Mr. Grady B. Gibbs (’80, M.S. ’89)

Grady Burnette Gibbs was born at Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas August 11th 1953. He was the first son of George E. Gibbs and Naomi Elizabeth Wiggins-Gibbs. From an early age Grady demonstrated a determination and tenacity to never quit and never back down from a challenge. As a young child in the 60s he grew up in a God-fearing era where character was defined by strong close family and caring neighbors. Grady came from a time when the collective village raised children to be the best that they could be. Grady attended B. H. Grimes Elementary School, Carter G. Woodson Junior High School, Evan E. Worthing High School and graduated from Ross Shaw Sterling High School. Grady then attended San Jacinto Junior College where he earned an associates degree. Grady would then matriculate to the University of Houston where he earned bachelors and masters degrees from the College of Technology. He was also a distinguished member of Phi Delta Kappa International. Grady exemplified “Cougar Pride” throughout his entire life. Grady began his work career as an engineer with the Singer Corporation at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Grady then went on to work for a number of years at Texas Instruments as a drafting technician. These experiences prepared him to evolve into the true passion of his professional life as an educator. This was the canvas where he was able to bring all of the gifts and graces that he had harvested to become an influencer, to challenge and prepare the minds of young people. Grady began teaching in the Houston Community College System. Grady eventually relocated to Detroit, Michigan where he taught in the Detroit Public School System until he retired in 2013. During his tenure Grady taught in a variety of environments that allowed him a chance to mentor some of that city’s most challenging and underserved students. As a true Texan he approached the challenge with country boy cool and cowboy toughness. It was a culture shock for his students who did not know how to take him initially. But behind the gruff facade they realized there was someone who genuinely and fiercely cared about making a difference in their lives. His educator colleagues valued his sage advice as their local union rep for the Detroit Federation of Teachers. In addition to his professional life, Grady became an ordained deacon at the New Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where he served faithfully. Grady’s personal passions included barbecuing and smoking a variety of meats. This led to his much sought-after special-order holiday meals called Smoking Grady’s. His personal projects included producing several archived works on our family’s collective history. After he retired and returned home to his beloved Sunnyside in Houston Texas, his passion for teaching and mentoring was reignited at the Jones High School and South Early College High School, where one of his students simply said of him, “Mr. Gibbs is a Rockstar”. Grady’s most treasured accolade award came from that institution as The Service Leadership Award, presented to him for commitment and service to the South Early College High school-wide service project. On early Sunday, May 10, 2020, Grady B. Gibbs made his transition from earth to heaven. Grady was preceded in death by his parents, George E. Gibbs and Naomi E. Wiggins-Gibbs. Grady leaves behind his brothers, Pastor Gary Gibbs of Brooklyn, New York, and George Harold Gibbs of Houston, Texas; two nieces, dearest niece, Angel D. Gibbs of Houston, Texas and Gabrielle E. Gibbs of New York (deceased); cousins and brothers, Tom W. Harvey, Jr. and Carl Wiggins, Sr. of Houston, Texas; best friends and brothers, Bruce Clements of Houston, Texas, and Anthony Merritt of Detroit, Michigan, and a host of relatives and friends from the greater Houston and Detroit metropolitan areas. Grady B Gibbs was a faithful son, brother, uncle, griot, surrogate father, neighbor, relative and friend.

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