Instead of having someone else write my obituary for me, I’ve decided to write my own to avoid adding additional burden to my sweet wife, Kim, or my older children. I hope you enjoy reading this short piece (maybe not that short) about my life. If you’re reading this on Facebook or some other website or even in the newspaper, I’m already gone, but please do not mourn my passing as it was my time and the Lord saw me through my battle all the way to the very end. I passed at home peacefully on August 16th, 2022, after a six-year battle with Colo / Rectal cancer.
I was born on February 25,1968 at Button Gwinnett Hospital in Lawrenceville, GA to my parents, Terrell C, Gibson & Wanda S. Gibson Mahfuz who have both preceded me in death. I am survived by my wonderful and caring wife of 30 years, Kim Gibson as well as my four very special children Kendall (24), Keaton (21), Kyler (18) and Karson (16), all living in Monroe, GA. Also surviving me are my Stepdad, Wayne Mahfuz of Chamblee, GA and my younger Brother David Gibson of Lawrenceville, GA as well as several nephews, uncles, aunts, and cousins located all around the country.
I was a kid that got into everything and struggled to stay focused in elementary school because I was classified as gifted and would rather race through my classroom assignment and then cut up or shoot the breeze with the others that were around me. I attended Sequoyah High School in Doraville, GA where in the 11th grade I took Kim to the Jr. Sr. Prom and our 7-year courtship began. Seven years is a long time to date when you are young, but I knew early on, in the relationship that she was the one, it just some extended convincing and two different engagement rings for her to figure it out. We both did some of that college thing but in the end, I wound up getting involved in a management role with and really enjoyed leading and mentoring people, so I stuck with that route for many years and different jobs along the way. I also realized early in my twenties that I was also molded to be an entrepreneur with my leadership and business sense so off and on between corporate America jobs I had several of my own businesses with the last being an auto repair shop in Conyers, GA that we decided to close when my health suddenly took a turn for the worse. The auto shop was probably my dream thing in life since I have had a huge passion for cars, racing and speed since my teen years and this is where I wanted to be as life wound down, I even remember telling my wife and kids that I simply wanted to be happy and surrounded by whom and what I loved. Over my career I have worked for many types of employers and have even changed focus on what I was doing. I worked in the auto parts arena for about 13 yrs. and then moved to The Department of Transportation in GA, worked as the IT guy at Loganville Christian Academy (LCA) for a few years, Co-owned a Managed Service Provider in Duluth, GA and finally worked for ConnectWise in Tampa, FL for about 9 years. The move down to Tampa was a big thing for us as a family and we loved it, but Tampa is where my final battle began and upon finding out in July 2018 that the cancer was spreading and was now a terminal situation, we made the best decision possible and that was to move back home where we would be surrounded by a huge network of family and friends. The last few months since hospice care stepped in has really shown us what a stellar plan it really was to come home as the outpouring of love, support and help has been huge. I pray that it doesn’t end very soon for my family that has been left behind. The real support will be needed now that I have gone to see Jesus.
Instead of the traditional Funeral Service and Burial, I decided early on in this battle that I wanted to be cremated since I viewed cremation as my only chance to really beat the cancer. If the fire doesn’t get it then nothing certainly would do it in. As part of that process, I have already planned out my Celebration of Life Service to beheld at the Loganville Christian Academy in the Gymnasium. The Celebration Service will be held on Saturday August 27th ,2022 at 3pm, visitation will be at 2pm, located at 2575 Hwy 81, Loganville, GA 30052. Please dress casually as I really want this to be a celebration and those dark funeral-like clothes won’t help set the tone if ya know what I mean. The service will last about 1.5 hours. Come early or stick around when the service concludes and reconnect with some folks you may not have seen in a few years, I expect a good crowd so surely you can see someone that you haven’t in a while.
In lieu of flowers you can donate to University Cancer and Blood Center located in Athens, GA. This is the place that took over my treatment after we moved back home, and they have been a huge blessing throughout the process.
