Dick was born July 2, 1925, in Fordyce, Neb., to Guy and Opal (Collier) Clabaugh. The family lived in Belden, Neb., where he started attending school at age 4. While still in elementary school, the family relocated to Arvada, Wyo., where Dick graduated from high school at 16.
Too young to join the military during WWII,he, his father and an uncle went to work in the shipyards in Vancouver, Wash. When the shipyards found out his real age, they fired him, but by then he was old enough to join the military. In 1943, he enlisted in the Navy as an aviation cadet, but the war ended before he could be sent overseas. During his Naval air training he attended numerous schools and developed a love for learning and education.
Upon being honorably discharged, he attended the University of Wyoming, graduating with a bachelor of science degree in 1950. He took a teaching position in Encampment, where he met his wife, Margaret May Herring. They were married on March 1, 1952. In 1954, they moved to Lusk, where he had taken another teaching position.
In 1956, after receiving a master's degree from the University of Wyoming, Dick went to work for UW as an extension officer assigned to Northwest Community College in Powell. After working for UW for a short time, he went to work for the community college. In 1971, he received his doctor of education degree from Texas A&M University.
During his time at at NWCC, Dick taught numerous subjects and retired in 1986 as an associate dean of vocational education.
He loved teaching, and he often worked summers as a carpenter, yet he always found time to take his family camping and fishing – something he enjoyed throughout his life.
He was a member of the Wyoming Vocational Teachers Hall of Fame, a life member of the National Education Association and Wyoming Education Association, a past president of the Powell FOE Club and a member of St. John‘s Episcopal Church.
His parents and three brothers preceded him in death.
Dick is survived by his wife of 58 years, Margaret; children Curtis Clabaugh, Robin Inman (Chuck) and David Clabaugh, all of Cheyenne; Hollie Bruner (Tim) of Ryegate Mont.; brother Garnet Clabaugh (Jackie) of Green Valley, Ariz.; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church, on Wednesday , March 10 at 10 a.m.
Memorials may be to St. John's Episcopal Church or to the Grand Encampment Museum in Encampment.