When Dwight was about 18 months old, his parents tired of eking out a living farming and left North Platte to make a second attempt at putting down roots in Salem, Oregon, where he loved his early childhood years. In 1958, his family relocated to Long Beach, California, where his dad was employed in construction as an ironworker and his mother was a medical transcriptionist. During his youth, he became “little brother” to hundreds of sailors and marines when his parents became directors of the Beacon Inn Christian Servicemen’s Center, a nondenominational home-away-from-home for servicemen in Long Beach.
Soon after graduating from high school in Long Beach, Dwight joined the US Air Force and was stationed at March Air Force Base in Riverside, California. While in the Air Force he was in the Air Police and later worked in supply. Upon his discharge in 1970, he pursued various blue-collar jobs, but was especially proud of his skills as a pipefitter in the oil refineries. He held several jobs over the years while living between the Long Beach area and Grants Pass, Oregon, alternately, as well as a few years in Grand Meadow, Minnesota, where he worked at his brother-in-law’s service station and machine shop.
Before leaving Long Beach the last time, he cared for his bedridden mother her remaining months following a stroke in March of 1991. He later referred to his “precious time” with her and said he believed, since he had never married nor had children, taking care of his mother during her final days was what he was born to do. Her home health aides commented that they had never seen anyone give such care to their loved one as he did.
Besides the great outdoors, particularly the Northwest, listening to his collection of ‘60s and ‘70s music (hundreds of songs he transferred from 8-track tapes to cassettes—he was “old school" all the way) provided great joy and lots of memories. Dwight enjoyed college football, especially the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but was disillusioned with professional football, though he continued to follow the Rams. He could talk about football and politics for hours, the latter often raising his blood pressure, especially when it came to “liberals.” He loved his country. Although he did not attend church regularly, he was very knowledgeable about the Bible, which he had read through more than once and studied at length. He couldn’t stand a “holier-than-thou.” He wasn’t an angel, and never claimed to be, but he loved God and knew his salvation was in the Lord, since accepting Him as his savior as a youth.
Having no children, Dwight always appreciated hearing from his nieces and nephews, and spending time with the ones who were nearby. While living in Long Beach, and later Grand Meadow, he helped care for and mentor his nephews Lance and “JC” Skifter, who have lots of stories about their “crazy uncle,” they can pass down to their kids.
Dwight was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford (in 1999) and Reva (1991); and his brothers, Clifford “Milo” Tibbetts (in 1953), Loren “Jay” and Delores Tibbetts (2017 and 1983), and Mirven “Butch” Tibbetts (2022).
Left behind with fond memories are his sister, Marceil “Sissy” and James Skifter, of Grand Meadow, Minn.; sisters-in-law Karen Tibbetts of Salem, Ore., and Sandy Tibbetts of Boise, Idaho; close friend and “brother from another mother,” Rick Watters of Murietta, Calif.; many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and -nephews; also his caregiver of the past three years Kathy Rowley, who, along with her family, went above and beyond to keep him comfortable and content during his final years.