Deceased June 5, 2014
We have lost our legendary Frank Dibble. I have to start with how we were so lucky to get Frank. He went to Deerfield and was accepted at Amherst. He went to the headmaster’s wife and told her he was afraid to go to Amherst (too difficult). She replied, “Frank, it is better to fail at a top college than succeed from a poor one.”
His exploits: at Springfield High voted the boy who did most for the school. Deerfield: set a school basketball scoring record, then broke it the following year when he captained the team to its first undefeated season in 40 years. Amherst: joined the varsity basketball team as a freshman and did the unbelievable by outscoring Wesleyan’s entire team with 30 points in a 42–29 victory. Williams (Navy V-12): captained the basketball team, making him the only person to captain both an Amherst and a Williams team. He was a regimental commander. He served in the Navy and was in the Pacific Theater preparing for the invasion of Japan when the war ended. He returned to Amherst, graduating in 1947. He became our first class president and through the years was our class historian. He attended every reunion and homecoming, always bringing class information.
Frank devoted his professional life to education. He served on the Amherst faculty for two years (stint as chair of the public speaking department). In secondary schools he taught history, English and public speaking, coached sports and debate teams and assumed administrative responsibilities.
His first wife, Rita, died in 1973 and his second wife, Julie, in 2009. He is survived by Frank, Ann and David (Rita) and Susan (Julie), and six grandchildren.
Woody Steinwart said, “Frank was a genuine person. Nothing phony.” We’ve lost a legend.
Our condolences to the family.
Dick Banfield ’46