Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A
Bessie Alberta Terrell Gibbs

Bessie Alberta Terrell Gibbs

Bessie Alberta Terrell Gibbs passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord on March 8, 2014, at the Elizabeth House in Hendersonville.

Bessie was born in Shreveport, La., on Aug. 8, 1929, to Ethyle Olivia Ryden Terrell and James Henry Terrell. She married Raymond Lee Gibbs in Shreveport on Dec. 27, 1947. She attended Centenary College and Southern Methodist University.

Bessie was a radiant, beautiful, gracious lady. Her approach to life could be summed up by the words on a piece of needlework she cross stitched as a young lady: "Let me live in the house by the side of the road and be a friend to man."

In addition to being a wife and mother of three children, Bessie's interest in historical sites led her to become a volunteer tour guide at the Old Ursuline Convent in New Orleans. She was also a volunteer tour guide at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami. After moving to Hendersonville, she became one of the early employees with the National Park Service at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, where she worked for 17 years, first as an Interpreter and later as a Museum Technician. Bessie retired in 1997 but continued to work as a volunteer for 16 more years. Her attention to detail was of great help to the Park's museum program. One of her proudest accomplishments was the creation of The Carl Sandburg Activities Book for Children.

Reading was an important part of Bessie's life. She and Ray worked together faithfully with Friends of the Henderson County Public Library for 13 years by participating in the Annual Book Sales and the Monday book sorting group. She was also a member of the Page Turners Book Club.

Bessie's other interests included beautifying her home with perennial gardens, birdwatching, and working crossword puzzles.

Bessie is survived by her husband Raymond Gibbs of Hendersonville; daughter, Kathleen Lane and son-in-law, Stuart Lane of Black Mountain; son, David Gibbs of Rogersville, Tenn.; son, Glenn Gibbs and grandsons, Ben and Sam Gibbs of Greensboro; and sister-in-law, Arlye Terrell of Austin, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Volunteer Memorial Fund of Friends of the Library. Checks may be written to Friends of the Library and sent to Box 2317, Hendersonville, NC 28793. Please designate Volunteer Memorial Fund on the "for" line of the check. Funds will be used to purchase books for distribution to children.

Burial will be a private family service at the Western North Carolina State Veterans Cemetery. A memorial service for family and friends to share thoughts and memories about Bessie will be at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 23, 2014, at the St. John in the Wilderness Parish Hall.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting

Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center is in charge of arrangements.