OBITUARY

Name:    James Miller Tibbs

From:  The Minot Daily News, Minot, North Dakota
Date:  April, 2011

James Miller Tibbs, 89, Hayden, ID & Mesa, AZ, formerly of Minot, died Friday, March 25, 2011 in a Mesa, AZ hospital.

Jim was born June 24, 1921 at Ryder, ND, the son of Leo Emerson and Orianna (Miller) Tibbs.  He was raised in Minot, and educated at Minot High School.  He continued his education at Minot State Teacherís College, where he received a bachelorís degree in education and later at the University of Montana, where he received his masterís degree.

Jim met his future wife, and true love, Betty Bohn of Bowbells, while attending Minot State and they were united in marriage on March 13, 1943 in Lubbock, TX, where Jim was finishing pilot training in the Army Air Corps.  He served out World War II in Texas, as an instructor.  Jim remained in the Air Force as a reservist, eventually retiring as a Colonel in 1976.   His last assignment, which lasted many years, was as a liaison officer for the Air Force Academy, where he assisted many candidates in securing their appointments. 

Jim returned to Minot after the War, and flew commercially until he decided to return to school.  He was an accomplished musician, and concentrated on music education, which was to become his career.  He served as director of music at Garrison, ND, Missoula, MT and Fairfax, VA schools.  He spent the last 15 years as Supervisor of Music for Fairfax County, VA.  Jim had a distinguished teaching career, which included being co-director of the Montana Centennial Band in 1964, which was an all-state band that marched in the Rose Bowl Parade, and played in concerts at the New York World Fair, Rockefeller Center, and the Rose Garden at the White House.  He also co-directed an all-county band that marched in the 1976 inaugural parade in Washington D.C., that was the largest marching band ever assembled.  He had a long relationship with the American School Band Directors Association, and eventually served as President of that organization.

After retirement in 1982, Jim and Betty split their time between Minot and Mesa.  In 2004, they moved their northern home to Hayden, ID to be closer to family.  They were longtime members of First Presbyterian Church, Minot.  Jim and Betty cherished their time in Minot, and especially their lengthy association with Minot State University, where Jim had served on the Board of Regents.  It is interesting to note that Jimís grandfather, Hans C. Miller introduced the legislation that created the school that eventually became Minot State Teachers College.  

Jimís loving family includes, son, James (Leslie) Tibbs, Hayden, ID, granddaughters, Jennifer I. (Eric) Ryan, Sandpoint, ID, Nicole C. (Dave) Sawicki, Hayden, ID and great-grandchildren, Michaela, Jake & Jade. 

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and brother, Frank Robeson, White Plains, NY.

Funeral service: Wednesday, April 13, at 11 a.m. in First Presbyterian Church, Minot.
Interment: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.