Dr. Timothy B. Gibson, MD, passed peacefully on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, surrounded by his family.
On February 7, 1940 at The Tennessee Coal and Mine Hospital in Fairfield, Alabama, Timothy was born to Mrs. Laura Jacquot Gibson and Mr. Thomas Neuce Gibson Jr. He was proceeded in death by his brother, Colonel Thomas Neuce Gibson III.
He is survived by his loving wife, Em Chaffin Gibson; his devoted children: Laura Gibson Hooper and Bryan Hooper; James Gibson and wife Melanie, all of Athens; his beloved brother Ted W. Gibson (Paula) of Reno, NV and Mrs. Ellen Gibson of Watkinsville. He leaves five grandchildren: Vera E. Hooper and Caitlin, Marianne, Joshua and Brandon (Jennifer) Gibson; two great-grandchildren and a host of loving nephews and nieces.
The Doctor was a native son of Alabama but was raised near his maternal family in Biloxi, Mississippi. Growing up, he was expected to earn his share in life responsibly. He bagged groceries, sold magnolias to VA visitors, had paper routes, worked with his father, from painting houses to fishing the Gulf and even labored on the bridge over the Biloxi Bay. After graduating from Biloxi High in 1958, he began his studies at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He was a member and eventually student President of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity. In 1962 Dr. Gibson received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with a minor degree in Math. He then entered the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidates School and in 1963 was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was soon deployed to Vietnam alongside his two brothers. Always one to stand for the underdog, Dr. Gibson penned a letter to his community, as he waited in a vessel off shore for one of the largest allied military invasions in history. He implored those reading the op-ed in the Biloxi paper to find it in themselves to cheer on and support the troops going into battle, even if they were not in favor of the war. He knew that inspiring good morale is essential in any battle. Twice wounded in action, he bravely served three tours of duty. 1st Lieutenant Gibson, returned home in the summer of 1967 as a decorated hero. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal with a Gold Star, the Bronze Star Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with a Gold Star.
He was recommended for and accepted to the University of Alabama Medical School in Birmingham. He graduated in 1972 and began his post graduate medical education in Atlanta with Emory University School of Medicine; training at both Emory and Grady Hospital. In 1974, Dr. Gibson relocated to Athens to be closer to his brothers and to open his private practice. Winterville Medical Center, was situated on the same small street as the business of his two brothers. After establishing this practice with the help of his devoted nurse of 42 years, Libby Haley, he was able to provide access to healthcare in rural areas. He went on to open clinics in Comer, Elberton and Madison. After restoring the Newton “Pink” House he opened his first “in-town” location, Prince Avenue Primary Care. In addition to his board certification in Family Medicine, he was certified by the American Society for Addiction Medicine as an Addiction Specialist. He served for two years as the President of the Georgia Society of Addiction Medicine. In 1992, seeing a void in the addiction community, he and his wife Em, opened and operated Athens Recovery, a therapeutic community for men recovering from addictive disease. He had opportunity to serve his community as the Medical Director of Advantage Behavioral System’s Substance Abuse Program for over 20 years.
Through his nearly 50-year career in Athens, Dr. Gibson, has helped, healed and hoped for tens of thousands of his patients. It was his honor to provide medical care to generations of local families and to help countless others restore their lives through sobriety. Dr. Gibson was a pillar in this community known for his raw honesty and unrelenting hope for human kind. His tough love will be sorely missed by all that knew him. The Doctor died as he lived with honor, gratitude and tenacity. As was his wish, his community will continue to receive family centered healthcare from his devoted staff at Prince Avenue Primary Care.
Due to the CoVID-19 pandemic, a celebration of his life will be held at a time when it is deemed appropriate to gather again.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Dr. Gibson may be sent to: Nuci’s Space, 396 Oconee Street, Athens, GA 30601; www.nuci.org; or the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675;
Bernstein Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. www.BernsteinFuneralHome.com