July 30, 2016 3:30 pm
Tags: Donor Story, Education, endowment, Nonprofit, Philanthropy, Scholarship, Scholarships
Sue Gibbs lived a meaningful life and embodied many of the characteristics that a community values in its residents – humility, selflessness, and compassion towards others. Though born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, Sue soon moved to Hopewell and would call the city home, living most of her life in the Buren neighborhood. She graduated from Hopewell High School in 1934, going on to marry Louis C. Gibbs of Petersburg in 1939. The two quickly established residency in Sue’s childhood neighborhood and would live in that neighborhood for the remainder of their days.
Louis Gibbs worked for Norfolk & Western Railroad, beginning as a messenger and rising through the ranks to become yardmaster. Not long after the two were married, Louis lost his leg in a railroad accident, an event that only steeled his determination to succeed in all aspects of life.
Together, Louis and Sue lived a modest but fulfilling life, working hard, investing well, and giving to community causes. For over twenty years, Sue worked as Hopewell’s Deputy Commissioner of Revenue, cheerfully greeting the public with her trademark smile and laugh. In their spare time, Louis and Sue prepared houses to rent and sell. Together, they epitomized what it means to be ‘self-made’.
When Louis Gibbs passed away in 1982, Sue continued her good work in the community, cleaning up her neighborhood, gardening, and keeping up with friends. In the mid-1990’s, Sue was introduced to the John Randolph Foundation, and in 2003, she founded the Louis C. and Ursula M. “Sue” Gibbs Scholarship Fund to benefit college-bound high school students within the John Randolph Foundation’s service area.
Sue Gibbs touched many people in her lifetime, and because of one final generous act, her legacy will continue impacting the community for generations to come. Sue chose to include the John Randolph Foundation in her estate plans, and by doing so, at her death, she established four endowments that will benefit certain causes and touch lives here in Hopewell and surrounding localities in perpetuity.
- Ursula M. Gibbs Memorial Endowment, which will support the missions of the John Randolph Foundation
- Ursula M. Gibbs Medication Endowment Fund to assist residents of Hopewell and the surrounding area in need of purchasing medication
- Ursula M. Gibbs Endowment for the benefit of the Beacon Theatre in Hopewell, Virginia
- Ursula M. Gibbs Endowment for the benefit of Weston Manor in Hopewell, Virginia
For ninety-seven years, Sue Gibbs changed the lives of those around her for the better. The John Randolph Foundation is honored to play a role in ensuring that Sue will continue changing lives for years to come.
This post was written by Ann Easterling