Vibber Larry Nelson  Vibber Larry Nelson
Male 1933 - 2009

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  • Birth  28 Feb 1933  Yuma County, Colorado Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender  Male 
    _UPD  18 OCT 2009 20:28:10 GMT-5 
    Died  25 Jul 2009  Fowler, Otero, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID  I2419  Alan Donald Vibber
    Last Modified  08 Dec 2009 
    Father  Vibber John Nelson,   b. 02 Nov 1902, Smith County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Mar 1963, Yuma, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Mahoney Hilda,   b. 04 Jul 1911, Moorehead, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Oct 1980, Denver, Colorado, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F1048  Group Sheet
    Family  Living 
     1. Living
     2. Living
     3. Denise,   b. PRIVATE
    Family ID  F1052  Group Sheet
  • Photos
    Dr. Larry Nelson Vibber
    Dr. Larry Nelson Vibber
  • Notes 
    • Faith Matters - Tribute to Dr. Vibber

      Fowler, Col.-

      Tibute to a Job Well Done
      by Don Sniff
      Pastor, Fowler Christian Church

      Psa 90:12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
      With the passing of such an able administrator as Dr. Larry Vibber, I reflect on the brevity of life. The prophet Job tells us that our days fly by ‘faster than a weaver’s shuttle’, and no matter howfew or how many days have been allotted to us, “our days on earth are as a shadow.”

      I spoke with Dr. Vibber often when our paths crossed, and urged him almost every single time, to retire and thus reduce the stress in his life. I wanted Dr. Vibber to retire, not because he wasn’t doing a good job, but because I had watched the ailment which finally claimed Dr. Vibber’s life claim the life of my mother, and I hoped that he might enjoy many more years without the debilitating effects of his ailment. I had seen what stress did in my mother’s life, and I knew what stress would do in Dr. Vibber’s life as well, and running a school district has its stresses. But Dr. Vibber was foremost an administrator…it was his calling in life. And let me add for all to read, I am proud of the public school system in Fowler, Colorado, and it exists in its present excellent condition because the captain of the ship piloted it through decades of administrative weather. Dr. Vibber did his job, and he did it well. I had hoped that he might be able to enjoy, in retirement, the well-deserved fruit of his labors, but the Lord in Heaven had His plan. As King David said, “All the days ordained for me were written in Your Book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). So the number of days ordained for Larry Vibber came to their appointed end, and he has gone to his reward. Let’s all reflect on two things: First, thank God that in His providence, He gave Fowler, Colorado, such a proficient school superintendent for such a long period, and second, let’s all reflect on how short our lives are, and work at our callings with the same diligence that Larry Vibber did in his calling. A job well done…

      Community honors Dr. Larry Vibber

      Fowler, Colo. -

      A public memorial service was held Saturday afternoon at Fowler High School Gym in honor of Dr. Larry Vibber. The longest serving public school superintendent in the nation, Vibber passed away July 25 at his home in Fowler.

      Vibber was remembered for his 47 years of dedication to the school and community as well as his genuine love for family members, friends and those he worked with. “Dr. Vibber was a friend regardless of how you knew him,” said Willis Lowther, former Fowler School District administrator, adding, “He loved his family and talked about them and their accomplishments all the time.”

      Vibber's grandchildren shared family memories ranging from days spent together on the golf course to weekly phone calls updating him on their activities. Granddaughter Lindsey said, “We didn't want this story to come to an end, but it did. Grandpa went to the Lord smiling.”

      Vibber's impact on the community as a whole was also recognized. “Fowler is a place where success is as common as washing your hands...I think he had everything to do with that,” stated Sandra Moss, Fowler coach and teacher. “We would do well to continue in the ways of Dr. Vibber.”

      After asking the crowd to stand and applaud Vibber's life, Pastor Wayne Josephson, Trinity Lutheran Church, Fowler, opened his message saying, “The life of Dr. Vibber is living proof the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-10) are very realistic.” Josephson went on to encourage the school board as they seek a new superintendent, “Look for someone grounded in the Beatitudes and the truth.”

      “Dr. Vibber committed his life to the call he received as a faithful educator here in Fowler,” stated Josephson. “He cared about the school, the staff and every student.”

