Neil Lawrence Dibble passed away peacefully at his home on Sept. 9, 2022.
Neil, being part of the Methow Valley Pioneers, was born at home in Winthrop, Washington, on March 15, 1928. Neil was one of three children born to Clyde and Selma (Tideman) Dibble, his brother, Danny, born in 1926 and his sister, Carmyn, in 1935. Neil graduated from Winthrop High School in 1946. His ninth-grade class dwindled from 22 students to six due to families leaving the valley in hopes of contributing to the war effort or finding a better living.
During the summers of 1950 and 1951, Neil was employed as a smokejumper with the North Cascades Smokejumper Base in Winthrop, parachuting out of a plane to fight forest fires in otherwise inaccessible locations of the forest. After graduating from Washington State College in 1951 with a teacher’s degree, Neil enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. Five months later he entered the pilot training program. Because of the death of his father, he was released from the Air Force with a hardship discharge having completed three-fourths of the pilot training program.
Neil started teaching at Pateros, Washington, in 1954, where he met Rosamond Swannack, the English teacher there. Neil and Rosamond were married in 1955 in Sandpoint, Idaho. After two years of teaching at Pateros, and another year back at Washington State College, he taught one year at Dayton, Washington. On Nov. 14, 1957, Neil and Rosamond welcomed their first daughter, Susan, in Dayton.
At this time, an effort was launched to improve the level of teaching quality and Neil was granted a full year National Science Foundation scholarship at Oregon State College. On Dec. 31, 1958, Neil and Rosamond received a surprise tax break with the very early birth of their son, Craig, in Corvallis, Oregon. Upon completion of the program at Oregon State College, Neil got a job in Omak, Washington, with the Omak School District. On May 2, 1960, the Dibble family grew by one when they welcomed daughter Lisa to the family, followed on April 3, 1962, by daughter, Dawn. Neil spent the next 27 years teaching math, science and computer science in both the high school and junior high school as well as being the junior high principal for six years. He retired from teaching in 1986.
Neil was divorced in 1990 and from that point until his passing lived with his daughter Susan, in various locations in Oregon while she pursued her career with the U.S. Forest Service, landing in the East Wenatchee area in 2013. Neil enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing, horse pack trips into the Pasayten Wilderness, gathering firewood and always enjoyed a good game of poker.
Neil was preceded in death by his parents and brother Danny. He is survived by sister Carmyn; daughter Susan Dibble; son Craig (Debbie) Dibble; daughter Lisa (Martin) Davy; and daughter Dawn Dibble. He is also survived by grandchildren Aaron and Alexis (Rapozo); Justin (Katie) Dibble; and Brendan, Mikylla (Mike Smith) and Gabrielle (Davy); and great-grandchildren Kambrie, McKynlee and Hudson (Dibble).
At Neil’s request, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Neil Dibble Scholarship fund at Omak High School by mailing to: Omak High School Scholarships, Attention Maria Desjardins, 619 W. Bartlett Ave., Omak, WA 98841.
The family would like to express a sincere and heartfelt thanks to Barbara, Diana and the rest of the awesome hospice staff at Wenatchee Confluence Health for their helpful, kind and professional care and compassion. Arrangements in the care of Chapel of the Valley, East Wenatchee.