Dwight Gene Dwello, 93, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, at the Libby Care Center, where he had been a resident for 4.5 years due to dementia and post-polio syndrome. He was born April 27, 1925, the sixth of eight children, to Fredrick Ellis and Agnes Sophia (Lyng) Dwello in Granville, North Dakota.
Dwight was baptized July 31, 1932, at First Lutheran Church in Granville and was confirmed there on May 14, 1939. He graduated as salutatorian from Granville High School in 1944. In school he couldn’t play some sports due to polio, so he was active in the Glee Club and played the trumpet in the high school band. He then attended and graduated from the Industrial and Teacher’s College at Ellendale, North Dakota, in 1948, with a degree in business education. Dwight was a boxer during his college years, sang in the choir and played trumpet in the college dance band. They played for many dances in the area.
In 1948 he got his first teaching job in Fairmount, North Dakota, where he taught all the business classes and was year book advisor and senior class sponsor. In Fairmount he met Katherine Hoefs, his future bride. They were married June 4, 1950, at First English Lutheran Church in Fairmount.
Dwight accepted a teaching job in the fall of 1950 in Geraldine. He taught all the business subjects plus the band for two years. In 1956 he became high school principal.
They began a family while in Geraldine. Kelvin Gene was born in 1954, Kurtis Wayne was born in 1956 and Gary Ellis was born in 1960. Dwight accepted a teaching job in Libby after 12 years in Geraldine. He taught business education and drivers ed, a job he had for over 20 years. He also was manager of Teacher’s Credit Union for 27 years. When his boys were young, he stayed busy attending Boy Scout events, Little League Baseball games and all their school activities. He loved all sports.
Dwight retired from teaching in 1982 after 34 years. But he wasn’t ready to retire completely, so he held a secretarial job at the high school for 13 years. He was a past member of the Libby Education Association, the Montana Education Association and a lifetime member of the National Education Association.
In 1995 he and Katie became “snowbirds” and went to Yuma, Arizona, for the winter. They did this for 20 winters. Dwight enjoyed camping with the Libby Dam Good Sam Club and he was a 40-year member of the Sons of Norway. In 1992 he was crowned the King of Nordicfest. He was very proud of his Norwegian heritage. Dwight was active in St. John Lutheran Church as congregation president, Praise Choir singer, and a youth group helper. He was on the Rural Fire Board for many years.
He loved his family, friends and especially God.
Dwight was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Ellis (Mary), Glen (Laney), Robert (Christine), Earl (Elsa) and Howard (Lyla); sisters Esther (Gene) Anfinson and A. Muriel Dwello; his mother and father-in-law Herbert and Sophia Hoefs; and brother and sister-in-law Kenneth and Betty Hoefs.
Survivors include his wife Katie of 68 years; sons Kelvin of Boise, Idaho, Kurtis (Becky) of New Meadows, Idaho, Gary (Susan) of Caldwell, Idaho; grandchildren Bethany (Stacey) of Mello, Nampa, Idaho, Zachary (Danielle) of Dwello, Nampa, Idaho, Katie (Danny) Brown of Kinnear, Wyoming, Lauren Dwello of Orange, California, Garret Dwello of Dublin, California, Sean Dwello of Salt Lake City, Utah, Steven Dwello of Boise, Idaho, Stuart Dwello of Canberra, Australia, James Dwello of Nampa, Idaho, Jonathan Dwello of Caldwell, Idaho; great-grandchildren Madelyn and Briarus Mello of Nampa, Idaho, Jordyn, Clayton, Rustin and Brooklyn Dwello of Nampa, Idaho, and Killian and Maura McCall of Kinnear, Wyoming; sisters-in-law Shirley Hoefs of Breckenridge, Minnesota, and Ardis (Orville) Smith of Greenwood Village, Colorado; many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews and several cousins.
Visitation is 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, at Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Services will be at 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, at St. John Lutheran Church, 1017 Montana Ave., Pastor Steven Thomas presiding, with burial at Libby Cemetery at 1 p.m. Memorials may be made to St. John Lutheran Church or any charitable organization of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.