August 10, 1936 - March 20, 2022
Howard C. Tibbals (born August 10, 1936) entered life eternal March 20, 2022, surrounded by his beloved wife and eight children at his home in Sarasota, Florida. Howard’s love for Christ was apparent in all he did for his family and community. A humble man of faith, he was a devout Christian raised in the church by his parents, Charles E. Tibbals, Jr. and Lillian Davidson Tibbals. A graduate of NC State, Howard recognized the importance of education, not only for his family but also for his community's children. When the schools in his Appalachian hometown were struggling to survive, partnering with the community, he contributed his time, talents, and treasure to rebuild the Oneida, Tennessee school system. This legacy continues today. Working alongside his father, Howard had a three-decade career as a wood technology engineer with his family’s hardwood flooring business. Together, they developed many products and technologies now standard in the flooring industry. He developed a life-long appreciation for the company’s employees, who were instrumental to the success of Hartco Flooring. While the plant’s sawdust often covered his work shoes, the sawdust of the circus lot filled his imagination. Through his unique and creative hobby, Howard’s lifelong love of the circus and his engineering skills culminated in the world’s largest model replica of the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus in its traveling Big Top heyday. Now housed in the Tibbals Learning Center at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, the model and Howard’s vast collection of circus memorabilia, posters, and artifacts are available for the public to enjoy throughout the year. Howard was preceded in death by his parents, infant brother (Charles), sister (Susan Tibbals Carson), and daughter (Karen Tibbals Reed). He is survived by the love of his life and wife of thirty years, Janice. His surviving children include David Tibbals (Karen) of Pensacola, FL; Jeff Tibbals (Melodye) of Oneida, TN; Tim Tibbals (Dawn) of Knoxville, TN; Tracey Stansberry (Don) of Huntsville, TN; Glenda Gray (Chris) of Alpharetta, GA; Barry Elkins (Stacey) of Merritt Island, FL; Betsy Farrell (Peter) of Knoxville, TN; and Barsha Saliba of Knoxville, TN. He is further survived by his sixteen grandchildren (Austin Reed, Jade Wilson, Mari Tibbals, Lauren Botts, Abby Tibbals, Amanda Tibbals, Luke Tibbals, Frank Stansberry, Lisa Simmons, Jackson Gray, Jake Elkins, Reid Elkins, Blake Wyrick, Emily Wyrick, Charlie Wyrick, and Andrew Saliba), five great-grandchildren, and special friends David Duncan, Byron and Maureen Boardman, Debbie Walk, Phillip Polson, Sharon Miller Pryse, Joe Congleton, Anna Maria Troiano, and Todd Richesin. Funeral services are scheduled at First Baptist Church Sarasota Wednesday, March 23 at 1:00 pm (live stream at https://firstsarasota.org), with Dr. John Cross, Pastor Bill Hild, and Pastor Phillip Polson officiating. A reception will follow at The Rosemary, 411 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, FL. Burial service will occur at Highland Cemetery, Sutherland Ave., Knoxville, TN, on Saturday, March 26 at 1:00, with Rev. Drew Prince and Pastor Phillip Polson officiating. A reception for friends and family will follow at the Tibbals’ Knoxville home. Austin Reed, Luke Tibbals, Frank Stansberry, Jackson Gray, Jake Elkins, Reid Elkins, Blake Wyrick, Charlie Wyrick, and Andrew Saliba will serve as pallbearers. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to First Baptist Church Sarasota, West Hills Baptist Church of Knoxville, or Laurel Church of Christ of Knoxville.
Howard C. Tibbals (born August 10, 1936) entered life eternal March 20, 2022, surrounded by his beloved wife and eight children at his home in Sarasota, Florida. Howard’s love for Christ was apparent in all he did for his family and community.... View Obituary & Service Information
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