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Dr. John Willard Gibbs, III

December 30, 1968 February 11, 2020
Dr. John Willard Gibbs, III
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Obituary for Dr. John Willard Gibbs, III

John Willard Gibbs, III, MD, PhD, 51, passed away peacefully, with his family by his side, on February 11, 2020 in Greenville, NC after a courageous thirteen year battle with cancer.

A memorial service will be held at Covenant Church, 4015 Corey Road, Winterville, NC 28590 on Saturday, February 15, 2020, 1:00 P.M., with a reception following. A memorial service will also be held at Second Baptist Church, 9614 River Road, Richmond, VA 23229, on Friday, February 21, 2020, 2:00 P.M. with a reception following.

He was the beloved son of Martha Cropp Gibbs and John Willard Gibbs, Jr., and the brother of David Randolph Gibbs (Laura), all surviving. He is survived by his children, Jana Natalia Gibbs and Vladimirs Vasily Gibbs (Vova), originally of Liepaja, Latvia. He is also survived by his niece and nephew, Victoria Caroline Gibbs and Scott Andrew Gibbs. Also surviving John are many devoted aunts, uncles, and cousins.

John graduated from The Collegiate Schools in Richmond, VA in 1987, where he achieved All Prep honors in tennis. He graduated from the University of Virginia with honors in 1991, and the Medical College of Virginia in 1997, where he received his MD and PhD degrees as an MCV Foundation Scholar. He received the Riece Award as the top student in neuroscience. His five years of advanced training at Duke University Medical Center served as the basis for his love of the complexities of neurology, its many challenges, and his intense desire to serve his beloved patients. He was an accomplished researcher and published numerous papers in the field of Neurophysiology at MCV and Duke. John was Board Certified in Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology, and Sleep Medicine. He joined East Carolina Neurology in Greenville, NC in 2004, where he practiced with outstanding physicians. He served as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at East Carolina University.

Stricken with cancer at 38 years old, John established, with the help of devoted friends, Beau’s Buddies Cancer Fund in 2008, which continues to serve families in Eastern North Carolina. It is a living legacy to John’s desire to help and contribute to the welfare and care of cancer patients.

John’s love of his children, his family, the game of golf, collegiate sports, his friends, his patients, his community and, above all, his love of the Lord were cornerstones of his life. His family will miss him every day as we remember his faith, wit, courage, determination, hope, and his stalwart support of each of them. The family would like to thank, as John would, the dedication of Dr. Pamela A. Lepera and her oncological staff at Vidant Hospital in Greenville, NC during the past 18 months as well as the immeasurable support for thirteen years of the thoracic surgical staff, led by Dr. Thomas D’Amico, at Duke University.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Beau’s Buddies Cancer Fund, P. O. Box 3985, Greenville, NC 27836.

To plant a tree in memory of Dr. John Willard Gibbs, III, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Memorial Service




1:00 PM 2/15/2020 1:00:00 PM
Covenant Church

4015 Corey Road
Winterville, NC 28590

A reception will follow the service.

Covenant Church
4015 Corey Road Winterville 28590 NC
United States

Memorial Service




2:00 PM 2/21/2020 2:00:00 PM
Second Baptist Church

9614 River Road
Richmond, VA 23229

A reception will follow the service.

Second Baptist Church
9614 River Road Richmond 23229 VA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Beau’s Buddies Cancer Fund

P.O.Box 3985
Greenville, nc 27836

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