Ruth Ray Bailey Gibbs, age 100, departed this life on June 6, 2018, at the home of her son, Donald Gibbs, in Fletcher, N.C. She was born in Erwin, TN, on September 29, 1917, to Yancey County residents Zula Mae Byrd and Willard Whittington Ray. Soon after her birth, the family returned to Jacks Creek, settling near the old Day Book Post Office (near Clearmont School).
She was preceded in death by husbands Glen Bailey (of Jacks Creek) and Clarence Gibbs (of Yancey County and Las Vegas, Nevada); siblings Coleen Pickens of Knoxville, TN, Mary Lee Anglin Mills of Burnsville and Weaverville, Wilma Ayers of Johnson City, and Jack Ray of Seattle, Washington; and one great-grandson, Wesley John Bailey of Winston-Salem.
She attended the old Clearmont School (“on the hill”) prior to the completion of the beautiful rock buildings by the WPA in the late 1930’s. She was an employee of Glen Raven Mills in Burnsville; completed cosmetology training in Asheville, and practiced in Burnsville; was a hair stylist for major hotel-casinos in Las Vegas; and a costume designer for Hallelujah Hollywood Productions in Las Vegas. She attended Beth Aven Presbyterian Church as a child (near where she grew up) and was a member of Mount Gilead Baptist Church in Mills River, at her death. She was under home care by Four Seasons Hospice of Flat Rock, NC.
Other than the health crisis that became evident in her 99th year, she took no medicines, had no vision or hearing problems, and had the mental clarity of her youth.
She is survived by children Lloyd Richard Bailey, Sr. and wife Judith Ann, of Durham, NC; daughter Virginia Lorene Bailey and husband Donald Tipton of Burnsville; daughter Doris Gibbs of Las Vegas, Nevada; son Donald Gibbs of Fletcher, NC; step-daughter Fern Gibbs and husband Gene Shipley of Marshall, (with children Jennifer and Steve); grandchildren Lloyd Bailey, Jr. and wife Tammy of Celina, Texas (with children Reagan and Rylyn); Lloyd had another son, Wesley John, who died as an infant); Ethan Ansel Bailey and wife Leslie, of Greensboro, (with twin children Noah and Emma); Edmond Owen Bailey of Durham; Ansel Asa Bailey of Durham; and Aaron Andrew Bailey of Apex, NC); Amanda Gibbs and husband Shawn Cole of Las Vegas ( with daughter Taylor); Elizabeth Gibbs and husband Joseph Robert Mancini of Las Vegas (with children Rocky and Dominic).
A Funeral Service will be held 10 AM, Saturday, June 16, 2018 in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home, with burial in the Peter Honeycutt Cemetery, just below Clearmont School on Jacks Creek Road. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.