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Paula Ruark Gibb passed away during the early morning hours of May 3, 2012, at the age of 61 in her home. She is the beloved wife of James Gibb; adored mother of Ernest Ballard Beath III and his wife, Kristen; precious daughter of Paul and Ellen Parks Ruark; and cherished sister of Teena Ruark Gorrow and her husband, Wayne.
Paula was first and foremost devoted to her family. With her loving nature, generous spirit, and quick wit, she dedicated her life to nurturing and supporting her loved ones. Without a doubt, Paula had a special gift of making others feel valued, appreciated, and important. Her passion for the Kingdom of Heaven was evident in her every task and she loved her Lord with all of her heart. Paula was a lifelong member of Hoopers Memorial United Methodist Church where she directed and sang in the junior choir, and she regularly attended services at Grace United Methodist Church where she taught adult Bible study in disciple principles.
An ardent supporter of education, Paula served as a teacher, reading specialist, and school administrator in Dorchester County Public Schools, as well as liaison to the Maryland State Department of Education for almost three decades. She also helped prepare teachers as an adjunct professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Salisbury University for 18 years. Her enthusiasm for teaching and her affection for animals motivated her to co-author a children’s book with her son, Ernie. A Golden’s Retreat, which featured their dog, Patriot, was to be the first in a series of books about dogs. She also published other reading materials used nationally.
Paula was recognized many times through the years for her exemplary talents as a teacher. Noteworthy accomplishments she cherished included being named the Dorchester County Teacher of the Year in 1977, and Maryland’s first Teacher of the Year in 1978. In an article published about her in Public Education in Maryland, Paula offered the following quote to the interviewer, “From the time I can remember I wanted to be a teacher.” She further shared her optimism as a positive influence in the lives of children and noted that her inspiration came from the children she served. Throughout her extensive career, her most highly valued possessions included personal notes from students. Her college students often referred to her as a professor whose impact will last a lifetime. Dr. Gibb’s earned degrees include a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland College Park, a Master of Education from Salisbury University, and a Bachelor of Science from the same institution.
Visitation and funeral services will be held at Grace United Methodist Church in Cambridge, Maryland, on Monday, May 7, 2012. Visitation begins at noon and a funeral service will begin at 1:00 p.m. Interment will immediately follow at Dorchester Memorial Park located on Route 50 and Aireys Road in Cambridge, Maryland.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Paula’s memory may be made to the church of one’s choice.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Newcomb and Collins Funeral Home, P.A., Cambridge.
To send online condolences, please visit www.newcombcollins.com
Born: December 1, 1950
Death: May 3, 2012
Posted by: Winfred Wills On behalf of the Wills family, I wish to extend my sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Paula Gibb. She was an excellent professor, mentor, and guiding light. Her passing, which I was unaware of has created a void in the life of so many who knew her and others who will not get that opportunity. Yet, she lives on in spirit as well as deed. The spirit and the soul are eternal, while her deeds are present in those with whom she shared her talents. It is because of her that I know much of what I know as a professional educator. RIP Dr. Gibb. You have been called from labor to reward. You were a soldier on the battlefield for your Lord. Now, the time has come. Take your rest in the arms of the Savior. 09/16/2012 Posted by: Jess Sanders My deepest condolences and sympathy to the family. I was a student of both of the Ruark sisters and loved them both as professors, people, and most of all- an inspiration for future teachers from SU. May God provide comfort for the family and friends of this wonderful woman. I pray that Mr. James is given comfort and love from those around and may Dr. Gibb's light shine in the Salisbury community forever. I will see you one day in heaven. 