Through their contributions and those from extended family and friends, Randal’s siblings, J. Edward Gibbs and Patsy Owens established the Randal Gibbs Memorial Fishing Scholarship to honor the memory of their brother, and to encourage students to live their lives in a way that brings honor to God.
Randal Gibbs was born to Jesse and Nina Gibbs on July 23, 1955. He was raised in Spring City, Tennessee, by a loving, faith-based family. His parents were role models that influenced his entire life.
Following his parents and siblings’ lead, Randal entered college. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Nuclear Engineering. His career was with TVA, working at Bellefonte, Sequoyah, and Watts Bar Nuclear Plants. He was recognized as a very competent and ethical engineer.
Patsy Owens and Edward Gibbs
Randal was very conservative and a good steward of what the Lord placed in his hands. His family was far from wealthy, and he had to work hard for everything he had, spending little money on himself. His careful stewardship allowed him to retire at 50 years of age. Randal devoted much of his retirement time and energy helping care for his parents, serving on boards and volunteering for various tasks in his church, and helping friends and community members with a variety of jobs such as building garages, doing repairs, mowing yards, harvesting hay, and mentoring young fishermen. If he saw a need — even if it was a financial need — he did his best to address it.
Randal’s interest in fishing began with his father. For years, the family would fish for crappie during the spring spawning season — not only for recreation but also for food. In those days, Watts Bar Lake was a relatively new lake abounding in fish. Catches of 50 or more were routine.
Randal’s interest in bass fishing came later. He pursued it with a passion and became a very good fisherman in all aspects, from building his own rods and baits, to knowing Watts Bar Lake like the back of his hand. For a number of years, he fished Florida lakes. He also did coastal fishing in Louisiana. Most of all, he enjoyed fishing with others.
Randal was a Christian. He loved God and the many friends in his life. He was a people person and gave of himself unselfishly to help others in any way he could.
Randal died on September 23, 2020, when a drunk driver traveling 111 mph rear-ended his Jeep on US Highway 27 near Clear Creek in Rhea County. His unexpected death serves as a reminder that we all should live pure, full, and righteous lives, at peace with our Creator.
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