Bp. Hibbs Dies at 84

Adapted from the Diocese of West Texas

The Rt. Rev. Robert Hibbs, Suffragan Bishop of West Texas from 1996 to 2003, died peacefully in his home on April 17, three days before he would have turned 85.

A native of Philadelphia, Hibbs was an alumnus of General Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon and priest in 1957.

Hibbs was consecrated as a bishop 1996 and served alongside the Rt. Rev. Jim Folts.

Hibbs was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church in 1957 after graduating from General Theological Seminary. After some graduate work in Canada, Hibbs served on the faculty of St. Andrew’s Theological Seminary in Quezon City, Philippines, for 15 years as subdean and later dean. He then served on the faculty of the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin.

For five years, Hibbs served in the Diocese of Northwest Texas as vicar of St. Peter’s, Borger, and vicar and rector of St. Stephen’s, Lubbock. In 1983, he arrived in the Diocese of West Texas and served as rector of St. Barnabas, Fredericksburg, from 1983 to 1988; and assistant rector of Church of the Good Shepherd, Corpus Christi, from 1988 to 1996.

In his ministry as bishop suffragan, his passions included recovery ministries, both in the diocese and the broader church, and Cursillo. In his retirement, Hibbs loved reading, listening to classical music, and cheering for the San Antonio Missions baseball team.

Hibbs is survived by his wife, Nancy Joane, whom he married in 1957, and two children. Another child preceded him in death.

“Simply put, Bob Hibbs was one of the finest men and clerics I have known,” said the Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge, Bishop of West Texas. “He mentored many, many clergy and laity and will be sorely missed for his grace, humor, and gentle humbleness, none of which impeded his direct frankness in truth-telling. His extraordinary ministry reached people worldwide. I join many others in giving thanks for his life as well as the partnership in ministry which he shared with Nancy, his wife of 59 years.”

The Rev. Frank Fuller said, “He was a bright star in our sky. The Lord won’t make pastors and scholars with his sense of pathos and deep humor anytime soon; 911 [the bishop’s number in the Episcopal Church’s succession] was one in a million.”

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. April 22 at St. Mark’s, San Antonio. Clergy are invited to vest in white stoles. Memorial gifts may be made to the diocese’s recovery ministries or the diocese’s its Cursillo Scholarship Fund.

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