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Friends remember World War II veteran


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    NORTHUMBERLAND, PA (WNEP) — Joe Diblin was a familiar face on Newswatch 16 throughout the years. The Air Force veteran from Northumberland enjoyed sharing his memories of World War II, both good and bad. Diblin died this week from complications with COVID-19 at the age of 103.

“Joe Diblin was a good man.” John Deppen said. “That is the man that I knew, that I loved. I think Joe would want to be remembered as a good man, and that’s the way I will remember him.”

John Deppen of Northumberland has been friends with Diblin for more than 20 years. They met when they were both columnists for the Daily Item newspaper. Diblin wrote about aviation.

“He was a gentleman. He was always a gentleman. I think that the world could use a few more gentlemen like Joe Diblin in these troubled times,” Deppen said.

Diblin graduated from Bucknell University and joined the Air Force in 1941. He was a flight instructor during World War II and trained thousands of men.

“It was almost like living history spending time with him because when he would tell these stories, it wasn’t like you were reading it in a book or watching it on TV. He actually lived through these things,” said State Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver, (R) 108th District.

State Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver frequently went to lunch with Diblin and considered him a friend.

“You never thought about age when you were with him. You did his grace and the way he treated people. That you could tell came from a different time period.”

Joe Diblin had 21 years of military service and was 103 years old.

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