MENTONE — A celebration of the life of Scott “Bibs” Bibler was held this afternoon at TIppecanoe Valley High School gymnasium. The gymnasium was filled with people whose lives were touched by “Bibs” in numerous ways — family, friends, classmates, students, football players, community members.
Warsaw Community Church Pastor Denny Wilson officiated over the first of four funeral services of community members lost in a plane crash Friday, Oct. 2. He will preside over funeral services Monday morning for Tony Elliott and Tuesday morning for Charles Smith and his son Scott Smith.
Those coming to celebrate Bibler’s life started arriving over an hour before services began. Many stood in line to offer condolences to the family. Among the numerous floral arrangements, tapestries including one with Bibler’s smiling face, memorial stones and other decorative memorials were two baskets of flowers in the center of the group: one from Clemson Athletic Department and another from Father John I. Jenkins (University of Notre Dame President) and Notre Dame.
The love for his family and his faith resounded during his service as tributes were shared by his oldest daughter, Chelsea Bibler; his sister, Amy Bibler, former college roommate Tom Spahr.
Chelsea reflected the order of priorities for her father: Faith, family and football. She stated he was a father or second father to many. “Looking around you can see my dad had a pretty big family … so proud that my dad could fill the empty space for so many others.” Reflecting she stated whenever asked to do something, he gave it his all, even if it was nothing he was good at.
She shared he would “always tell us how proud he was and how much he loved us … The image that has brought me peace this week is picturing God greeting my dad at heaven’s gate and being able to say ‘well done my good and faithful servant.’ That gives me peace because I know where my dad is … while he was here, some where and in some way, he touched each person in here. Now it is our turn to pay it forward … I know he’s smiling that big smile of his looking down at all the people he touched.” She closed by reading II Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race and I have remained faithful.”
His sister reflected on the love he had for his family, his wife and children. “Scott was a loving … he was a pillar of strength to our family.” She described him as guiding, providing direction and inspiration. “Scott was a sweet, kind, gentle brother, I miss him. … he could be counted on and depended upon always … he was the relative that everyone gravitated to…”
She reflected on the faith he had and recalls spending time at his home, waking up to see him at the kitchen table with his Bible and devotional material spread out on the table and a cup of coffee. “If Scott was here, I know he would encourage each and every one of you to enter into an intimate relationship with God …”
“Bibs” as Spahr will always call him, brought laughter to the crowd with his remembrances and an antic of “Bibs” during college. “We became friends, and then we became good friends, and then he became the best friend that I ever had, except my wife … We are here to celebrate his life. It was a life that made us smile … I never talked (or thought) about him without smiling … he made us laugh and then there were the times he made us shake our heads, wondering what are you doing? …
“Bibs had some sort of impact on most every body in here or we wouldn’t be here. The life we’re celebrating influenced your life in some way, and there is no way to possibly totally celebrate, honor Bibs without giving glory and honor to God.”
Wilson, who was out of town when he was notified of the accident, shared that on his five-hour drive back home the next day, he thought, he prayed, he wrestled and he argued with God. He realized he would be leading a community of people who were tired and worried … had a love, hate relationship with pain and suffering and loss … the questions, the whys, the wondering of their last moments … “I’d love to stand up here and give you very easy answers to these questions, these emotions, these feelings … amidst this terrible tragedy is this amazing sense of community and love and feelings, it rarely happens at any other time …
“We realize what really is important and who is really important … As a community how much more can one school corporation take … there’s this unique bond and closeness … I wonder, this is probably theologically and Scott’s up there shaking his head right now, maybe Scott is pleading to God to let the healing begin in this school he loved so much.”
“When I walked in here last evening … I’ve never seen anything like this … Scott was truly a great man … the line of people, people waiting in line 2-2 1/2 hours there’s no greater testimony for greatness…”
“I thought very carefully for what I’m about to say … We are all terminal … what better way to go. I just can’t imagine any of these guys … becoming feeble and not being able to do the things …”
“The worst thing that could happen to any of us, is to die with potential. Scott didn’t. I think he used it all up, … Scott really lived, he lived more in his short life, than most people live in a very very long life.”
Wilson closed the celebration by stating: “…job well done, good and faithful servant. I can’t think of a better way or better place to thank this servant for a life well lived … thank you God,” leading those in attendance in a standing ovation.
A private burial service was held in Mentone cemetery after the service.