Dr. James A. Tibbitts, 94, passed away August 19, 2021, at Cornwall Manor, Cornwall, PA. He was the husband of Shirley (Reynolds) Tibbitts, and son of Eugene and Ima (Hastings) Tibbitts.
Born in Reedsburg, Wisconsin on August 12, 1927, Dr. Tibbitts enlisted in the U.S. Navy in May 1945 and was honorably discharged in August 1946. He received his medical degree from the University of WI in 1953 and practiced medicine in that state until moving to Jonestown, PA, in 1966.
He served Jonestown and surrounding areas as their doctor until retiring in 1995. Active in the regional community, he was a member of the Jonestown Lion’s Club, Jonestown Male Chorus, Pennsylvania Medical Society, Lebanon Choral Society, Susquehanna Chorale, and other civic groups. He served as the physician for Northern Lebanon High School, was president of Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Staff (Lebanon, PA) from 1984 to 1986, and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and WITF-FM public radio. Dr. Tibbitts was a member of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Lebanon, PA, since 1984, and Saint John’s UCC in Jonestown prior to that.
Dr. Tibbitts reveled in being a family-practice country doctor. He served 6 years as County Coroner for Sauk County, WI. He made house calls at all hours, until late in his career. He delivered over 2,000 babies in WI and PA, and loved being approached by strangers in public, to be told he had delivered those people as babies.
He loved his wife Shirley, his children and grandchildren, his in-laws, reading, music, humor, history, astronomy, birdwatching, Brit-coms, gardening, travel, talking, joking, Spike Jones, Car Talk, Bix Biederbecke, genealogy, Wilbur Chocolate, coffee, popcorn, and corn on the cob. He sang in groups ranging from barbershop quartets to church choirs. He played in several bell choirs, even after a stroke deprived him of use of one hand, saying “Sooner or later everybody needs an F Sharp.”
Dr. Tibbitts was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Tom (Ruth), Robert, Douglas (Marion), George, and Joseph, by Shirley his wife of 65 years, and son Mark.
He is survived by children, Christina (John) Knezevich, of Newark Valley, NY, Elizabeth (Dale) Buonocore, of Warren, PA, and Timothy (Sue Rutman) Tibbitts, of Tucson, AZ; daughter-in-law Erika (Fairlamb) Tibbitts; grandchildren Brian Knezevich, Sarah/Shane (Tim) Snyder, Dr. Jonathan Buonocore, and Cathryn Buonocore (Rob Gustafson); great-grandchildren, Fiona and Seamus Knezevich; sister-in-law Carol (Meyer) Tibbitts; brother-in-law Eugene Reynolds; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m., August 26, 2021, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 600 South 12th St., Lebanon, PA. Masks required; social distancing observed. Interment to follow at Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, Jonestown, PA.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor may be made to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Lebanon, PA, the American Cancer Society, or other health care entities.