July 7, 1953 – February 10, 2023
Gayle Ann Bishop Webb Defibaugh, “Mrs. D,” 69, a faithful follower of God, and devoted mother to her “three handsome boys” of whom she loved fiercely and tenderly, quietly ascended to heaven in her home in Chester, Virginia, on February 10, 2023. Born in Petersburg, Virginia, on July 7, 1953, in the midst of America’s “Golden Age,” Gayle also possessed a golden heart. Anyone fortunate enough to have met her was blessed to know what it is to feel loved. She embodied a Christ-like generosity and always placed the well being of others before her own. From her late mother, Louise Temple Bishop, she inherited a wise mind and charitable soul. From her father, Louis Nelson Bishop, also preceded in death, she learned to unabashedly say what was on her mind and, “Tell it like it is.” “Naya!” Of her own accord, she was a steadfast encourager. If Gayle believed in you, there was no denying it, and she had a way of making you feel like anything is possible. To this end, she was proud of enrolling in college in her late 40s and obtaining a degree in Early Childhood Education while simultaneously juggling a 60+ hour work week and raising three children alongside her late husband, Charles E. Defibaugh, “Mr. D,” who preceded her in death. She recalled her motivation for returning to school was not for own gratification, but to set an example for her children that they could accomplish anything they set their mind to. She was a retiree from a 30-year career at Philip Morris where she worked as a maintenance technician. Gayle was also preceded in death by her first husband, Herbert Webb, Jr.
Gayle is survived by her three sons, Herbert “Herb” Webb III (Nikki), Patrick Defibaugh (Julie Huff), and Tim Defibaugh (Steven Copeland). She was “Nana” to grandchildren (aka her “sweet peas”), Herbie Webb IV, Daniel Webb, Jameis Webb, Liam Defibaugh, and Rudy Humphreys; and step-grandchildren, Lavell and Jaiden Washington. “Mr. and Mrs. D” loved teaching Sunday School together for over 25 years, and touched the lives of hundreds of kids through crafts, engaging storytelling, tender love, and the best hugs ever. She saw the greatest potential in everyone she knew, even if they failed to recognize it themselves. Gayle is also survived by three older sisters; her “big sister,” Dorothy “Dot” Wawner Lanier (Malvin), Nancy Wawner Voigt (Paul), who endearingly referred to her as her “Angel Boom” as a child, and Joan Bishop Eavey (Alfred).
Mrs. D was a member of Beacon Hill Church, and cherished time spent feeding the homeless, and preparing Christmas packages for children in need. Her family will receive friends on Friday, February 17, 2023, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, at the Hopewell Chapel of J.T. Morriss & Son Funeral Home, 820 W. Broadway Avenue, Hopewell, VA. A funeral service will be held at the chapel, Saturday, February 18, 2023, at 2:00 pm, with interment following at Bermuda Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to Beacon Hill Church, 401 N. Main St., Hopewell, VA.