Mrs. Lulu Barry Gibson Webster passed away peacefully surrounded by family at her home in Roanoke, Va., on Feb. 14, 2022.
Born in Bennettsville, S.C., on March 31, 1941, she was the daughter of the late John Milby Gibson Jr. and the late Elizabeth Page Ricaud Gibson of Bennettsville. All are welcome to celebrate Barry’s life at a graveside service on Friday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m., Oak Ridge Cemetery, 219 N. Cook St., Bennettsville, S.C.
Mother, Grandmother, Sister Barry, Aunt Barry, no matter the title or name, the world lost one of its brightest beacons of dignity, perseverance, and pure love of life. Barry epitomized the role of family matriarch, as family was her greatest joy in life.
She was a member of several ancestry organizations to include the Magna Carta Society, Mayflower Society and the Huguenot Society. Her love for her family, especially for her parents, was further underscored when she decided to withdraw from her beloved Winthrop College after her sophomore year to return home to assist her father in caring for her mother, who had been diagnosed with ALS. Ever the one to accept and face a challenge head-on – that would not stop her from pursuing her dream of being an educator. Barry graduated from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C., then obtained a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. After teaching in her native Marlboro County for several years, she moved her professional pathway into educational leadership in Dillon County, followed by Sumter County and onto Greenville County before being tapped to be deputy commissioner for Children, Family, and Adult Services, followed by deputy commissioner for Central Program Operations, both leadership positions within the State of South Carolina Department of Social Services, Columbia, S.C. All her achievements were accomplished with incredible grace and dignity, while holding down the job she loved most, being mother to Jay and Libby. She reminded them often that how you live your life is equally as important as succeeding in life, while emphasizing the importance of understanding the value of your name and heritage, your life’s value, and the value of an education.
In 1994, Barry’s life became even more fulfilled when she married the love of her life, her husband, Ron. They shared many travels around the globe, hours of private airplane rides with Ron as pilot, and coastal boating excursions around Maine’s iconic shoreline. She loved Maine as a second home and developed friends there, all while entertaining her family and friends every chance she had. Her home in Maine was so special to her, made even more so when she and Ron hosted the grandchildren for summer outings and adventures.
Barry is survived by her husband, Dr. Ronald L. Webster, of Roanoke, Va.; son, Dr. John P. (Jay) Dowd III (Kim), of Bradley and Charleston, S.C.; her daughter, Elizabeth Dowd Dorrell (Julian), of Rock Hill, S.C.; her brother, Thomas Ricaud Gibson (Dianne), of Cheraw, S.C.; her sister, Elizabeth Page Christopher (Robert), of Florence, S.C.; her adored grandchildren, Gibson Jay Dowd, Virginia Brauer Dowd, John Wesley Dorrell, and Alexander Julian Dorrell; her nephew, Dr. Robert Manning Christopher (Ashley), of Mount Pleasant, S.C.; her niece, Caroline Gibson Logan (Paul), of Richmond, Va.; and several great-nieces and great-nephews. She will be missed more than words can express.
The family wishes to recognize the devotion, compassion, and love shown to Barry from her nurse and friend Ms. June Fitzpatrick of Bristol. The family also acknowledges the dedication and loving care provided to Barry by Ms. Lisa Wilson and Ms. Helena Doss from Nexus of Roanoke, Va.; Ms. Sarah Mathieson of Round Pond; and Ms. Cindy York of Waldoboro.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to honor and perpetuate Barry’s love for education through the lives of students at her beloved Winthrop. Memorial gifts may be made to the Winthrop University Foundation for the Barry Gibson Webster ’63 Scholarship (Fund #1733), 701 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill, SC 29733. Please contact University Advancement at 803-323-2275 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Burroughs Funeral Home is assisting the family.