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John (Jack), 95, passed away on November 21, 2012. He was born November 6, 1917 at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, to Army Surgeon Colonel John Dibble and Mary Walford Dibble. An Army "brat" as children of Army personnel were called, he traveled with his parents through-out the States, Germany and the Philippines.
Before receiving a Presidential appointment to West Point, he enlisted in the Pennsylvania Horse Cavalry then continued in the Horse Drawn Artillery. After graduation from the Academy in the Class of 1940, he commanded a Tank Destroyer Battalion in Patton's Third Army in World War II. With the 7th Group, he landed at Utah Beach. He later took part in the siege of St. Malo and Brest before moving to Bastogne just in time for the Battle of the Bulge. There he took command of the 73rd Field Artillery Battalion and the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion, famous for their support of the 101st Airborne Division. They also supported the Armored Division as it made its way across Germany, ending at the Danube River on VE Day. After the War, he became a Paratrooper and then an Aviator and attended the Army Command & General Staff School and the Army War College.
In 1966, he was assigned as Deputy Commander of the 1st Aviation Brigade in Vietnam and was responsible for 4500 non-divisional Army Aircraft and
the 20,000 men who flew and maintained them. From there he was assigned to CINCPAC as Deputy Chief of Plans, responsible for the plans and policies of the Pacific Command, including the orderly withdrawal of troop increments.
His medals include 2 Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, a Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross and 6 Air Medals. His career began with the Horse Drawn Artillary and ended with a nomination to the Army Aviation Hall of Fame.
He retired in 1970 after 30 years of service to his country and was recruited by Grumman International as Special Assistant to the President to handle their plans for Singapore.
His civilian life was as involved as the Military where he contributed to the selection of new candidates for West Point. He is a member of the U.S. Cavalry Association, Military Officer's Association of America (Cape Canaveral Chapter), Military Order of the World Wars, The Loyal Legion, Association of Former Intelligence Officers, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the Brevard Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
His first wife, Leslie Cooney Dibble, died while he was serving in Vietnam and he later married Louise Clarke. There were no children of this marriage. Louise died in 1994 and he married Beverly Rawson in 1997.
He leaves behind the children and grandchildren of his first marriage to Leslie. They are John Dibble 3rd (Mary Anne Shannon) and their children, SFC Michael (Cyndi) and their children, Maria, Gage and Zachary. Debbie (Sean Sullivan) and her son, Jeffrey Mangold and their sons, Riley and Ian Sullivan. A daughter, Leslie, and her daughter, Lindsay Smoot (Mike Sullivan). Julie (Mark Johnson) and their daughter, Jamie (Brian DeFrota) and their daughter, Maya Rose.
His marriage to Beverly Townsend Rawson enlarged his family with seven more children and many new grandchildren. They are Donna Lee Rawson Woods, children, Patrick (Andrea) and Colleen (son, Reed), Craig Rawson, Dec. (Betty), children, Chris and Kimberly. Jeffrey Scott Rawson (J'Anne), children, Cara and Jessica. Bruce Rawson, children, Nichole, Summer and Scott. Valerie Alfano (Artie), children, John, Donald, Alan and Beverly. Stephen Rawson (Cheryl), children, Heather and Julie. Teresa Pettit (Rick), child, Lindsey. They with all of their spouses and children made quite a wonderful thing for Jack as they, with his own children, presented him with so many different life styles to enjoy and there were no dull moments for him.
Contributions: Cocoa Beach Community Church, P.O. Box 320009, Cocoa Beach, Florida or to MOAAC Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 254708, PAFB, FL 32925-4708.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, November 30, at 4 p.m., at the Cocoa Beach Community Church, 126 S. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
The family would like to thank Vitas Hospice.
Condolences may be made at www.beachfuneralhome.com.
Published in FLORIDA TODAY from Nov. 28 to Nov. 30, 2012