05/21/2012 Posted by: Althea Seaton Dear Gibb Family: I am a Bible student who just happened to see your lost in the obituary today and I wanted to offer my condolences. After reading the obituary I can tell that she meant alot to your family, and someone who will be dearly missed. I would like to share a brief scripture in the Bible to bring your family much needed comfort. Revelation 21:3,4 which in part reads:"And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away." Agian my sincere condolences 05/14/2012 Posted by: Lissa and Brian Barnes Please accept our sincere sorrow at your loss. With our fondest wishes, Brian and Lissa 05/10/2012 Posted by: Beverly And Satch Jones So sorry for your loss. What a bright and lovely lady she was. She was just like her Mom with the kids in school that they taught. Love and prayers to all. 05/09/2012 Posted by: Bob Tingle It was with sadness that I heard of Paula's passing. My condolences go out to her parents, family, and especially her sister Teena. My thoughts are with you. 05/07/2012 Posted by: Debbie & Kevin Willey Jim and Ernie: We are so sorry to hear of Paula's passing. What a difference she has made in the lives of so many. 05/07/2012 Posted by: Colleen Curran-Bromwell I was so shocked and saddened to learn of Paula's death. What a beautiful person she was, so loving, so talented, so educated, so dedicated to her family and career. And...so dedicated to her Christian faith. She will always be fondly remembered. I am praying for her soul and for all of her family. May God keep you in the palm of His hand. Know that you all are so loved. 05/07/2012 Posted by: PHYLLIS FRAZIER-JA,MES I REMEMBER PAULA AND HER SISTER DRESSED SO BEAUTIFULLY AND SINGING IN CHURCHES. AS A CHILD SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT, AS WAS HER SISTER. AS THE YEARS PASSED I WOULD SEE HER FROM TIME TO TIME AND ALWAYS SHE WAS PLEASANT AND NEVER FORGOT ME. I WILL NEVER FORGET HER. ALTHOUGH THE FAMILY IS HEARTBROKEN AND GRIEVING; KNOW THAT HEAVEN IS BETTEER WITH ITS "NEWEST ANGEL" 05/07/2012 Posted by: Jaime Roe-Herd Mrs. Paula's legacy will live on in the hearts of the many students she mentored as an educator. She was my principal when I attended South Dorchester K-8. She took a genuine interest in her students, and her kindness and compassion will always be remembered. My heartfelt prayers go up for the family and may your beautiful memories provide comfort until you are reunited with your loved one in Heaven. 05/07/2012 Posted by: Deb Clark To Jim and Paula's Family, I am so very sorry for your loss of Paula. I always remember her big smile and warm greetings. She was always truly interesting in knowing how someone was when she talked to them. I'll miss getting her emails asking about Praxis. Take care, Deb 05/07/2012 Posted by: Tiffany Grove I too was one of Dr. Gibb's students at Salisbury University. I am still in shock from her untimely passing. She was such an inspiring teacher, one of the best I have ever had. She made teaching fun for everyone. I can only hope her teachings will live on in us forever. She will be truly missed and never forgotten. 05/06/2012 Posted by: Kristen Shuck My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dr. Gibb. She was truly one of the sweetest and most encouraging people I've met. Not to mention one of my favorite professors at Salisbury University. I will never forget her kinds words and support. 05/06/2012 Posted by: Larry and Kathy Bourgard What a shock to hear of Paula's passing. Sincere condolences to Jim, Ernie and family for your loss. She is now with God and spreading her joy in Heaven. St. Paul reminds us that to be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord. May that truth give you comfort at this difficult time. All our love, Larry and Kathy Bourgard 05/06/2012 Posted by: Sarah Chapman My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Dr. Gibb. She was one of my favorite teachers throughout my time at Salisbury, her love and excitement for teaching was evident at every class. She will be deeply missed. 