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David Dibble

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David Dibble Obituary
David Van Vlack Dibble

February 5, 1928 - June 6, 2014

David leaves behind Frances Bauer Dibble, his wife of thirty years, his sister Sarah Dibble Kirby, and many nieces and nephews and their children.

He was predeceased in death by his parents Oliver Dibble and Isabelle Bishop Dibble, his brother Oliver Dibble, and his sister, Daphne Dibble Greene Wilkins.

Raised in Woodside before moving to San Francisco and then to Oakland, David came from a pioneer California family. As a young man he was able to work as an old fashioned cowboy, driving cattle on horseback from the Central Valley to the Sierra Nevada in the springtime.

David graduated from University of California, Berkeley, with a B.A. in Economics with the class of "50" then served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. Later, he was able to sail the Pacific Rim and around the world on steamships with the American President Lines. Thus, he was able to have been both a cowboy and a sailor, before graduating from law school and being admitted to the California Bar in 1963.

David was inspired by his great grandfather, Henry C. Dibble, who wrote California's first civil rights law enacted in 1897 and devoted serious effort in school integration in Louisiana in post-Civil War Reconstruction before settling in California.

David practiced law for more than twenty years before specializing in the teaching of students with blindness and visual impairment after receiving an M.A. from San Francisco State University in 1981.

David was a voracious reader and kept a diary for over fifty years. In it, one would find his passion for history, thoughts on matters of justice, race and culture, local and world politics, technology, world religions, economics, and the goings-on of family and friends.

He loved giving tours as a docent aboard the USS Potomac and in the history, natural sciences, and art galleries of the Oakland Museum of California. He served on the boards of the Ministry to Seafarers at the Port of Oakland, the California Heritage Council, and the vestry of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. He was president of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers in 1976 during his thirty-year residence on Alta Street in North Beach, San Francisco. An oral history is on file at the Bancroft Library with the Rosie the Riveter World War II American Homefront Oral History Project.

David was a kind, elegant gentleman. He had strength, wit, and intellect. We can add to his biography of cowboy and sailor with that of lawyer, scholar, teacher, and friend. He will be dearly missed.

The Threshold Choir sang to David at his bedside each week for his last three years. Donations can be made to them in David's memory to East Bay Threshold Choir by post to East Bay Threshold Choir, c/o Jacquelyn Marie, 301 Lenox Avenue PH1, Oakland, CA 94610 or online at thresholdchoir.org.

Services will be held Thursday, June 26 at 6:00 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 114 Montecito Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610. All who knew David are welcome at the service and invited to the reception that will follow in the Parish Hall.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on June 15, 2014
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