ELIZABETH CITY - Capt. Donald C. Hibbard, USCG (Ret.) passed away peacefully on August 28, 2016 following a courageous journey with Parkinson's disease and related dementia. He is survived by his two sons, Jeff and his wife Jenny, of Bahama, NC; Kevin and his wife Jill, of Hickory, NC and his constant friend and former wife, Sonja W. Hibbard. He leaves nine grandchildren for whom he loved being Pop-Pop: Will, Reid, Ali, Zach, MacGregor, Jackson, Ethan, Noah and Sadie. He is also survived by his brother, Glenn C. Hibbard of Union, S.C. and his sister, Fay H. Hensley of Louisville, Ky. His parents, Gilbert G. and Mae Mills Hibbard, along with his older brother Lowell Hibbard, pre-deceased him. Capt. Hibbard was born February 24, 1940 in Manchester, Ky. After graduating from high school, he attended Eastern Kentucky University, and then enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. He began his thirty-two-year Coast Guard career as a hospital corpsman in New London, Conn. and as a recruiter in Indianapolis, Ind. He was accepted to Officer's Candidate School at Yorktown, Va. in 1964 and, upon graduation, entered flight training at Pensacola, Fla. He loved his career as a fixed wing pilot for the Coast Guard; he went on numerous search and rescue missions, and made many friends along the way. He was proud to be selected for an exchange program with the U.S. Air Force and flew rescue missions and ice patrols with the 67th Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Squadron at RAF Woodridge, U.K. His other duty stations included Port Angeles, Wash.; Annette Island, Alaska; Miami, Fla.; Elizabeth City, N.C.; Barbers Point, Hawaii and USCG Headquarters. He retired in 1992, having returned to Elizabeth City to serve as Commanding Officer of the Base Support Unit, Elizabeth City. After his retirement, Don decided to return to his early career in the medical field. He attended DePaul Medical Center's Radiology Technician program as the oldest student ever enrolled in that program. He graduated first in the class, to the delight of his biggest supporters there, the Sisters of Bon Secours, and then began his second career at Albemarle Hospital's Radiology Department in Elizabeth City. He loved this chapter of his life equally; he enjoyed assisting patients and physicians in the hospital and traveling with the mobile X-Ray unit to area health care facilities. He often treated his co-workers to home-made baked goods and was famous for his tiramisu! After retiring from the hospital in 2009, he concentrated his energies on his family and friends, his garden and his canine friend Patsi, with whom he walked many a mile. He was faithfully and lovingly cared for in his last years by Annette Luther, Jan Cooper and Sonja, who, along with his children, grandchildren and many friends, will always remember his sense of humor, kindness, thoughtfulness, and special talent in never meeting a stranger. A memorial service to celebrate Capt. Hibbard's life will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 22, 2016 at Twiford Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Thomas Wilson officiating. Internment will take place November 12, 2016 in the Jackson/Wagers family cemetery, Brightshade, Kentucky. The family will greet friends directly after the memorial service, and at their home, 400 Inlet Drive, Elizabeth City, NC. Memorial gifts may be made to: Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, 1005 N. Glebe Road, Suite 220, Arlington, VA, 22201 or to a charity of one's choosing. Twiford Funeral Home, 405 East Church Street, Elizabeth City is assisting the Hibbard family.
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