05/06/2012 Posted by: A sympathy card has been sent to a friend or relative of Paula Ruark Gibb. 05/05/2012 Posted by: Bryan & Beth Abbott Ernie and family, We send our heartfelt condolences to you during your time of sorrow. The pain and grieving that is associated with the loss of a parent of such a young age can be harrowing to say the least. If there is anything that we can do for you, please let us know. 05/05/2012 Posted by: Ellen Aaron Horesh I always wanted to sing "O Holy Night" at the Chriistmas entertainment service but no one could sing it like Paula. So many years of service to God and his children. Let him hold you in his arms .All my prayers for you Teena and your family. Life was easier when we were children. . 05/05/2012 Posted by: Barbara Phillips It was a shock to hear of Paula's passing. May each of you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Very much heart felt sympathy. Love to all 05/04/2012 Posted by: Lessie Coulbourne You are all in my thoughts and prayers. As I recall when Jerry died, Mrs. Ellen said that God only picks the prettiest flowers for his private garden. Paula has been picked as one of those beautiful flowers. 05/04/2012 Posted by: Chris & Jim Windsor and Jacob & Jason Mr. Paul and Mrs. Ellen, Mr. Gibb and Ernie and family. You are all in our thoughts and prayers, it was a shock to hear of Paula's passing, she truly touched alot of lives during her life her on earth. She now has her angel wings. 05/04/2012 Posted by: Linda Aaron Hooker So sorry to hear about Paula's passing. How I remember the good times of playing at her home in Hoopersville. I will always cherish our times at MYF, and singing and playing for church. My prayers are with your family during this difficult time! 05/04/2012 Posted by: Steve Lewis and Janie P. Elliott So many good days and memories with my beautiful cousin. You were too young and still had too many things to finish for GOD to call you home, but he nows best. We all loved you Paula and will miss you. Our Love and Prayers go to the rest of my family. 05/04/2012 Posted by: Glen A Phillips Good-bye Paula, may you be in Heaven 1/2 hour before the Devil knows you passed away. Rest in peace my wonderful and intelligent cousin. 05/04/2012 Posted by: Bonnie Teat Jim and Ernie, I am so sorry to hear of Paula's passing. She was a wonderful lady and will be greatly missed by many. Her smile and kind words for others, will be remembered by those that were lucky enough to know her. Bonnie James Teat 05/04/2012 Posted by: A sympathy card has been sent to the family of Paula Ruark Gibb c/o Newcomb & Collins Funeral Home, P.A. funeral home. 05/04/2012 Posted by: Michelle Sears So sorry to hear the news. She was a wonderful lady. 05/04/2012 Posted by: Holly (Phillips) Huffer Paula, You and your smile will be missed by many. Thank you for all that you have helped through the years. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family sorry I can not be there. RIP!!! Love you 05/03/2012 Posted by: Tina Woodland-Weber You will be missed, God calls the best, you've done your work here on Earth, God needs you now. Thank you for the time you put into Education, you will never be forgotten. Thank you also for the talks after my husband had cancer, I will never forget you, you will be very much missed...much love and prayers goes out to your family! 05/03/2012 Posted by: Matt Curtis My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Dr.Gibb. I've only known her for 15 weeks but she left an impression that will last a lifetime. Talking with her before and after classes, I have no doubt where she is now 05/03/2012 Posted by: Arlene Willey God truly has called upon another angel. Many prayers to you all. May Paula rest in peace and may God bless the family. 05/03/2012 Posted by: Nancy L. Short Jim & Little Ernie, I'm so sad to hear of Paula's passing; I was her Secretary at South Dorchester K-8 for a number of years and we had some great times....I have a lot of good memories....my thoughts and prayers are with the family during this very difficult time...R.I.P. Paula..... 05/03/2012 Posted by: Judith McDonald My deepest sympathy to Paula's family and her beloved animals. Ellen and Paul I think of you often. 05/03/2012 Posted by: Sheri Hubbard Ernie, So sorry to hear of your mother's passing. I remember all the times you and Adam spent together, and my heart goes out to you at this difficult time. My prayers are with you. Sheri Hubbard 05/03/2012 Posted by: Brandy Lynn Willey Chambers Will be greatly missed 05/03/2012 Posted by: Brandy Lynn Willey Chambers Will be greatly missed 05/03/2012 Posted by: Cindy Miller Boluk My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. 05/03/2012
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