By J1 reporter Nina McMullen
At one point or another, every Marian girl has run into Mr. Billy Deibler. Whether it’s a broken iPad, a passing in the hallway or your teacher’s broken projector, Mr. Deibler was consistently around to lend a helping hand.
Despite the short interactions, Deibler’s backstory isn’t widely known among Marian students. As Deibler’s time here at Marian comes to an end, it’s the origins of that story where a Halmark-esque love story waits to be told.
Deibler had lived his whole life in the small town of Garner, Iowa, but after one fateful night, “15 months and 45,000 miles,” as he describes it, would lead him here, to Omaha. His long distance relationship with his now wife begins as any typical feel-good romance does—at a Christmas party.
“I had a buddy who had a nice Christmas party every year,” Deibler explains. He had driven the 4-hour trek to Omaha unbeknownst that he was soon to meet his future wife, Becky. Through a strange twist of fate, Becky’s boss lived across the street from the famous Christmas party. “She actually got invited to meet another guy,” Deibler said, “but he turned out to not be as cool as me.”
Deibler goes on to say, “Somehow I got her number.” He then reveals that “literally the Monday night afterwards, we talked on the phone for three hours and we did that every night for 15 months.” Alright, cue the awwhhs. As all good things do, everything just fell into place. These sweet beginnings turned into Deibler packing up his bags and heading to Omaha.
Deibler reveals that he “was 30 years old and had lived in literally the same two houses in the same town [his] whole life.” The decision to move hours from home seems daunting, but Deibler said that his wife “was the lead pediatric nurse at Nebraska Medicine, so it made more sense for me to come here.” As he searched for a new job, it seemed like all signs were pointing to his current position as the Technology Director at Marian. “My coworker emailed me this job because he knew I wanted to be in Omaha.” Later that night, his “girlfriend, now wife, found the same one.”
After calling Marian home for the last nine years, Deibler has seen everything from the first Marian iPads, to the chaos of COVID. When he started in 2013, “they had decided they were doing iPads for the first time.” He explains the many long nights and confusion that ensued when the now-second-nature iPads were first rolled out.
As for the technology changes that came with the COVID 19-pandemic, it’s actually a funny story. Deibler recalls being on a vacation to Mexico when the decision was made to go remote, “so Dr. Genoways helped out a lot.” Through all the little hiccups, Deibler was able to adapt. Plus, he adds, “It was kind of fun, when you think back on it.”
There tends to be a bit of shell shock for anyone new to the Marian traditions, and Deibler is no exception. “I absolutely love Marian. I knew nothing about it when I first started.” And as for the tradition that’s on everyone’s mind, Deibler said, “I still can’t explain what Field Day is, but I love it! It’s awesome!”
As this crazy ride comes to an end for Deibler, this won’t be the last time he’ll have a connection to Marian. Deibler and his wife, Becky, will “hopefully be back as Marian parents someday.” Their daughter, Brynlee, will be walking these halls in the future as a member of the Class of 2033. Their son, Bennett, however, will probably not have the privilege of calling himself a Marian grad.
Finally, Deibler mentions that he “has loved [his] time here and will miss the people the most—both students and the faculty/staff.” As for what’s next, Diebler was offered an IT manager job at the H&H auto group. As his last day on Monday, April 11 came and went, he explained how he “will carry this job with him to anywhere else” he may work.
Here at Marian, not all hope is lost for the girls with the broken iPads and faulty projectors. The TARS are available in the Haddix to lend a helping hand. And when all is said and done, Deibler will never forget what brought him here to Omaha, concluding by saying, “you’ll do crazy things for love.”