Vernon H Dibeler, 98, of Naples, Fla., passed away on Oct. 24, 2016. Born in Elizabeth, N.J., he received a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from Duke University and doctorate in chemical physics from Columbia University.
As a chemical physicist, Dibeler retired in 1974 from work as a research scientist in the Chemistry Division of the (then) National Bureau of Standards (NBS) (now the National Institute of Standards & Technology [NIST]).
In 1942, he had joined the NBS, initially engaged in experimental isotope separation for the Manhattan Project. That was followed by mass spectrometric studies of isotope abundance ratios, analyses of organic materials and the determination of ionization energies of small molecules. The latter work was expanded to include high-resolution photo ionization studies of ground state and excited states of ions.
Dibeler was the author or co-author of more than 100 scientific publications. He was recipient of the Department of Commerce Silver Medal and Gold Medal awards for exceptional services. He was a retired Fellow of the American Physical Society; a retired member of the American Chemical Society; and former member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
After retiring, Dibeler moved to Bethany Beach, Del., where, from 1966 to 1982, he served as a member of the Town Board of Commissioners, serving at various times as Town secretary, treasurer, vice mayor and mayor. He also served on the Town Planning Commission. In 1975, he was elected to membership in Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company, Station 70. He served for 17 years as firefighter and assistant engineer. As a resident of Naples, Fla., Dibeler was a volunteer builder for Habitat for Humanity of Collier County.
Dibeler’s first wife, Anne Marie Viehmann, died in 1989, after 46 years of marriage. He is survived by a son, Vernon H. Dibeler II; two daughters, Dianne P. Higgins and Arlene Carr; three grandchildren, Colleen Anne Scout, Reed Allen Dibeler and Allison Lee-Carr Bender; and three great-grandchildren, Emmett Benjamin Scout, Amber Grace Scout and Raelynn Anne Bender.
A private memorial service and internment were planned. In lieu of flowers, the family suggested memorial contributions be sent to the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Co.; P.O. Box 950; Bethany Beach, DE 19930.