Funeral services for Blanche Mae Gibbs, age 89 of Saltillo, TX, were conducted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at the First Baptist Church of Mt. Vernon, TX. Burial was at Old Saltillo Cemetery with Rev. Pepper Puryear and Rev. Fred Randles officiating.
Mrs. Gibbs was born May 22, 1922 in Wichita Falls, TX to Ernest James Perkins, Sr. and Grace Lipe. She was married to Nat Gibbs, who preceded her in death in 2010, after more than 70 years of marriage.
In 1952, after Mr. Gibbs’ service in the Navy during World War II, Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs moved to Dallas. Mrs. Gibbs was a mother and homemaker who worked alongside her husband in the early years in various business ventures. Mrs. Gibbs worked for many years in retail sales at Sears as her husband rose to the position of chief executive officer of Affiliated Food Stores of Dallas. Mrs. Gibbs was a gracious hostess who was equally comfortable at the head table of an event or at home playing with her grandchildren. She frequently opened her home to community events.
When they started a Brangus Cattle Ranch at Weaver, TX in 1969, and then at Saltillo, TX in 1977, she continued to work beside him. A talented artist and an avid gardener, she could also drive a tractor and bale hay when needed. However, she was happiest entertaining family and friends.
Mrs. Gibbs taught Sunday School for several years at First Baptist Church. When health problems prevented attendance, she quietly continued serving others through phone calls, notes, and cards. Many who needed a helping hand experienced her generosity without knowing the source.
The Rotary Club of Mt. Vernon honored her for her public service by recognizing her as a Paul Harris Fellow. She also received the Community Builders Award from the Masonic Lodge of Mt. Vernon.
She died on May 9, 2012 after a lengthy home confinement and a brief hospitalization.
In addition to her husband, she was also preceded in death by two brothers, E.J Perkins, Jr. and Roy Perkins.
She is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Garland and Carolyn Gibbs of De Soto, TX; Nat Paul and Shirley Gibbs of Mt. Vernon, TX; a brother and sister-in-law, Howard and Barbara Perkins of Dallas, TX; five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Honorary pallbearers were members of her Sunday School Class, the Gleaners. Donations in her memory may be made to First Baptist Church Building Fund, the Community Food Bank of Franklin County, or the Gideons.