      The general atmosphere at Saturday's memorial might best be summed up in the words of Lowther, “Dr. Vibber we love you, Dr. Vibber we thank you, and Dr. Vibber you will be remembered.”

      A slide show celebrating the life of Dr. Vibber can be viewed at

      Dr. Larry N. Vibber

      Fowler, Colo. -

      Dr. Larry N. Vibber -- Feb. 28, 1933 - July 25, 2009

      Dr. Larry N. Vibber, 76, longtime Fowler educator, died at his home on Saturday, July 25, 2009. Even though he had been in failing health for some time, his death came as a shock to the community. Hewas born on Feb. 28, 1933 in Yuma County, the son of Nelson and Hilda Mahoney Vibber.

      Dr. Vibber is survived by his wife Joan (Druley) Vibber who he married on Dec. 23, 1956 in Denver, son Lt. W. Greg. A. (Elora) Vibber of Blythwood, S.C., Alex Vibber and daughter, Leslie (Chris) Clemensen and granddaughters Rachel and Lindsey Clemensen of Parker; sisters, Maxine Reckard of Casa Grande, Ariz., Sandra Nelson of Benkleman, Neb., and foster daughter, Denise (Derek) Oxley and sons, James and Michael Oxley of Holts-Summit, Mo.
      He was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Meredith Lynn Clemensen, brother Jerry Hansen, sister Dee Hansen.

      Dr. Vibber came to Fowler in 1962 after serving in Sugar City as a superintendent. Dr. Vibber has served the community over 47 years. He has the distinction as being the longest serving public school's superintendent in the nation.

      Viewing and visitations will be on Wednesday and Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Griffy Family Funeral Home. A public memorial service will be held at the Fowler High School Gym on Saturday, Aug.1, 2009 at 1 p.m. with Pastor Wayne Josephson of Trinity Lutheran Church officiating. Following the services, he will be cremated as per his wishes.

      Griffy Family Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

      There will be a private service at the Lutheran church on Friday for family and school personnel only. The main funeral services will be the memorial services at the High School Gym Saturday Aug. 1, 2009 at 1p.m.

      Fowler Superintendent Larry Vibber dies

      Fowler, Colo. -

      For the first time since 1961 Fowler School District faces the beginning of a new school year without the guiding presence of dedicated superintendent, Dr. Larry Vibber.

      Vibber, 76, superintendent at Fowler for 47 years, passed away at his home Saturday
      morning, July 25.

      It is, perhaps, Vibber's dedication which will forever define the memories of a legendary era in the community's history. Fowler High School coach and teacher, Sandra Moss, says, “If you ever wanted to see a man bleed purple and gold, it would be him. Dr. Vibber was the epitome of class and pride. He was a stoic man and though, through the last few years had lost some physical strength, his innerstrength and convictions never wavered.”

      “He was one of a kind and will never be forgotten in Fowler,” adds Steven Grasmick, principal at Fowler Elementary.

      Beginning his career at Stratton High School as a science teacher and principal for two years, he then moved to Sugar City in 1959 and served as superintendent there for three years. Vibber's historical reign as longest serving public school superintendent spanned 50 years, at least three generations of students, and the construction of two new schools.

      The present high school was built in 1964 and was one of Vibber's first major projects after coming to Fowler. More recently, in 2003 Vibber was a driving force behind the consolidation of the two elementary schools into one new facility now across the street from the junior high and high school.

      In the days following Vibber's death terms like iconic and legendary have been used to refer to the legacy he leaves behind. Those who knew him agree, but say he would find that embarrassing. Vibber encouraged and expected the best from people, never failing to recognize heartfelt effort. From students to teachers to support staff, Vibber attributed successes at the school to those around him andreferred to himself as merely a facilitator.

