Seventy years to the day after Fred Schnibbe and Verona Montanye got married, they returned to the Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center in Walla Walla, Wash., for a celebratory dinner at The Marc, this time accompanied by their sons and daughters-in-law.
A math major, Fred met English major Verona while attending Walla Walla College (now University). They wed on June 20, 1948, at the College Church, now Village Hall, in College Place, Wash. The first night of their honeymoon was spent at the Marcus Whitman Hotel. Their honeymoon continued at Wallowa Lake Lodge.
Born Dec. 7, 1923, in College Place, Verona mostly grew up on a family cattle ranch in the Colville National Forest area between Tonasket and Republic, Wash. Meanwhile Fred grew up in Queens and Brooklyn, N.Y., where he was born July 14, 1925. He learned X-ray while serving during World War II in the U.S. Army, mostly in Europe. His sister had followed a favorite teacher, H.J. Alcock, west to Walla Walla College and she persuaded Fred to follow. While studying pre-med, he took X-ray call at Walla Walla General and St. Mary’s hospitals.
Verona graduated in 1948 and continued to work in the registrar’s office until Fred graduated in 1950. They moved to Loma Linda, Calif., where he had been accepted to study medicine at the College of Medical Evangelists, now Loma Linda University. For three years he continued taking X-ray call, then in his senior year did extern work for a medical group in nearby Burbank.
Verona worked in the registrar’s office until the day before going to the hospital for the birth of their first son. Later she typed medical manuscripts at home for two physicians.
Fred graduated from medical school in 1954 and interned at Portland (Ore.) Adventist Hospital. He started practice in Twisp, Wash., where the patients started coming to the house before the new arrivals had even unpacked.
Their son Bob was ready to start church school when doctors Harold Stout and Harold Lamberton invited Fred to join them in a partnership — the Community Medical Center — in Brewster, Wash., in 1958.
Verona combined homemaking with part-time reporting for the local weekly newspaper, for the Civil Air Patrol and for the Gleaner.
When the Brewster Church congregation decided to build a church (the school gymnasium served dual purpose for years), Fred was named chair of the building committee. The new church was dedicated in 1969.
Fred retired in 1994 but maintained his license and occasionally assisted with surgeries.
In 2008, they left their Hidden Pines Ranch in Brewster to retire in College Place, where they are enjoying many longtime and recent acquaintances and visits from and to Northwest family and friends, as well as volunteering at Walla Walla University's Havstad Alumni Center.
Fred and Verona’s family includes Richard Schnibbe and Winnie Wied of Walla Walla; Dale and Ann Schnibbe of Spokane, Wash.; Robert Schnibbe, died in 1993; daughter-in-law, DeeAnn Schnibbe of Wenatchee, Wash.; 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.