Naomi B. Gibeling
Naomi B. Gibeling was born in Waycross, Sept. 12, 1922.
After battling pneumonia, she passed away Tuesday (Aug. 18, 2015) in Atlanta at age 92.
Her son, Bob Gibeling Jr., was at her side as she peacefully slipped away after many remarkable recoveries throughout her life.
She grew up in Waycross with her sister Florence, who now lives in Fresno, Calif.
She was the wife of Robert W. Gibeling Sr. architect of many Atlanta Lutheran churches.
She was blessed with great natural beauty so she became Miss Ware County in a beauty contest in the late 1930s. She met her future husband, Bob, while she was attending the University of Georgia in Athens during World War II. He was serving as a navigation instructor to U.S. Navy pilots, located in Athens. The school was headed by Horace W. Sturgis, who later became the first president of Kennesaw State University.
Love blossomed quickly and Naomi and Bob were married Oct. 17, 1943. The U.S. Navy later transferred Bob and Naomi to Jacksonville, Fla., where she taught high school. She was so young and pretty that even the fellow teachers thought she was a student, much to the irritation of Naomi. Bob and Naomi celebrated their 65th anniversary in 2008.
After moving to Atlanta in 1945 with her husband, Bob, so he could attend Georgia Tech for his second degree, she became active in many women’s patriotic organizations, rising to top leadership in several. She became president of the Alfred Holt Colquitt Chapter, UDC, Regent of the prestigious Atlanta Chapter DAR and founding regent of the Andrew Turnbull Chapter, Daughters of American Colonists.
This chapter was named after one of her ancestors. At a gala anniversary celebration of the Atlanta Chapter DAR several years ago, she was recognized for securing Dorothy Beasley, first woman judge in Georgia, to be a speaker to the chapter. Naomi was also a proud member of the Georgia Salzburger Society, honoring original Georgia Lutheran settlers who came to the British colony to escape religious oppression, and was a member of the Daughters of the War of 1812.
Her father, Everett Beaton, was elected to the Waycross City Council. Naomi’s grandfather, Scott T. Beaton, served as mayor of Waycross and represented Ware County in the Georgia House of Representatives in the 1930s when Richard B. Russell was the Speaker of the House. So she learned the art of talking to people with ease early in life. Her son, Bob Gibeling Jr., who ran for the Georgia House of Representatives in 2014, credits his mother’s family for getting him interested in politics.
Naomi and Bob were very generous benefactors to Georgia Tech, establishing the Naomi and Bob Gibeling Athletic Scholarship Fund, to benefit students wishing to join the golf team at Georgia Tech. The first recipient of this fund was Anders Albertson who has helped Georgia Tech win the ACC Championship many times and was honored for his outstanding service to the team.
Although Naomi said her family had no idea what a Lutheran was when she married Bob, she later discovered her father’s family had a long Lutheran heritage, dating back to the Georgia Salzburgers and before that to South Carolina Lutherans.
She became extremely loyal to Redeemer, where she headed the greeters organization for so long nobody could remember when she began those duties. After moving to Roswell in 1971, she founded a new women’s circle of Redeemer serving North Fulton and East Cobb County and served as a docent at one of the historic houses in Roswell too.
It was from meeting one of the great Southern ladies of Redeemer Lutheran Church, named Ruth Exley, that Naomi became active in leadership of many women’s patriotic organizations in the Atlanta area. She relished her work in these organizations. She took special joy in making presentations to local school children about the American flag. She taught about how to care for the flag properly and always treat it with utmost respect. She had many American flag pins which she enjoyed wearing.
It was during her time living in Roswell that one of the strangest events of her life took place. In 1973, she was kidnapped by an escaped fugitive who needed a get-away car before the police closed in on him. Being held at gunpoint and locked in the trunk of her car made front page news of the Atlanta Constitution. She was able to pry open the trunk lid enough to get air until she was rescued. The grace and humor she showed after this frightening event endeared her to everyone she knew.
She was preceded in death by her husband. Bob Gibeling Sr., in 2009.
She is survived by her son, Bob Gibeling Jr.; her sister, Florence Hill; her niece, Jan Outlar Edwards; and several great-nephews and great-nieces.
A service of celebration of her life was held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 731 Peachtree St., in Midtown.
Viewing was held at Patterson’s Spring Hill, Friday evening from 6 until 8 o’clock.
Interment was at Arlington Cemetery in Sandy Springs.
Donations in her memory are gratefully accepted and suggested to be directed to the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer or the Georgia Tech Foundation.
Arrangements were handled by H. M. Patterson & Son, Spring Hill.
Online condolences may be offered at hmpattersonspringhill.com
Kenneth Mitch Holley
A funeral for Kenneth Mitch Holley was held Thursday morning at Miles-Odum Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Ed Carney and David Merck officiating.
Burial followed in Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald.
Pallbearers were Travis Holley, Greg Walker, Brent Walker, Mark Melton and Mike Anderson.
Miles-Odum Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.