NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — There are certain people who enter our lives who we love so much, it's hard to even put it in words. 'Miss Roxie' Gibson, an author and familiar face in Nashville education, has just died.
"You're looking at a collection of things Miss Roxie kept over the years," said Alex Apple, flipping through a series of old photos. "She loved my sister and I, and she kept these items. This is an old picture of her reading to me. She was the face you saw, every time you came into the school. Really and truly, my family has always said this. She is the closest thing we've met to an angel."
Miss Roxie was the receptionist at the independent Oak Hill School for more than 40 years, famous for her loving nature and something else.
"She'd pull your teeth!" laughed Apple.
Well, gently. After a tooth pull, you got a Skittle.
"She'd sit you in the chair, and out that tooth would come," Apple smiled.
Head of School Hart Roper's tried to calculate how many teeth she may have pulled.
"When she retired, we guessed about 200 teeth a year," Roper said. "You do the math. 200 times 40. That's about 8,000 teeth over her time here at the school. That's a lot of teeth!"
"These were some books she authored, and she gave me a set of them," Apple said, showing a box of books.
In her writing, Miss Roxie had a way of helping children understand difficult things.
"I know after 2001, she wrote, Hey God, What is Terrorism? She conveyed some wisdom in the way only she could."
Something you'll find is a lot of people know Miss Roxie. She was on NewsChannel 5 back in 2006 signing her books. In 2017, the mayor proclaimed September 7 Miss Roxie Gibson Day. Today, the library at Oak Hill School carries her name and displays tell her story. How'd she reach so many people?
"She had an innate ability that few people have to just know what they need," said Apple. "Love. Encouragement. Excitement. That was Miss Roxie."
Miss Roxie died on Sunday, Mother's Day.
"She has been a mother to hundreds, maybe even thousands of people across Nashville," said Roper.
"There's an old saying that a Syracuse poet used to say, at the end of his life, he's mostly love now," said Apple. "Well, Miss Roxie was love entirely in life."