When he was a child the family moved to Fulton, where he grew up and was a graduate of Itawamba High School in 1938.
While at Ole Miss, he received his pilot’s license and became a member of the Diamond Life Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. He earned his law degree and had been a member of the Mississippi Bar Association for 67 years. He was also a Lifetime Member of the University of Mississippi Alumni Association. All of his life he has been an avid booster of all Ole Miss sports.
Concerned about college education for young people in the area, he established three Endowed Scholarships at Itawamba Community College for his first wife, Dot Gibbs, for his wife, Ann Gibbs, and for his sister, Bonnie Ruth Gibbs Owings, all who were teachers. He was a Life Member of Itawamba Community College and High School Associations.
A veteran of World War II based in England he served as a Nose Gunner on a B-24 from September 1942 until October 1945. On their 24th Mission over Germany, their plane was shot down over Schouwon Island in Holland where his crew bailed out and was taken prisoners of war by the Germans. Following the war, he returned to Ole Miss to complete his education only to be recalled to the Korean War where he served for over a year.
He held Life Membership in the American Legion, the VFW, the Louisiana chapter and Northeast Mississippi chapter of POW’s and the 8th Air Force Historical Society, as well as the Air Force Gunners Association.
He and a friend, Bill Rieves, spearheaded a drive to place a monument at Tupelo Veteran’s Park in memory of World War II veterans. Recently he participated in the establishment of a new memorial in memory of the 8th Air Force Veterans to be placed at the Park. He truly was a patriot and loved his country. He co-authored with his crew a book, “”Against All Odds,”” describing their experience during WWII.
His lifetime work was with State Farm Insurance Company as Divisional Claims Superintendent for the State of Mississippi. He served as Legislative Liaison for State Farm and Mississippi. For five years he served as chairman of the Board of Directors of Mississippi Insurance Guaranty Association. He retired from State Farm in 1991.
He was a history buff who enjoyed reading, traveling, golfing and playing bridge.
He was married to Dorothy White Gibbs on April 6, 1947, in her hometown of Fayette. They lived in Monroe, La., for 28 years where their son “”Rusty”” was born. Following Dot’s death, Cobb married his high school sweetheart, Ann Kilpatrick Stubblefield, from Tupelo 18 years ago.
A service of death and resurrection will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, at First United Methodist Church in Tupelo with Dr. Roy Dean McAlilly, the Rev. James R. Curtis and the Rev. Lynn Mote officiating. Trentice Imbler will give a Eulogy. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. at Holland Funeral Directors Tupelo Chapel today, Dec. 11, 2013, and from 10 a.m. to service time in the Gathering Room at the church, the day of the service. A private family committal service will be held at the Gibbs Family Plot at Hillcrest Cemetery in Fulton.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Dot Gibbs; their infant son, Joe Miles Gibbs; his brothers, James Gibbs Jr. and Paul Gibbs; and his sister, Bonnie Ruth Owings.
Survivors include his wife, Ann Kirkpatrick Gibbs; his son, Tyrus Cobb “”Rusty”” Gibbs Jr. and wife, Trudie, of Sterlington, La.; his granddaughter, Reagan Nicole Gibbs, and a special former daughter-in-law, Niki Arrambide, both from Spring, Texas; his stepdaughter, Suzanne Warfield and husband, Gerald, from Saltillo; his stepson, Jerry Stubblefield and wife, Sherry, from Fulton, Alan Warfield from Saltillo, Kimberly Hyde and husband, Patrick, from Columbus, Joey Stubblefield and wife, Amy, of Sachse, Texas, Breanne Adams from Mobile, Ala., Kara Evans from Sterlington, La. His stepgreat-grandchildren include Banks Hyde from Columbus, Ty and Clay Stubblefield from The Colony, Texas, Jackson Stubblefield from Sachse, Texas, and Sean Carter Adams from Mobile, Ala. Survivors also include his nephew, Paul Gibbs Jr., of Tupelo; nieces, Martha Lewis Curlee and Liz Owings from Tupelo, Emily Michael and Dee Wright from Booneville, and Mary Koon from Fulton. He leaves a host of Gibbs first cousins from the Adamsville, Tenn., area as well as his caregivers, Frankie Jones, Katrina Bostick, Angelic LaGrone, Ruby Pulliam, Joyce Armstrong, Lola Green and the staff at Sanctuary Home Hospice Care.
Favorite charities are Sanctuary Hospice House, 5159 W. Main St., Tupelo, MS 38801; and The American Cancer Society, 607 W. Main St., Suite C, Tupelo, MS 38804.
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