SHARON, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Marvin L. Gibbs, Sr., died peacefully on November 20, at St. Paul’s Veterans Villas in Greenville after suffering a stroke at his home on Veterans Day. He was 100 years old.
Throughout his incredible journey, he was guided by his faith in God, a strong work ethic born of the Great Depression and an unwavering desire to give his fullest potential to every life role.
The oldest son of seven children, he was born August 23, 1921 to Mortimer and Eunice Stroud Gibbs. He began working at the age of twelve hauling coal ashes from home furnaces in Sharon and Farrell, using a wagon. This evolved into Gibbs Hauling Service which his father established in 1934 and Marvin ran from 1934 to 1987, interrupted only by his military service.
Mr. Gibbs graduated from Sharon High School in 1941, where he played the trumpet in the band and the violin in the orchestra.
In February 1942, he married the late Fannie Westcott of Charleston, South Carolina, whom he had met the year before when he drove his parents to Summerville, South Carolina to visit relatives.
In November of that year, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served during World War II in the South Pacific until January 1946.
After military service, he returned to the family hauling business and also worked at the Westinghouse Electric Corporation for 38 years. The dual income allowed him to build his home in 1947 where he and his wife raised their three children. He was immensely proud of the fact that he paid his mortgage in full by 1953 and was the first African American to build an own a home in Sharon.
He was the first baby to be baptized at the Cedar Avenue Church of God (Sharon). Raised in the Church of God faith, he was ordained in 1965 by the National Church of God headquartered in Anderson, Indiana.
He pursued continuing education training at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Westminster College.
Reverend Gibbs the served the church for over forty years, serving on the board of trustees, the treasurer for twenty-five years, and the interim pastor in the early 1980’s.
He amazed and inspired others with his vitality, clarity of mind, dry sense of humor, and his deep capacity to care about others. He hiked the Grand Canyon when he was 69 years old. In his 90’s, he was still working as a security guard at PII Trucking and taking acoustic guitar lessons at Marks Music. He loved reading and had just purchased several books from the annual fall Buhl Library book fair. As the Gibbs family patriarch, he was always available to listen, give advice that was grounded in wisdom gained from his longevity, and to offer a prayer, knowing the absolute power of prayer in his life. He was constantly asked about the secret to his longevity, and he always replied, “I love my enemies, and I pray for them.”
Mr. Gibbs is survived by two daughters, Cheryl E. Gibbs and Sandra Mavin, both of Washington D.C.; a son, Dr. Marvin L. Gibbs, Jr., Phoenix, Arizona; three grandchildren, Marva Gibbs and Ricardo Mavin, both of Washington D.C. and Marvin L. Gibbs, III (Tres), Gambrills, Maryland; a great-grandchild, Kaede Gibbs, also Gambrills, Maryland and 27 nieces and nephews.
In addition to his immediate and extended Gibbs family, he was greatly endeared by a wide circle of family friends who also loved him as their adopted uncle, dad and grandpa. Together, we remember and celebrate a life well lived with integrity, dignity and devotion.
Besides his parents, Mr. Gibbs was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Fannie (Westcott) Gibbs, on October 14, 2006; three sisters, Portia and Modestine Gibbs, and Katie Holloway; three brothers, Benjamin F. Gibbs, Sr., George W. Gibbs, Sr. and Larry E. Gibbs; and a nephew, Ivan Gibbs.
Calling hours will be 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon on Saturday, November 27, 2021, in J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 1090 East State Street, Sharon.
A funeral service will be held immediately following at 12:00 Noon, in the funeral home, with Rev. Dr. Cheryl J. Sanders, pastor of Third Street Church of God, Washington D.C., presiding. To watch the funeral service via livestream, please visit Marvin’s Funeral Service
Interment will take place at Morefield Cemetery, Hermitage.