Howard “Duke” Tibbs, 92, of Fort Wright, died Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Born June 30, 1922 in Dayton to the late Howard, Sr. and Dorothy Kersting Tibbs, Duke was a retired driver and warehouse foreman for George Schmidt Wholesale Grocers. As a teen, he was scouted by the Brooklyn Dodgers to play ball, but didn’t have the bus fare to get to training camp and his mother wouldn’t let him hitchhike.
At age 20, Duke was drafted in the U.S. Army at Fort Thomas. He met up with six other men from the northern Kentucky neighborhood. They were sent to the 104th Evac in Medford, Oregon to train as surgical assistants in the maxillofacial unit. Before shipping out to England for four years, he returned home to marry his childhood sweetheart, Mary Jane Carroll, during his Thanksgiving furlough. The “Lucky Seven”, consisting of Duke Tibbs, Joe Miller, Jim Ramage, Ray Luebbers, John Donahue, Bob Goetz, and Joe Rinersman, went on from England to Normandy the day after D-Day to follow Patton across Europe, working a field hospital. On VE Day, all of the Northern Kentucky Lucky Seven returned home together. They remained lifelong friends and Duke’s many “MASH”-style war stories abounded.
He was an active member of St. John Church in Covington for 72 years. He was a proud 40 year member of the Standard Club of Covington and a founding member of the Dutchman’s Rod and Gun Club. He was inducted into the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame for baseball and bowling. Along with his wife, he was a member of the Leisure-Timers Senior Citizen Club and with his son, he was a member of the American Legion of Pickerington, Ohio.
Survivors include daughter, Deborah Tibbs (Lawrence) Kindred of Lexington; daughter in law, Kay Tibbs of Pickerington, Ohio; grandsons, Douglas David (Shannon) Tibbs and Matthew Scott (Denise) Tibbs, both of Columbus, Ohio and Daniel Joseph Tibbs of Denver, Colorado; great grandchildren, Sean David Tibbs, Kyra Elizabeth Tibbs, and Zachary Neal Tibbs, all of Columbus; and nephew, Donald Ray (Reta) Rose of Florence.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jane Carroll Tibbs; son, David Neal Tibbs; and sister, Dorothy Tibbs Rose.
Visitation is Monday, July 7, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Middendorf-Bullock Funeral Home, Covington. Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 12:00 Noon at St. John Church, Covington. Interment with military honors, at St. John Cemetery, Fort Mitchell.
Pallbearers are Douglas Tibbs, Matthew Tibbs, Daniel Tibbs, Lawrence Kindred, Gary Merten, and Bill Tinley.
Memorials are suggested to Thomson-Hood Veterans Center, Attn: Mark Bowman, 100 Veterans Drive, Wilmore, KY 40390 and will be used to provide recreational outings and special equipment for their Veterans.