      Many would argue though it was his skill as a facilitator which contributed heavily to the outstanding achievements, both academic and athletic, of Fowler School District. Tim Baublits tells about being hired at Fowler High School 25 years ago, “As I think about Dr. Vibber, I am taken back to that June day in 1985 when I was sitting in my college dorm room opening that letter addressed to me fromFowler School District wondering if my interview had landed me that first great job back in the valley where I grew up. It had. Since that day, I have Dr. Vibber to thank for launching my career in education. He was always supportive of me throughout my career. When I made mistakes, he had a way of speaking to me about just what needed to be done to improve. Now, at his passing, I will miss our visits in the library; his advice at times when I needed it, and many times when I thought I didn’t. I have been so lucky to have known Dr. Vibber and to have worked for him these past 25 years. I willcertainly miss him.”

      Grasmick agrees, “Dr. Vibber was my boss, my mentor but especially my good friend. He would always start the year off with a talk to the would go like this: 'There are three basic rulesto follow and if you do these you will be successful in school 1) Be on time. 2) Work hard. 3) Respect your teachers and classmates.' His advice for hiring staff was...hire the best possible person for the position, give them the resources they need and then let them teach!”

      Another component to Vibber's success seemed to be his extensive knowledge about various subjects. Ranging from issues of education to town business or football games (he served for many years as an official), Vibber could effectively draw from a vast wealth of experience in a variety of situations.

      Grasmick says, “Dr. Vibber had a wealth of knowledge in his head and could always be counted on to have an answer for almost any situation I or the board faced. He also had a knack for remembering phone numbers and peoples names when that information was long lost by me.”

      Kelly Wager, Vibber's secretary, comments, “I have had the honor and pleasure of being Dr. Vibber's secretary for the past several years. He is a very kind and generous man, and his knowledge and expertise in the field will be greatly missed.”

      Beyond his skill and knowledge, Vibber is being remembered for countless acts of kindness. His friends and family tell of a generous man who always rooted for the underdog and was vigilant about preserving an individual's dignity. Stories of money mysteriously appearing when needed most, or a letterman's jacket gifted by an anonymous donor are not uncommon. Clearly, he cared for members of the community as if they were his own family. “He was like a second father to me and a grandpa to my girls,” comments Moss.

      Vibber's humble start in life began February 28, 1933 in Yuma County where he was born at the family home. He graduated from high school in Wray then served a three-year stint in the Navy during the Korean War. After completing his military service Vibber attended Colorado State College on an athletic scholarship which was replaced with an academic scholarship after the first quarter. It was alsoat CSC that he met his future wife, Joan. The couple were married in December of 1956 and celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary last year. He graduated from CSC with a masters in 1959 and after being hired at Fowler completed his doctorate degree in June of 1970 from the University of Northern Colorado.

      The Vibbers raised two children, Greg and Leslie, and a foster daughter, Denise Oxley. Leslie has followed in her father's footsteps choosing a career in education and is employed as Coordinator of Student Wellness and Crisis Response in Douglas County. Leslie and her husband, Chris Clemensen, have seventeen-year old twin daughters, Lindsey and Rachel.

      Son, Greg and his wife Elora have one son, Alex, an 8th grader in Blythewood, South Carolina. Greg, a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army, recently returned from Iraq and is now stationed atFort Jackson in South Carolina.

      Denise has two sons, James and Michael.

      Joan says her husband had many loves but family was his greatest. “He loved his grandchildren and kids.”

      Fifty years of service in the field of education resulted in numerous distinctions for Vibber as well as several offices held. Among those are the office of president of Colorado High School Activities Association; president of Colorado Association of School Executives; member of CHSAA Hall of Fame; chairman of CHSAA Budget Committee where he served as a member for fifteen years; recipient of CASE Distinguished Service Award; and recipient of CASE Colbert Cushing Memorial Award.

      It should also be noted Vibber was always been a strong advocate of balancing quality extra-curricular activities with a solid academic program. Vibber believed extra-curricular activities, athletic or otherwise, built character and prepared students for life after high school.

      Vibber's sense of loyalty and dedication however, was not limited to the school. "Dad believed we all have an obligation to give back not only to our community, but also our state and country," says son, Greg. To that end Vibber lived out his convictions belonging to several community service organizations such as the Elks, Lions and locally, the Danish Brotherhood. He was also a Mason and a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Fowler where he was baptized, confirmed, and later served many years on the council.
      Currently, Vibber was a trustee on Fowler's Town Council, for the second time. Previously he served 12 years.

