Jack McT. Dibler, a much-revered Howard County chemistry teacher who was also an avid Washington Capitals fan, died Tuesday of esophageal cancer at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He was 63.
The son of a truck driver and a housekeeper, Jack McTier Dibler was born and raised in Pittsburgh, graduating in 1969 from Churchill High School.
After earning a bachelor's degree in 1973 from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, he began his career as an educator in Prince George's County public schools.
He subsequently taught at Mary McCloud Bethune Middle School, Parkdale High School and High Point High School before joining the faculty in 2006 of River Hill High School in Columbia, where he was an Advanced Placement chemistry teacher.
In 2009, his students selected him as the school's Teacher of the Year. When he was a commencement speaker that year, he jettisoned the traditional platitudinous graduation speech, and instead delighted those attending by turning beakers of clear fluid into the school's colors of blue and gold, family members said.
He retired in 2012 because of his illness.
Every year, Mr. Dibler and his wife of 33 years, the former Eileen McCauley, hosted a reunion in their Columbia home for former students, with whom he remained close.
A Washington Capitals fan, he seldom missed a game, even while undergoing many months of debilitating chemotherapy.
Mr. Dibler enjoyed caring for his lawn and gardens and vacationing at the Outer Banks in North Carolina and in the Wyoming mountains.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Harry H. Witzke Funeral Home, 4112 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Dibler is survived by a son, Jeffrey Dibler of Crofton; a daughter, Beth Dibler of Columbia; two sisters, Connie Reamer and Marlene Kann, both of Pittsburgh; and several nieces and nephews.