Rosemary Jane (Tibbetts) DimoffMay 31, 1938 ~ February 23, 2017 (age 78)
Rosemary Dimoff, a.k.a. “Mz Moff,” transitioned to eternity on Feb 23, 2017 in Aurora, OR, after a protracted battle with pneumonia. She leaves her loving and dedicated husband, Dale Nordlund of Aurora; sons Christopher of Seattle, David of Portland (Deb); and John (Carrie) of Portland; granddaughter Jourdan (14), and grandsons Malcolm (7) and Oliver (5); former husband Clifford; teaching colleagues in North Clackamas and Concordia University; scores of student teachers; and legions students who enjoyed her classrooms in Portland and Clackamas schools.
Rosemary Jane Tibbetts was the second child of Hazel (Ray) and Darl Tibbets, born in Des Moines, Iowa on May 31, 1938, welcomed by her adoring 3-year old brother Wendell. The family transferred to Portland in 1942, first lodging at the Mallory Hotel. Employed by Griswold Lumber, Darl also designed and built their Cape Cod style home on NE 33rd; Hazel joined the Alameda Garden Club.
Attending Alameda and Grant, she graduated with several close friends in 1956. She married Cliff Dimoff, a Lewis and Clark College friend of Wendell, in 1960 shortly after her graduation from Lewis and Clark. With her degree in Education, she began teaching at Beaumont.
The growing Dimoff family moved to Ohio and Tennessee, where their Memphis home backed onto Graceland. Returning to Portland in 1969, she substituted at Applegate school - an adventure which formed the basis for her autobiographical novel “R is for Recess”. She then taught at Concord School in Oak Grove, establishing a reputation as a dedicated and innovative educator, leading to a long career at John McLoughlin Junior High, specializing in US History. There, she headed several committees, organized patriotic assemblies, and wrote a successful application to the US Department of Education which earned McLoughlin (now Alder Creek) its National recognition as an Outstanding School, under the principalship of Kelly Hood. Several other administrators utilized her organizational skills, methodological expertise and credential. She earned an MA degree from Lewis and Clark in 1984.
Her classrooms were a democracy-in-miniature where she promoted the unique gifts and individuality of 7th and 8thgraders. Utilizing audio-visual aides, she would easily quote lines and scenes from “Johnny Tremain” and “Roots.”Standing barely 5 feet herself, she could take on students and administrators of any height or girdth (she herself never topped 100 lbs, even wet!).
Professional and personal friendships were among her greatest attributes. She co-sponsored student ski outings on Saturdays, summer trips to Washington DC, coached milk carton racing teams, and organized patriotic events.
Rabbits in any form (especially 4-wheeled) were always a special interest, as were floral creations and exhibits; she was infatuated by roller coasters! Two family cabins on Camp Creek provided the sites of numerous annual family holidays and summers. Rosemary played guitar and hammered dulcimer, in addition to being a florist, poet, author and composer. She was most proud of her holiday song, “Love Comes at Christmas” when sung by school choirs.
Upon retirement under principal Dean Winder, she joined the education faculty of Concordia University in 1994, teaching methods classes and supervising several cadres of student teachers, working with Dr. Joe Mannion until 2010.
Rosemary always believed in the value of travel as a part of education, organizing and leading several student trips to Washington DC, and co-leading two European student tours.
Her 2016 book “R is for Recess” is illustrated by Susie Deagle, edited by David Kohl, and published by Spirit Press; copies available through Amazon.com, or at her Memorial gathering.
Three sons rejoice in calling her “mom” and celebrate her dedicated support in their careers as runners, artists, craftsmen, and parents – Christopher, David, and John. Grandchildren Jourdan, Oliver, and Malcolm all reside in Portland. Husband Dale and his daughters, Lynn Magoon (Shaun) and Alyssa Zynda (Russell), supported her through her final years of health challenges. Rosemary’s parents, brother Wendel, and nephew Eric preceded her in death. She is survived by nephew Dan Tibbetts.