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John Eugene Bibbs

Posted June 05, 2014 in Beaverdale, Obituaries

September 19, 1926 – May 31, 2014

John Bibbs

John Bibbs

Mr. John E. Bibbs, a pioneer in Iowa’s Civil Rights Movement, passed away May 31, 2014 at the age of 89.

Mr. Bibbs was a graduate of Des Moines Tech High School. He furthered his education at William Penn University and in Louisville, Ky. He was also a licensed TV and radio repairman. Mr. Bibbs was honorably discharged from the United States Navy in 1946, and obtained employment at Iowa Power and Light Company, where he retired in 1978.

Mr. Bibb’s insistence of being served at the Katz Drug Store lunch counter, during the time of segregation, was the catalyst that changed the racial culture in the state. He and two others filed a lawsuit that was heard by Iowa’s Supreme court. The justices upheld a ban of discrimination in any public place and the victory earned Mr. Bibbs a place in history for demanding equal treatment under the law. John was a people person and he used that gift in his business and when he gave speeches about his contributions to the civil rights movement.

John was married to Betty L. Bibbs and together they had two daughters, Eloise and Victoria, whom he was very close to.

John was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; his daughter, Eloise; his parents; his sisters, Willetta Carter and Olga Hill; his brother, William; niece, Marva Washington and cousin, Katherine Mason. He leaves memories with his daughter, Victoria Bibbs, extended family and many friends.

Information provided by:
Henderson’s Highland Park Funeral Home
3500 Sixth Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50313
(515) 309-6550

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