went to work for competing (friendly) search firms! She was simply the best, and the world has lost a big point of light. I will miss her, and I know you do very much. My condolences and prayers go to you and your family.