Dr. Hans Dibbern

Obituary of Dr. Hans Herbert Dibbern


November 15, 1923 - October 29, 2023

50 Year Resident of Santa Cruz

A private committal service with military honors will be held in San Diego for Dr. Hans Dibbern who passed away at Dominican Hospital, just two weeks before celebrating his 100th birthday. 

Born in Kiel, Germany, Hans moved to Long Beach, California with his family as a youngster in 1930. He completed his undergraduate studies at U.S.C. and earned his Master’s Degree at California Institute of Technology. Dr. Dibbern later completed medical school at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, earning his M.D. and meeting the love of his life and spouse for more than 60 years, Maria Mathis.

Dr. Dibbern served his country during and after WW II as a paratrooper and later as a US Army medic, primarily in Wiesbaden and Munich, Germany. He subsequently moved returned to California and completed a medical residency in Clinical and Anatomic Pathology at Long Beach Memorial Hospital. 

Retiring from the army and earning the rank of Captain, Hans and Maria moved Northern California and made their home in Santa Cruz in 1963.  Dr. Dibbern worked 30 years as a pathologist on staff at Community Hospital of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County Hospital, and Dominican Hospital.  Hans truly loved his chosen profession and also had a strong interest in community health.  Throughout his career, he held various leadership roles in these hospitals and at the Red Cross.  Dr. Dibbern also served as Medical Staff President at Dominican Hospital, and as President of the Santa Cruz County Medical Society. 

Outside of medicine, Dr. Dibbern had a number of hobbies, foremost among these, travel and photography.  Hans and his wife traveled all over the world, often taking their family with them.  Some of Dr. Dibbern’s favorite and most memorable destinations included Torres del Paine in Chile, Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, and his wife’s home country, Switzerland.
Dr. Dibbern was also an excellent photographer, a hobby he continued well into his retirement and later years.  He particularly enjoyed creating DVDs showcasing his travels and international music, the especially the music of Central Africa, Caribbean, and Central and South America. 

Dr. Dibbern will always be remembered as a devoted husband, father, mentor and trusted colleague.  He is well known for his endless optimism, sense of humor, and sharp wit.

He is survived by his wife Carmen Maria Dibbern, his daughter, Monica Dibbern, daughter and son-in-law, Kirsten and Steve Sprague, son and daughter-in-law, Kurt and Mariam Dibbern and his granddaughter, Delaney Sprague. 

He will be laid to rest with private military honors at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma in San Diego. Please consider an act of charity in his memory to the American Red Cross.