Finally, I need to take just a few more minutes of your time and share something that is super important to me as well as my family. With my passing this doesn’t have to be the end, we have an opportunity to be reunited in the future and this truth is something that my family is holding very close to their heart because they already have the answer to the mystery. The story starts in The Bible with John 3:16 (NIV) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This passage of scripture is the core of Christianity: that God loved the world enough to come as Jesus, and to die for us, so that anyone who trusts in Him will be saved from sin. This is certainly the most well-known verse in the Bible. It is probably the best-known and most-memorized part of any holy text in human history. So, you ask why this is so important as well what is this shall not perish thing mean since I have certainly perished and have moved on to my Heavenly life now. We’ve all sinned against the God who created us, he sent his son Jesus to pay the penalty that we deserve. Jesus paid the price for our sins as he was executed on a Roman cross almost two millennia ago. Jesus came as God in human flesh, and he lived with perfect compassion and holiness. He didn’t deserve to die, but we do, and we ALL will die at some point. We’ve rebelled against God, ignored him, and followed our own ways (Isaiah 53:6). Instead of leaving us to our own destructive ways, though, God sent his son to die in our place, so that we might be reconciled to him (1 Peter 3:18). He was crucified and buried on your behalf, but he didn’t stay dead! The grave couldn’t keep him down and out. Instead, Jesus conquered death and rose again, and now he offers us that same new life – life that isn’t defeated by death but is eternal (John 3:16-17). He offers to take our sin upon himself, and give us his unending life, reconciled to God, in return. Have you turned from your own sinful ways and trusted Jesus as king and savior instead (Luke 13:3)? Jesus rose so that you can live with him forever! It is all as simple as the ABC’s and because of the simplicity even a child can be saved and become a follower of Christ just like I did in 1995 when God took control of my life. It comes down to these three things that are needed to become a child of the King. Admit, Believe, and Confess are all that you need to do to invite Jesus into your life, first you must Admit that you’re a sinner and need forgiveness… There is a God–one Creator and Ruler of the universe. He is perfect, holy, and worthy of worship. The Bible is a record of His words to mankind, and it says that all people have sinned. This means we have not met God’s standard of moral purity. We have denied Him. We have broken His laws. We have made gods of ourselves by serving our own desires instead of Him. As sinners, we are condemned to death. God cannot fellowship with evil; He must punish the guilty. So, our sin separates us from God in this brief life and for eternity afterwards. Next, Believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead… God is merciful and wants you to live. He doesn’t need anyone, but He loves you and wants you to know Him. So, He stepped in to save us if we turn away from sin–repent–and turn toward Him. Somebody had to suffer the just consequence of our sin. So, He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to take our punishment upon Himself. As God, He is perfect and deserved no punishment of His own. As a man, He was able to die in the place of guilty men (and women). He submitted to death on the cross to pay our penalty. Thus, whoever believes on Him is cleared of guilt now. Then God raised Him from the dead. Thus, whoever believes on Him will be raised to eternal life later. Only through faith in this Gospel can we receive this gift. Finally, you must Confess your faith in Jesus Christ and His Lordship over your life… As a sinner you need salvation but don’t deserve it and can’t earn it. In His mercy and great love, He provided it for you. Now come to Christ to receive it. God isn’t asking you merely to agree with these points; He’s saying you need a saving faith. Saving faith is total trust in a sinless Savior. Saving faith places God on the throne of your life. Saving faith says, “Take me, Lord. I’m yours.” This kind of faith, even a small faith at first, begins your new relationship with God almighty. So, confess these things to Him; tell Him openly. Tell Him that you know you’re a sinner. Tell Him that you believe He died for your sins and rose again. Tell Him that you want Him to be the Lord of your life. Then ask for His forgiveness.
So, if you wanted to meet again with me in eternity, this is the way and the truth. Accepting Jesus and turning your life over to Him is the best decision you can make in life and will provide tremendous rewards and blessings, but it won’t just fall on you, you have to take the leap of faith and actively do something to hand your life over. My family isn’t worried about me being gone now since they all know that at some point, we will all be together again. If you don’t know Jesus perhaps today is the day that you start that journey.
Thanks for taking the time to read a little about my life and Godspeed. I hope you see that Jesus is the reason and you will consider what I have said was the most important aspect of my life.
Until we meet again, peace be with you!!!!!
Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 670 Tom Brewer Road, Loganville, GA 30052. 770-466-1544. Please sign the online guest registry at www.stewartfh.com
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Reposted courtesy of Tim Stewart Funeral Home.