In Loving Memory

Rev. Dennis L. Tubbs

October 21, 1946 - May 19, 2019

Tribute

Rev. Dr. Dennis L. Tubbs, 72, Dennis the Minister, entered heaven May 19, 2019, from Mobile, AL, and there was a big barbecue at his house the first night, as he always said there would be.

He loved his childhood in Banning, CA, where he was raised by his mother, Florence Opal Jennings, and his grandmother, Margaret Ryder. His father, James Orval Tubbs, died when Dennis was five as a result of injuries sustained in service during WWII. Dennis was keyboard player and singer in a high school rock-and-roll band.

After high school he began his career working for Pacific Bell and worked part-time as an officer with the Fontana Police Department. He married his high school sweetheart, and they had two children. He earned an A.A. degree in behavioral science and industrial management from San Bernardino Valley College, giving him incentive to start his own business in 1979 as the first licensed communications contractor in California.  He founded The Talk Shop, a residential telephone store, and franchised four locations in Central California. From 1984-1993 he owned Tubbs Telephone Systems. He said he felt God’s call to go back to school, so he began his formal education at Chapman University in Orange, CA. where he earned his B.A. in communications in 1997. That same year he was named the university’s speaker of the year.

He was divorced and working on his Master of Divinity at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth when he met Margie Addison Dale online. He sent her a picture of his face, and she said, “You have a nice face, but do you have arms? Arms are really important to me.” He had arms.

They married in 1999 and lived on campus until going to England where he finished his studies at Jesus College in Cambridge, graduating in 2002. He was ordained by Disciples of Christ in 2001 and became senior pastor at Countryside Christian Church in Shreveport, LA, Margie’s hometown.  After Shreveport, he accepted the call to start a new church, South Baldwin Christian Church in Foley, AL. He loved the people but not church bureaucracy. He was better suited for the Kairos Prison Ministry in which he had been a participant for years. He had a heart for the down-and-out and believed in “visiting the prisons, feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked” as a follower of Jesus. He was known to take off his shoes or jacket and give them away to people in need.

He began a 501C3, Life Connections Inc., of Alabama, and gathered like-minded people to serve hurting people.  Life Connections is still in operation. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Christian Counseling in 2007 from Cornerstone University in Louisiana. After Katrina ravaged the coast of Louisiana, he was lead counselor aboard the Carnival Cruise ship housing refugees from affected areas. After that he became a hospice chaplain, where he played guitar, sang, and helped people prepare for death.

Dennis was a lover of Mexican food, especially menudo. His favorite movie of all time was “The Stand” based on a novel by Stephen King. He loved to travel and talk on the phone. His love of books and learning led to his owning an extensive home library.

He also spoke fondly his years in Paso Robles, CA, where he was president of the Paso Robles Jaycees, held state chairmanships, and attained the level of Jaycee International Senator. He was also director of the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Rotary Club. He learned to barbecue in Paso Robles, a talent he carried with him throughout his life.

Dennis touched many people, and we, his family and friends, will always be grateful for the time we were allowed to spend with him. We loved him. He saw Jesus in his hospital room on Saturday, and Jesus took him home on Sunday.

You would remember if you ever met Dennis the Minister because he would have taught you “the prayer.” He maintained that there is only one prayer to be prayed: “Say ‘Lord help, then shut up and let him.”

He leaves behind his widow, Margie Addison Tubbs; a son, Duane (Lori) Tubbs, Guthrie, OK; a daughter, Cyndi (Curtis) Wells, Richwood, TX; two stepsons, Troy (Dee Ann) Parvino of The Woodlands, TX, and Adam (Stefanie) Dale, of Gonzales, LA. He has eleven grandchildren: Taylor, Courtney, and Kyle Rains; Amber, Dalton and Baylee Tubbs; Chase Wells; Andrew, Emily, and Rachel Parvino; and Collins and Campbell Dale; and his one great-grandson, Tayton Rains.

A celebration of his life is scheduled for Sunday, August 11, at the Grand Bay Community Center, 11610 US-90 in Grand Bay, AL, at 1:00 p.m.

Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at www.hughesfh.com.

5 Comments

  1. Norma Danzey

    Dennis was a special person who ministered to many. August 11 was my mother’s birthday, and my family usually has a remembrance for her, so I won’t be attending the memorial. My condolences to the family as you pay tribute to a great man!

    Reply
  2. Nancy Megas

    I only met Dennis the one time we sat together at our class reunion in Shreveport and I thought what a nice gentleman he was. Now I feel like I know the man and I am happy you had a good marriage and he sounds like he was indeed a good man. My prayers are with you. It’s a lonesome lonely valley, this thing called widowhood. May his memory comfort you with the love you shared and give you the strength to carry on, as he would want you to.

    Reply
  3. Jane Lytle Gill

    Margie, so sorry for this great loss and from reading his obituary, I know that many people have benefited through your husband’s life and ministry. I pray that this will give you comfort.

    Reply
  4. Audrey D.

    Hi Margie…Lots of love coming to u!!! Stay strong and know that God is ALWAYS with you!!!!

    Reply
  5. Dr J, "Rabbi Heapowitz", (in the UK)

    ‘Tubbsy’ and I were virtually inseparable during our time together at Brite. “Honour amongst thieves” was our pact, as we jokingly started the “Brother Tubbs’ Travelling Salvation Show”, ministering to various churches in and around the Dallas/Fort Worth area who needed pulpit-fill and someone to play the organ or piano on a Sunday. We laughed together when we discussed forming “The Church For People Who Don’t Like ‘Church’,” knowing that theological malpractice had caused pain and suffering for people who turned to churches to be a place of comfort, hope and empowerment. Although I was intrigued by the ‘academic’ side of theology and religious thought, Tubbsy used to ask me “So, for ‘Homer’ who pumps fuel and fixes tyres for a living–6 days a week, quite often–how does that relate to their experience when they spend time with their families to hear something that makes them feel that they’re doing the right thing”?”

    I also remember when Tubbsy came back to Fort Worth from his first date with Margie–completely speechless with her. And then I was there during their wedding, until they became neighbours to me in the Brite ‘quads’, and then later down to Princeton. Dennis found a partner in his ministry, and Margie was a source of creativity, strength, love and encouragement. Margie’s commitment, love and compassion for her own ministry–working with people in charities–helped echo and embody Tubbsy’s focus on “the least of these”, and together, they helped highlight and carry-out their commitment to the ethical and human-focussed principals and teachings of Jesus.

    I last saw Tubbsy almost a year ago when his oldest and dearest buddies and bandmates from California came to visit him and Margie, there in Alabama. Seeing them laugh and tease each other, it was as if the years had rolled back, and I could see a part of Tubbsy’s past that I was not privy to. Dennis was strong and effective because he associated with talented people and helped inspire them to bring out their best: for others, and also for themselves. Whether it was 1997 when we first met, or 2018 when we last saw each other, Dennis encouraged me to not only be my best, but also to recognise that what I was doing was sufficient and good.

    To Tubbsy’s family and friends, my deepest sympathy during this time of grief and loss. Sending each of you love and warm thoughts from across the Atlantic.

    –J

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *