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March 14, 2023

Bibber Memorial Chapel CEO dies at the age of 83

Richard Vaughn "Dick" Bibber, a well-known funeral director with Bibber Memorial Chapel, former chairman of the Kennebunk Savings board of trustees, died on March 8 at the age of 83.

Bibber's legacy includes his time as a member of the Kennebunk Board of Selectmen and the town's budget board. He also served for 25 years on the board of trustees of Kennebunk Savings, including chairman of the board and other committees within the bank, retiring from the board in 2015. 

He was an active volunteer within the Kennebunk Fire Department, serving as driver, captain and deputy chief for over 28 years. In the mid-’60s, he attended classes at Harvard University, learned CPR, and completed the 91-hour basic EMT courses. He then taught classes to other emergency responders and businesses in the area.

The funeral home operated the ambulance service for Kennebunk and Kennebunkport for over 40 years before the equipment was donated to the Kennebunkport EMS Department in 1979. 

Bibber was born in Portland, on Sept. 24, 1939, the son of the late Earl V. and Phyllis (Maxham) Bibber. He attended Kennebunkport schools and graduated from Kennebunk High School in 1957. 

Bibber Memorial Chapel was truly the CEO's life’s opus, according to his obituary, and he came into the office every day until just a few weeks before he died of a brief illness. 

"His passion and dedication to serving the community, during one of the most difficult times of people’s lives, has been a model passed on to his sons as well as his dedicated staff," his obituary said. "His legacy will live on."

Bibber Memorial Chapel
Richard Vaughan "Dick" Bibber

Bibber was also a dedicated Mason and Shriner. He was a 50-plus-year member and past master of Arundel Lodge of Masons; a 50-year member of the Maine Consistory 32 degree of all Scottish Rite Bodies Valley of Portland, serving as trustee of that lodge; a 50-year member and past potentate (1997) of Kora Shrine Center of Lewiston; a member and past president of the York County Shrine Club; and a founding member of the Shrine Renegade Unit. 

A member of Kennebunk Rotary for more than half a century, he was honored to be a Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary's highest honor. He was a member of the South Congregational Church and served as a deacon of the church for several years.

While living at the funeral home on Maine Street in Kennebunkport, Bibber was active in the local Boy Scouts Troop, as well as the Arundel Engine Co., now the Kennebunkport Village Fire Department.

His firm is a member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes, where he served as director and president of that national and international organization. Bibber was a member and past president of the Maine Funeral Directors Association and a member of the National Funeral Directors Association as well. 

Bibber expanded the business several times over the years, building a chapel in Wells in 1987, buying a chapel in Berwick in 2002, and, most recently, purchasing Bibber Memorial at Autumn Green in Alfred in 2022.

Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Patricia, of Kennebunk, and two sons, Edward V. Bibber and Douglas R. Bibber, who are both active in the firm. Funeral and Masonic services were held Monday and Tuesday; the complete obituary can be found here. 

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James Hennemann
March 16, 2023

All honor to his name. RIP Brother

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