Mattie L Gibbons (nee Holsapple) November 4, 1928 ~ August 20, 2022,
Mattie went Home to be with Jesus the early morning of Saturday, August 20, 2022
Beloved wife of 69 years of the late Joseph B Gibbons. Devoted mother of Linda (Bill) Lam, Rhonda (Bruce) Payne and Robin (John) Stamer. Cherished grandmother of Traci (Greg) McCune, Brian Lam, and Nick Gibbons. Loving great-grandmother of Haleigh, Allie, Cole, and Blake. Dear sister, sister-in-law, aunt, and friend of many. Survived by one sister, Jean Stewart. Preceded in death by her parents William and Isabel "Belle" Holsapple (nee Jackson) and seven of her eight siblings.
One of nine children, Mattie was born in rural Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Her early school years were spent in a one room schoolhouse, and she finished her schooling in St. Louis when her family moved to the city. Raised in a musical family, her love of music came naturally. She learned to play the accordion at a very young age, and she and her siblings sang and played in area churches, and in various places in and around the city. When asked about her upbringing, she would say that while they didn't have much, she truly never wanted for anything. Her very humble beginnings, and growing up through the Great Depression, no doubt shaped her.
In the spring of 1948, she was introduced to the love of her life, Joe Gibbons. They were married in a humble ceremony six months later, and in October 2017 they were blessed to celebrate their 69th anniversary. Their union resulted in three daughters, each of whom she loved with utmost sacrificial love all her life. She played an essential role in the lives of her three grandchildren, greatly impacting each of them, as well as her four great grandchildren. Her devotion to her family was unparalleled. She loved nothing more than being surrounded by those she loved.
An extremely hard worker, she poured her heart and soul into everything she touched. Employed much of her life, she worked as a bookkeeper for thirty years plus. She was a self-made seamstress and sewed countless dresses and outfits through the years, not only for her girls but for others as well. She loved gardening and keeping her yard beautiful. She loved to cook for her family and to entertain friends. She loved a clean house, and to the surprise of many, one of her favorite pastimes was actually cleaning. Never a quitter or complainer, her strong work ethic was evident in all she did.
Oh, how she loved Jesus. Her unwavering faith and devotion was an inspiration to many through the years. Music was an integral part of her life, and of her ongoing ministry. Always active in church, this is where her love of music shone the brightest. She taught and led children's choirs from a young age herself, and always used her beautiful voice and God-given talents to glorify Him. For decades, she took her ministry outside the walls of the church into area nursing homes. Her love of music was instilled in her girls, and she had each of them singing from a very young age (first standing on a chair behind the pulpit so they'd be seen as well as heard). In much the way she lived her entire life, she sang about Him until the end. And if she could, she'd still be telling everyone about her Jesus.
It's impossible to sum up a life of 93 years so well lived. The very definition of a servant's heart, she always put others first, and she always made time for what was important. She knew no strangers, and her big heart and cheerful smile were infectious. Even in her final days, her sweet spirit touched all who were blessed to know her. Her legacy of love will never fade, and she will be dearly missed by all who loved her. A precious woman of God, she was indeed love and goodness personified. Well done, thy good and faithful servant.