By Ralphine Major
He became a graduate of Gibbs High School—eventually. Our father and others in his class had their education interrupted when they were drafted into the Army during the early 1940s. At that time, the school had only been in existence about 30 years. This year, Gibbs marks its 100th Anniversary.
Ralph O. Major, our father, created strong ties to Gibbs High School. He admired and appreciated the great teachers and administrators at Gibbs, and their names became well-known in our family. One of those was the late C. B. Chesney who started his career at Gibbs before moving to Karns High School. Mr. Chesney was the uncle of Gibbs’ twin teachers Lue and Sue Cardwell (Focus 10-24-11). Mabel Acuff was Ralph’s English teacher. Mrs. Acuff recently celebrated her 100th birthday and can still recall the names of her former students (Focus 1-30-12).
The late Max Clendenen started his career at Gibbs as the agriculture teacher, and our father was in his class. Ralph was a member of the Future Farmers of America and went with the club on a trip to Nashville. Later, Mr. Clendenen became principal and served nearly 24 years in that capacity.
I have heard my father say many times that “Prof Loy” was the reason he went back to school to get his diploma after service. He was referring to the late Professor H. G. Loy, fondly known as Prof Loy to students. Mr. Loy served as principal at many schools, including Gibbs two times. It was his second time there that our father met him. Mr. Loy’s daughter, Betty, appeared in my 9-11-12 Focus column along with her husband, Clayton Sharp. They are Gibbs graduates, and Clayton served in the military, as well.
Ralph Major lived all of his 68 years in the Gibbs Community. He was a member of the Ruritan Club in its early years and was a deacon for many years at Fairview Baptist Church.
On this Memorial Day, may we remember those who answered the call to serve our great country and those who are serving today. They certainly deserve our gratitude–and our prayers.