      Fowler Mayor Ray Wards admired Vibber's direct approach when addressing town business. “Working with Doc with the town, there was one thing about him, he was always straight forward. Never any doubtsabout what he thought or where he stood. I have all respect for the man because of that,” states Wards.

      As a member of the Fowler Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the school, Vibber, along with local businessman Jake Norton, emceed the organization's Wake-up Breakfast each June, much to the delight of all who attended.

      Fowler Town Administrator, Wayne Snider, comments, “Larry, Dr. Vibber, Doc, The Superintendent, we all knew Larry, the man with many roles and all which he played so well. How can anyone forget the 47 plus years Larry gave to every person in our community and how fortunate we are to have had an individual in our midst with such passion for a community and the prosperity for which he wished for everyone. Larry, we will never forget.”

      Traveling was a particularly strong passion for Vibber who loved maps and adventures. Larry and Joan have traveled the world and been on numerous cruises. According to his family Vibber was always looking for back roads or out of the way places to eat. Two years ago, the entire family, including children and grandchildren, gathered for a Caribbean Cruise to celebrate Larry and Joan's 50th weddinganniversary. The family says the trip had been planned for years and was a highlight for all of them.

      "Dad believed in experiencing life to the fullest, states daughter, Leslie, "But never at the expense of someone else," she adds.

      Vibber always made time for friends and one of his favorite rituals was meeting for coffee at Stockman's Restaurant. Joan says he always joked he was off, “to get his marching orders for the day.” Itwas there he felt he kept his finger on the pulse of the community.

      Of course, memories of Vibber would not be complete without mentioning his love for the game of golf. Along with Warren Switser and Earl Diven, Vibber was a founding member of the golf course in Fowler. When the family first moved to town in 1962 there were only a couple of other people who played golf and Joan says he spent hours with new friends teaching them the game.

      The Vibber family has hundreds of memories from a life well-lived, but one of the favorites, eliciting much laughter, is the mention of “ziggy ziggy.” A term Vibber learned while serving in the Philippines, ziggy ziggy means hurry, and anyone who knew Vibber knows how much he valued timeliness. According to his children, whenever the family was preparing to go somewhere, Vibber would call out “ziggy ziggy” meaning they had a five-minute warning. Joan laughs and adds, “Even the grandkids know what ziggy ziggy means.”

      Over the years, Vibber received other job offers from schools as far away as Los Angeles County in California, but according to his family, leaving Fowler was never seriously considered. Simply stated, Vibber was dedicated; loyal to his family, loyal to his community, and loyal to the school district he literally lived to serve. In an interview with the Fowler Tribune one year ago this week, Vibber stated he had no immediate plans to retire. Jokingly he said, “I don't know what else I would do, this is my hobby I guess.” True to his word Vibber's responsibility to the school district and the community never faltered despite the difficulties increasingly presented by his failing health. Only last Monday it was business as usual at the twice monthly school board meeting where he updated board members on the status of summer projects at the school, and discussed plans for a board dinner in the fall. Later that evening Vibber attended the public town meeting as a trustee for Fowler Town Council, speaking to the audience about renovations at Park School. It was that kind of dedication that has surprised no one. Dr. Larry Vibber wouldn't have it any other way.

      Two viewings have been scheduled, Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Griffy Family Funeral Home in Fowler. A public memorial service will be held Saturday (Aug. 1) at 1 p.m. in the Fowler High School Gym. Memorial donations for the Vibber Family Scholarship may be sent to Fowler School District.

      Fowler community mourns loss of Larry Vibber

      Fowler, Colo. -

      Dr. Larry Vibber, superintendent of Fowler School District since 1962, passed away at his home in Fowler, Saturday morning, July 25.

      Funeral arrangements are pending.
  • Sources 
    1. [S178] Family Tree of Sylvester Vibber Sr. 1806 - 1884 Michigan & Associated Families, John Russell Vibber, (Name: 12/15/1990;), 25.2 (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S289] Fowler Tribune, Dr. Larry N. Vibber - Thu Jul 30, 2009 (Reliability: 3).