Danny Dibble, who died at home on Aug. 6, 2018, was a teacher, traveler, foreign service worker, volunteer, smokejumper, wrestler, runner, dancer, carpenter, gardener, father of three and loving husband. Danny was born to Selma and Clyde Dibble on July 26, 1926, in Winthrop, where his father’s family were pioneers. Danny had a life-long love for the Methow Valley and returned to it often.
After graduation from Winthrop High School he joined the U.S. Army and served in both the European and Pacific Theaters during WW II. He completed his enlistment on Okinawa as a staff sergeant. After returning to Winthrop, he and a friend sought to homestead in Alaska. Daunted by permafrost, he jettisoned his agricultural plans and enrolled in WSU on the GI Bill, where he earned BA and MEd degrees, lettered in wrestling, and met and married Audrey, his wife of 64 years. As a honeymoon they traveled to South Korea to do community development work in a war-scarred village where Danny helped build houses and irrigation projects.
Danny’s life continued to be an active one of service and travel. He taught in Pullman schools for 25 years, built the family home, and spent many summers working for the U.S. Forest Service as a smokejumper out of the North Cascades Smokejumper Base, parachuting to and suppressing fires all over the Northwest.
While on leave from his teaching position, he took his young family to Zambia where he developed a night school program for adults who had been unable to attend secondary school. He also led summer volunteer student work camps in Maine, Mexico and the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. In retirement, Danny taught ESL in the Yemen Arab Republic to students who planned to attend U.S. colleges.
After living on Whidbey Island for many years, Danny and Audrey settled in Yakima in 2003. In addition to dancing every chance he got at the Harmon Center and singing in the barbershop chorus, Danny and his wife traveled extensively. Over the course of his lifetime he worked in or visited 42 countries as well as Antarctica.
Danny is survived by his wife, Audrey; daughters Ann Dibble Hess (Tadd), Yakima, Emily Dibble, Medford, Massachusetts, and Jean Dibble, Xi’an China. He is also survived by brother Neil Dibble, East Wenatchee; sister Carmyn Walters, Gresham Oregon; and grandchildren Jacob (Kirsten), Maya and Max.
If you wish to honor Danny’s life, you may make a contribution to aclu.org.