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School 07


Janet (Zickler) DiBello

February 15, 1943 ~ March 8, 2019 (age 76)

Surrounded by the comfort of her family, Janet Zickler Di Bello (02-15-1943) of Montgomery, NY moved to the elusive and greener pastures of the Lord, on (03-08-2019).  As the daughter and granddaughter of proud Orange County Dairy Farmers and dedicated Public School Teachers, Janet was as comfortable on a Farmall Tractor as she was teaching the merits of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes ofWrath” to the students of the Valley Central High School.

In the role of The Public School Teacher, Zickler women found it a short walk from the dairy to the classroom:  Vivian Zickler Christian 30 years, Newburgh CitySchools,; Mina Law Zickler, a renowned 30 years Greenville’s one-room school house,  Susan Zickler Vanderburgh, 32 years Valley Central Schools,, a legendary first grade teacher Alexandria Zickler, 50 years, Montgomery Central School.  Daughter, Laurie-Kay Lare Hoeffner continues a dedicated family’s mission at Cornwall Central.

Janet was a graduate of the State University of New York, New Paltz (1965). Afterthree years of teaching at Newburgh Free Academy, she took a short hiatus for child care.  A member of the National Honor Society, Janet was a 1961 graduate ofValley Central High School.  She returned to her true love VC, teaching literature for an additional 27 years.  She was Advisor to the varsity cheerleading squad, Advisor to the Viking Log (under Janet’s direction an award-winning high school publication and the first to be computer composed and submitted).  Additionally, she was Advisor to the high school’s newspaper, “Viking Voice,” as well as the award-winning literary and art publication “Revelation.”  W. B Yeats’ “Surely some revelation is at hand;”  

Janet was additionally a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Montgomery for a period of sixty-one years, where she served on session for 3 years and was the editor of the church’s newsletter, while knitting hats and mittens for church fairs.  

In the days of conservative school budgets, Janet taught many of the cheerleading squad members to knit (an additional passion of Janet’s).  That summer the squad knitted its own VC sweaters for the approaching football season.  Included in her extensive repertoire were heirloom-quality knitted dolls.  Some shipped to locations as remote as São Paulo, Brazil.  Similarly, at Valley Central she was a 
major contributor to VC’s once famous Antique and Art Show.  She frequently was in charge of the kitchen and refreshment area.  For the farm girl, who loved those square dances at Cronomer Valley, Janet was “Country!”  She could never get way from agriculture and was co-owner and most ambitious field hand of Riverview Acres, a purveyor of organic vegetables and a noted participant in New York’s City’s Green Market.  Pardon the use of a hackneyed cliché, “You could take Janet off the farm, but you could never take the farm out of Janet!”

As retirement appeared on her horizon, it became more noticeable: Janet was a diversified individual who branched into activities she found to be of interest, i.e., travel to exotic tropical islands in the dead of winter.  Thus, she and a life-long friend opened Montgomery Travel, an agency she eventually owned and at its conclusion was its C.E.O.  

Janet Zickler Di Bello is survived by her husband Joseph. A. Di Bello, brother JackZickler, Afton, NY; children: Scott W. Lare, wife Molsey, and children Jayen and Kayla; Laurie-Kay Lare Hoefner, husband Thomas, and children Sarah and Daniel;Laura Di Bello and children Elsia Pisana and Sophia Pisana; and Lisa Di Bello.    

She was predeceased by her parents George E. and Mina Law Zickler; her siblings George Zickler “Sonny,” Chestertown; Alexandria Zickler Murray (Sis) Bible Hill,NS; Vivian Zickler Christian, Montgomery and Bruce G. Zickler, Montgomery.  

For high school principals of a mostly forgotten golden era:  Janet Zickler Di Bellowas the kind of teacher you hired and then got out of her way!

Accolades are due Kim Eck, LPN, and the dedicated staff of the staff of the Montgomery Nursing Home, a safe harbor where Janet was welcomed by its kindhearts and gentle people for a period of 6 years.  She will be missed by nieces and nephews, her beyond-the-call BFF, Carol Brown Moore and her family’s unrelenting friend and caregiver Joy LaRiviere.  “Surely some revelation is at hand;” for a greater misfortune falls on those students who will never know her wit, work ethic, charm and some of the dumbest puns ever known.
There will be no visitation.  Planned for Saturday, May 25, at 2:00 PM, is a memorial celebration of Janet’s life at the Goodwill Evangelical Presbyterian Church.  It is the strictest wish of Janet and the family that contributions, be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 8th Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001, in lieu of flowers. 

Donations may be made to:

Alzheimer's Foundation of America
322 8th Avenue, 7th Floor, New York NY 10001

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