Thomas Neal “Bud” Tibbles was born on November 4, 1936, to Keith and Edith Tibbles on their farm near Hammon, Oklahoma. He was the baby of the family of five children.
In his teens, Bud bred, raised, and showed Holstein cattle for the FFA. He was also an active member of the high school band, glee club, Honor Society, and several magicians clubs. He wrote and preached his first sermons during this time in his life.
Bud and Darlene met at school when they were about 12 or 13 years old in Moore, Oklahoma. Darlene shared one of her stories about young “Buddy” (as he was called then) sitting behind her in school and pulling on her pigtails and how it bothered her enormously! The very next Sunday, young Darlene visited the Moore Church of Christ where he was a member along with his mother, Edith, and sister, Jo. He often joked to friends and family, “That’s the girl I’m gonna marry!”
Bud and Darlene were married July of 1953 in Moore, and they remained married for 66 years.
After college, Bud worked with churches in Hominy, Ok., during their early years in ministry; Fort Gibson and Muskogee, OK; Mundelein, IL; Nevada, MO; and back to Hominy, OK. Bud and Darlene’s grown kids have many memories of learning how to cope with the relentless Chicago cold and snow. Best memories are of Bud tying the family toboggan up to an old red tractor to pull the kids through the piles of snow around the back of the property, which connected to the church parking lot, then right back home to the front circle drive again.
In the mid-‘60’s and ‘70’s, Bud, Darlene and family took in multiple foster girls, giving them a stable and loving home environment for as long as needed and providing the Tibbles children new opportunities to learn compassion, sharing, and even greater levels of adaptability than they had known before. Throughout all of those years, Bud guided his family and hundreds of youth at youth camps and on summer campaigns to Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. Some remember fondly how he taught the youth group singing lessons via shape notes in the church hymnal so that they could travel and sing at youth rallies and other events both at home and in surrounding towns.
Darlene labored alongside Bud supporting his ministries as secretary extraordinaire throughout their service with various congregations, leading to his prison ministry, culminating in the work with Dick Conner Correctional Center. Bud shared more than once that all the years of ministry for the Lord had prepared him better than anything for the ultimate work of prison ministries, which he undertook for 34 of the last 37 years of life. It meant so much to him that he had been entrusted with such an important task at various prisons across Oklahoma.
Bud was preceded in death by: his parents Keith and Edith Tibbles; brother William Keith “Junior” Tibbles and his wife Leona; sister Eunice Tidwell and her husband Grady; sister Jo Roper; brother-in-law Cecil Simpson; and grandson Dawson Tibbles.
Bud will be greatly missed by the love of his life, Darlene Tibbles, his children and their spouses Randy and Brenda Tibbles, Tammy and Kevin Bullard, Steve and Chris Tibbles, Greg and Laura Tibbles, Kim and James Neve, and dozens upon dozens of youth who became “his kids” over the decades of his ministry.
Known as Papaw to his grandkids, Bud leaves behind a tribe of 21 grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren.
Bud left this world gently at 3:10 a.m. on July 19, 2019 at home, surrounded by family.
The family invites you to the visitation on Friday, July 26, anytime between 4:00-8:00 p.m. at Powell Funeral Home, 223 N. Wood Avenue, Hominy, Oklahoma.
Join the family in honor of Bud on Saturday, July 27, at 2:00 p.m. at Blue Starr Church of Christ, 319 E. Blue Starr Drive in Claremore, Oklahoma.
Powell Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. Online condolences and memories may be left in the guestbook at PowellFuneralService.com.