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 06, 2017
    Marie Glass and Sqmmie Guy says:
    Dear Terry and "Cat", We are so very sorry about Russ's passing. He and Chris were such a bright spot in our Lake Barcroft neighborhood! They have left us with such fond memories of times together with our friends. We have sincerely missed them! Hopefully they are now together in spirit. Our hearts go out to you. They were special people, as you know! Marie Glass and Sammie Guy

  • July 06, 2017
    Patricia (Pat) Biggs says:
    Russ, Roger Widness and I were the seniors on the Barometer staff (Oregon State student newspaper) in 1959. We really were like the 3 Musketeers. We got the paper out on time even when things were a bit hectic! I've followed Russ' career over the years and had the pleasure of meeting Chris when they came to a class reunion at OSU. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a good friend and I'll miss our Christmas exchanges. Rest in Peace, old friend, and know how much we respected and admired you. And to his family -- hold onto your memories. No one really dies until the last person who remembered you is gone!

  • July 07, 2017
    Gerry Versis says:
    Terry and Family, With many thoughts and deepest sympathy at a time like this. May memories of your father bring peace to your heart.

  • July 10, 2017
    Julia Hasley says:
    Sending many prayers for strength for the Dybvik family during this difficult time.

  • July 17, 2017
    Ralph Begleiter says:
    Although it’s a long time ago, I still feel an enormous debt to Russ for his mentorship as I joined the diplomatic press corps in the early 1980s. There was a new Secretary of State, George Shultz, but the State Department had a bewildering array of rules, traditions, customs and procedures for its daily interaction with journalists. I felt tremendously outgunned at the time - a newbie reporting for upstart Chicken Noodle News (CNN), competing with experienced legends like Marvin Kalb (CBS/NBC), Barrie Dunsmore (ABC), Bernie Gwertzman (NYT), Barry Schweid (AP) and others. My cubicle in the press room was adjacent to Russ’ USIA booth, and I learned quickly and massively from observing Russ magically transform the hodgepodge of daily diplomatic statements (called “guidance” by the department’s staff) into a comprehensive, coherent and meaningful daily "report" to American diplomats abroad. He would occasionally allow me to read his text, which helped me discern connections between “today’s” diplo-speak and yesterday’s or even yesteryear’s. Russ introduced me to the most effective techniques for unearthing truth in American diplomacy. Even more importantly, Russ instilled-by-example a fundamental trust in the spirit and the souls of most American career Foreign Service officers. Even when we were skeptical of policy pronouncements, he taught me, we could be certain of the motives of the public servants who labored to represent American interests in every region of the world. There was never a time when Russ ignored or sidestepped my questions. Never a time he dismissed me as “small potatoes” in the press corps stew. As CNN’s importance grew - and my own role changed through the ‘80s and ‘90s, Russ remained the best of friends, always ready with sound advice, appreciation, and sometimes consolation. Mentorship doesn’t get any better than that!