KOUTS, IN – Father Thomas Tibbs, beloved priest to his family of parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kouts since 1986, passed away Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at the age of 73. He was born on August 11, 1946 in LaPorte to Delos and Phyllis (Kubica) Tibbs who preceded him in death. His studies for the priesthood were made at St. Meinrad College, St. Meinrad, Indiana, St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois and the Theological College of Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Father Tibbs was ordained on September 21, 1974 at the Cathedral of the Holy Angels in Gary by Bishop Andrew G. Grutka. He served as Curate at Nativity of our Savior Parish in Portage, and later at Bishop Noll Institute. His successive pastoral assignments were as Assistant at St. Mary Parish in East Chicago, St. John Bosco in Hammond, Curate at Queen of All Saints in Michigan City, and Associate Pastor at Saint John the Evangelist Parish in St. John prior to his current assignment at St. Mary’s Parish in Kouts.
Father Tibbs is survived by two brothers, Patrick (Patricia) Tibbs and Dave Tibbs, both of Michigan City, his niece, Amy Snyder of California and the host of loving and supportive parishioners at St. Mary’s. There always seemed to be a dog in Father Tibbs’ life; most recently a rescue terrier named “Maggie” that had a special bond in his life for nearly 18 years until her recent passing.
Thomas was called to be a priest by God. And this true calling was enhanced by his natural servant’s heart, sympathetic nature and quiet leadership skills. With the encouragement of his parishioners and Deacon Jim Knopf, Father Tibbs chose to continue leading the St. Mary’s flock these past years despite physical infirmity. This choice proved to be a true blessing for all parties.