Russell E. Dybvik

July 7, 1937 - July 4, 2017
Russell E. Dybvik

Veteran professional journalist Russell E. Dybvik died peacefully at home July 4, 2017. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Christiane. He is survived by daughter, Catherine Henry (Peter), son, Terry Dybvik (Catherine), sisters, Sandra Dybvik and Althea Greenfield, sister-in-law, Nicole Vangheluwe, two grandchildren, one niece and five nephews.

Born July 7, 1937 in Astoria, OR, Russ was inducted into Knappa High School’s “Wall of Fame” in 2008, an honor bestowed on outstanding graduates who have made significant contributions to society.

Russ received his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1959 from Oregon State College.

His career began with United Press International in Portland, OR and San Francisco. In 1960, in Djakarta, Indonesia, he became the youngest foreign bureau chief in UPI history, and met the love of his life, Christiane.

Russ served in the U.S. Army (1962-64) and received the Army Commendation Medal for his service in Germany.

Russ worked for: Radio Free Europe in Munich and Brussels; Voice of America in Washington D.C.; and as chief diplomatic correspondent for the U.S. Information Agency. He visited 54 countries, while traveling with secretaries of state and presidents until his retirement in 1995.

Russ and Chris retired to Wilmington in 1997.  He had been passionate and active with golf, Men’s Group, Writers’ and Discussion Groups.  He served on the board of directors of Delphi and his HOA.

A celebration of Russ’ life will be held at 2 PM Friday July 7, 2017 at the Wilmington Funeral and Cremation Chapel, 1535 S. 41st Street.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Russ’ name to Kids Making It, Inc., 617 Castle Street, Wilmington, NC 28401.

Share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Condolence” tab.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st St., Wilmington, NC 28403  910-791-9099.


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  • July 05, 2017
    Kurt Hess says:
    Russ was an exceptional man. As in his writing he was a master at communicating; succinct, honest, clear. My thoughts are with you all. Please let me know if I can do anything

  • July 05, 2017
    Pete Henry says:
    I lost one of my true heroes. It was an honor and pleasure to have known you Russ-- a national treasure, friend, and mentor. I know you are now back with your loving wife Chris. God Speed and Rest In Peace.

  • July 06, 2017
    Sam Robinson says:
    Dear Dybvik Family and Friends, I served as a staff writer under Russ in 1964-5 when he was Editor of our weekly newspaper, the 4th Armored Division "Rolling Review," in Goeppingen, Germany. Russ was a professional journalist who had been drafted into the Army -- a master of the discipline even in his mid-twenties. It was Russ who taught me, and a number of other young soldiers, the basics newspaper copy, as straight news, features, sports and editorial writing. He trained and mentored us not only how to write copy, but how to format our pieces, which stories were newsworthy, how to edit and lay out the material, etc., etc., etc. Russ assigned the stories, critiqued our work, and helped us tailor them to fit available space, always in a firm but gentle way. He had very high standards of journalism, even for the captive audience of soldiers in our Division. The paper was printed weekly and had, I think, a circulation of about 15,000 readers. Under Russ' editorship, it won awards for quality of writing, editing, layout, etc., several times, just during my service there. We worked mostly normal hours Monday-Wednesday, but Thursday was always a 12-hour (or more) day when we wrapped up our stories, layout, etc. for printing, then headed to the NWZ (Goeppingen's German newspaper which printed ours) to proofread and finish the paper for publication. It was always a pretty stressful day for all, and Russ always brought us through it with perseverance and equanimity. He set a standard for us all, not just journalistically, but in terms of personal conduct as well. Russ and I stayed in touch intermittently over the years, as he continued his professional career in Europe and in the States. Kris and Russ stopped through Chattanooga to spend a night with Sally and me several years ago, as they coursed from the Southwest back home to Wilmington. That visit reaffirmed for me and confirmed for Sally the respect and friendship which I had felt for Russ and talked about with her over the many years since the Army. It was also a pleasure to get reacquainted with Kris, who had always seemed to me the perfect partner for Russ. I want to close this small history by saying that Russ Dybvik was an inspiration to me. He was a newspaperman who, for me and others, set a high standard for the profession of journalism. He was an unpretentious man of principle, whom I always found able to act with measured response even in times of stress. I do not remember a single instance when he was not kind yet highly professional in his treatment of those of us who worked under his supervision. Russ and Kris invited us to Wilmington to follow up on our visit in Chattanooga. I regret to say that we simply never made the time or saw the urgency in making the trip out to the coast. Though we had continued to stay in touch, mainly through Russ’ Christmas epistles, I just didn’t realize or understand that he was seriously ill. Too late, I now wish that we had made the trip. At this point, Russ would say, “ Too many words, Sam. Cut it by half.” Sorry, Boss, I haven’t even really gotten going yet with this one. In closing, to all Russ’ friends and family, both for him and for wonderful wife, Kris, please accept Sally’s and my deepest condolences and sympathy for the loss of these two wonderful people from your, and our, lives. We, like you, are heartened that they are now together. Sam & Sally Robinson

  • July 06, 2017
    Alberta Ross says:
    Terry, I am sorry to hear about your loss. Please accept my deepest condolences. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. Please let me know if you need anything. Blessings

  • July 06, 2017
    Cindy R Johnson says:
    I simply have no words. I will miss him so much. My heart is with you all. I will take some time tomorrow and think of Uncle Russ and you all. His was a life well-lived.