Seventy years to the day after Fred Schnibbe and Verona Montanye got married, they returned to The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center for a celebratory dinner at The Marc, but this time accompanied by sons and daughters-in-law Richard Schnibbe and wife Winnnie Wied of Walla Walla and Dale and Ann Schnibbe of Spokane.
A math major, Fred met English major Verona while attending Walla Walla College, now university. Their friendship blossomed into marriage after she graduated in 1948. They wed on June 20, 1948, at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, now Village Hall, in College Place.
The first night of their honeymoon was spent at the Marcus Whitman Hotel. Their honeymoon continued at Wallowa Lake Lodge.
Born on Dec. 7, 1923, in College Place, Verona mostly grew up on a large family cattle ranch in the Colville National Forest area between Tonasket and Republic, Wash. Meanwhile Fred grew up in Queens and Brooklyn, N.Y., the latter where he was born on July 14, 1925. He served 21/2 years in the U.S. Army, mostly in Europe during World War II, then went to WWC.
Verona worked in the WWC registrar’s office until Fred graduated in 1950 and then they headed to California so Fred could study medicine at the College of Medical Evangelists, now Loma Linda University. Verona again worked in the school’s registrar’s office.
Fred graduated from medical school in 1954 and interned at Portland Adventist Hospital. He set up his practice in Twisp, Wash., then moved the family to Brewster, Wash., where with two other physicians he formed Community Medical Center.
Verona combined homemaking with part-time reporting for the local weekly newspaper and for her church’s regional monthly, “The Gleaner.” Fred retired in 1994, but maintained his license and occasionally assisted with surgeries.
In 2005 they left Brewster to retire in College Place. They continue to contribute to their church and community. In fact, they volunteered their services respectively in ambulatory and receptionist capacities at Walla Walla General Hospital until its recent closure.
They currently enjoy the company of many longtime and recent acquaintances, visits from and to Northwest family and friends.
Fred and Verona’s son Robert Schnibbe died in 1994. They have a third daughter-in-law, Dee Ann Schnibbe of Wenatchee; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.