Nicholas Gibbs, 70, of Louisville died December 24, 2020 in Roswell, GA.
Visitation Sunday, January 3, 2021 2-4 at W.T. Shumake & Daughters Funeral Home 3815 Newburg Road. Burial 1:30pm Monday at Kentucky Veteran Cemetery Radcliff, Kentucky.
Colonel Nicholas Noel Gibbs was born December 25th, 1949, in Honolulu HI. He was a child of the union between Charles and Mary Kalauli Gibbs, a WW2 veteran, and a native Hawaiian woman. He was one of 4 children who accepted Christ at an early age. He graduated from Archbishop Carrol High School, in Washington DC. He then attended the Merchant Marine Academy, where he also played basketball. Before graduation, Nicholas left the Merchant Marine academy and attended the University of Buffalo, in NY, where he met his wife, Gwendolyn L. Gibbs, and then moved to Louisville KY. He finalized his education at the University of Louisville where he pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
During his youth, his aunt, Meravie Gibbs took him under her wing shortly before the death of his father and untimely, previous death of his mother. Her main goal was to ensure a respectable Gibbs man entered society. She worked with her sister, Inez Gibbs to ensure Nicholas was a success. She succeeded in her endeavor with a success that continues to reflect in following generations of the Gibbs family.
Nicholas N. Gibbs was in a holy union with Gwendolyn L. Gibbs. He married her August 12, 1972, and to this union, Derrick P. Gibbs was born. Nicholas thoroughly loved his wife’s family as they loved him as their own. He sang with Gwendolyn’s family as in their own gospel group, The Lowery Brothers. His fondness of Gwen’s family, (ultimately, HIS family), was special.
During his life, Nicholas worked to improve the human condition. In his youth, he could have deferred his call to the Vietnam War, as he was enrolled in school. Instead, Nicholas VOLUNTEERED to protect and serve his country. He gladly went to Vietnam to support us and our American way of life.
During his time in Vietnam, he was able to meet other Americans who had walked a very different path than he up to that point. He remembered grown men that supported entire families as illiterate Americans. When they signed for their checks or rations, they used an “X” for their names. In the middle of a battlefield while taking on active fire, he had a moment of clarity and told God, “If I make it back to civilization and to America, I promise to be educated.” Nicholas survived that skirmish, and ultimately, all battles in Vietnam. He came back to the US and focused on education for himself and the youth for the rest of his life.
His return to the US was personally difficult. After a 26-hour trip home from the war zone after fully serving his tour, the first person who saw him in an airport terminal in San Francisco, called him a “baby killer”. Nicholas refrained from responding, but never forgot that interaction.
He flew back to Buffalo, NY, in silence as he reflected on the lady’s words as he knew he had fought hard to support the American way of life. Upon reflection, he wished he could have reasoned with that woman all those years ago. He would have liked to speak with her one final time.
After the war, he met Gwendolyn in Buffalo, NY. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Louisville, KY where Nicholas kept true to this word. He continued to serve the army but settled down and had a family. He stayed in the military, in the reserves, and proudly retired as a Full Bird Colonel. He also worked with the same company for almost 40 years in the corrugated box industry. Although they changed names throughout his career, Nicholas retired from RockTenn (formerly known as Container Corporation of America, Smurfitt, and Smurfitt Stone).
Nicholas loved his country and enjoyed heavily debated conversations about America and politics. He always wanted to support the best interests for America. He wasn’t concerned with your political affiliation as long as you supported the US and had a strong moral compass.
He was a humble man, who heavily respected his time in the military as a servant to all Americans, and his time in civilian life as a Sales Rep and ultimately, Regional VP of Sales. His duty to God, family, and service, both military and civilian, were his utmost focus.
After retirement, Nicholas focused on his home church at the time; Community Missionary Baptist Church, of Newburg (Louisville) Kentucky. He worked within the churches ranks, as one who supported operations and the youth of the church for years. He thoroughly enjoyed his time with the church.
Nicholas loved Community but left to help other churches in their path to reach all and support their operations. He thoroughly enjoyed this duty. He reached out to the Church of Latter-Day Saints, as well has his Baptist community, to support the furtherment of Jesus Christ. He supported the church as long as he was able.
December 24th, 2020, Nicholas was called to take his final rest. He was supportive, witty, and jovial until the end. He did enjoy his only grandchild, Benjamin Nicholas Gibbs during his final days. He embodied a man of God throughout his life and into his transition to the afterlife.
Nicholas leaves behind to cherish his memories: His son Derrick Paul Gibbs, daughter-in-law, Ashley Gibbs, and grandson, Benjamin Nicholas Gibbs, named after his late grandfather. He also leaves a host of siblings-in-law, nieces, nephews, friends, colleagues, and family. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Alzheimers Foundation.
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