Mike VanBibber, 52 of South Fayette, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on July 3rd after a one-year battle with glioblastoma brain cancer.
Mike was raised in Pleasant Hills outside of Pittsburgh by his parents, Janet and Larry Van Bibber, and grew up with his two brothers, David and Jeff Van Bibber.
Mike attended Thomas Jefferson High School where he was a multisport athlete. Football was his passion. He was trusted as the senior team captain and awarded the Albert Breisinger Award for most valuable player in 1986.
Mike attended college at Virginia Tech where he was active in Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity. He volunteered regularly with the Ronald McDonald House. Mike earned a degree in 1990 in Mechanical Engineering and during that period met his future wife. Following graduation, Mike moved back to the Pittsburgh area and spent his career working in the steel industry. Mike worked for Weirton Steel, SMS Demag, and, most recently, TMEIC. Some highlights from his career include doing a work rotation in Germany where he and his family lived and traveled to countries around Europe and experienced the culture. Mike published several papers and was also awarded a patent, which is used all over the world and in 20 sites here in the United States.
In 1994, Mike married the love of his life Michelle Daigneau VanBibber in Leesburg, Virginia.
They settled in Imperial, Pennsylvania after marriage and moved to South Fayette in December of 2000 where the family remains today.
Mike was a die-hard fan of the Virginia Tech Hokies, Pittsburgh Steelers, and later South Fayette Lions. Some may say that South Fayette Sports became his obsession, he rarely missed a game. Mike was often chaperone for the Little Green Machine band in which his son Tyler played trumpet. Mike passed his passion of sports and football on to his daughter Helina, who was a kicker for the South Fayette Football Team and is a current collegiate soccer athlete.
Mike was a wonderful father who was very active in cub scouts and boy scouts with his son Tyler, who achieved the rank of Eagle. Mike spent many years coaching youth girls soccer and basketball in South Fayette. He also served as president of both the soccer association and basketball board.
Over the past five years, Mike purchased a sailboat and learned to sail, which gave him great joy. The family enjoyed yearly summer trips to Lake Kerr in Virginia.
While battling brain cancer, Mike realized that the most important aspect of life is relationships. Before his passing, Mike wrote, “my one last gift to you is the understanding that keeping in touch with family and friends and being vulnerable is the secret to happiness.”
Mike is survived by his wife, Michelle VanBibber; son, Tyler VanBibber; daughter, Helina VanBibber; father, Larry Van Bibber, mother Janet Van Bibber (deceased); brothers, Jeff (Angel) Van Bibber and David (Sarah) Van Bibber; four nephews; and one niece. In lieu of flowers, donations to the VanBibber children college fund and Hillman Cancer Center Glioblastoma research are appreciated. The funeral service will be limited to immediate family due to COVID-19. A celebration of life service will be held sometime in the future for friends and family.