Smith Funeral Homes & Crematory Ltd.
Michelle Lynn Dilbeck (née Hart), 62, of Grandview, passed away on January 25, 2022. Nicknamed by her father, she was exclusively known as “Mickey” to all who loved her.
She was born to the late Harold Keith and Margarette Joanne Hart, May 15, 1959, in Prosser, Washington. Their house in Mabton was full of love, chaos, five pretty sisters and an average-looking older brother.
Michelle graduated high school and married the love of her life, Rex Dilbeck in 1977. She was engaged at the young age of 17 and they had a very yellow wedding on July 23, 1977 at the Grace Brethren Church in Sunnyside. They must have known then that they would never have enough years together and needed to start their life together as quickly as possible. Rex and Michelle welcomed their beautiful blue-eyed daughter, Stacey Brooke, in 1979.
Michelle was not one to wait. She found love early in life and also found her first job in the 5th grade. Clearly, she just wanted to get a jump on every aspect of life. She did everything from cutting asparagus to helping run her parents’ motel to bookkeeping at Albrecht Glass. Most of her professional life was spent in partnership with Rex co-owning Columbia River Steel and Construction alongside John and Sylvia Flodin. She and Rex retired in August 2019 and promptly went on a three-week European vacation all thanks to sister Jan’s and her husband Dale’s invitation. All retirements should start off like theirs. Her life was eventful and accomplished, but none of these events or endeavors truly defined her. She is better remembered, and loved, by the ways in which she navigated life’s journey.
Our family sends our regrets to anyone that never witnessed Mickey’s dance moves. We are not sure if it was because she was a drummer in her high school marching band or the captain of the cheerleading squad, but she always had rhythm. Mickey also always had great hair, thanks to her good friend/stylist Thuy Youngblood. She looked great in leathers and boots while riding behind Rex on their Harley. She was his lifetime co-pilot: be that bike, classic car, boat or her favorite — first class. Mickey was a loyal friend who loved the good things of life: a good trip, a good time, a good meal, a good cocktail, a good laugh, and more than her fair share of good mischief.
Mickey may have been lucky in love, but she was dealt a losing hand in health. From being diagnosed with the relatively unknown lupus in the early 80’s, to having heart and kidney disease and finally breast cancer in 2017. Yet through it all she rarely complained in life — unless it was that her steak wasn’t well done (breaking the hearts of chefs across two continents).
Michelle was loved deeply by her parents, husband, daughter, and grandchildren. Michelle was the proudest mother, aunt, and grandma. And for that great love, there simply are no words.
Michelle is survived by her loving husband, Rex. She is also survived by daughter Stacey (Dana) Sveum; grandchildren Avery Michelle and Katherine Brooke Sveum. She is also survived by four sisters and their families: Randle (James) Sharpe, Kiley (Brendan) Warren, Colby and Ashlyn Warren, and John Sharpe; Billie (Bruce) Miller, Christine Miller and Cody, Megan and Jackson; Jannette (Dale) Smith, Shane (Miranda) Smith, Kaden and Kyler; Samantha (Jordan) Hopper and Jameson; Carol (Dennis) Schnell, Dylan Hart and Jordyn Schnell. Her special friends that will remember her are Vickie Roberts, Thuy Youngblood, Shelley Albrecht, and her first true friend Merrily Bjerkestrand. She is going to be missed by Dorothy and Ed Houser, Jack and Sande Dilbeck, Debbie Girard, Sandy and Ron Price, LaVon Huff and her many nieces, nephews, the Columbia River Steel crew and dear friends, especially her Harley riding ones.
Michelle is preceded in death by her parents, Harold Keith and Margarette Joanne “Jo” Hart; her smart-ass brother that truly was handsome Daniel Hart; niece Sarah Hart; good friend Brian Kris Roberts; and many loved uncles and aunts.
A service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, January 31, 2022, at Smith Funeral Home in Grandview. Everyone that is healthy and well is welcome to attend. Please mask up and bring your stories and memories to share. In lieu of flowers, donations to Tri-Cities Cancer Center are requested. The family wishes to thank Michelle’s medical care team of Dr. Gamboa, Michelle Froh, Dr. Suero, Dr. Rawat, Jeannette Hart, and the palliative team. Those wishing to sign Michelle’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home Grandview is in care of arrangements.