passing of the Gentle Wolf:
January 20, 1954 – July 15, 2003
August 14th, family, friends and members of the CEDU
community gathered at Rocky Mountain Academy’s pond
to celebrate the life and comfort each other over
the loss of their beloved friend and mentor, Mare
(Mary Ellen) Dubovich.
reminisced about this pioneer in the field of wilderness
education and emotional growth, describing her huge
impact on their lives and the lives of many adolescents.
Sitting in a large semi-circle facing Mare’s pictures
and inspirational writings, they shared laughter,
tears, and anecdotes about Mare’s incisive ability
to influence both counselors and students alike.
They spoke of her gentle, compassionate and relentless
insight that enabled her to lovingly and powerfully
engage each person in conversations that immediately
surpassed the superficial, delving to the essence
of the issue at hand.
on August 16, friends and relatives from around the
country gathered at the Twin Rivers Campground at
the confluence of the Kootenai and Moyie Rivers,
to bid Mare farewell, sending her their thoughts
and prayers symbolized by the rose petals they scattered
on the river’s shore. The trail of rose petals spread
out across the river as did her influence, to all
Mare worked with CEDU for 22 years, beginning on Jan
19, 1981. The following year she and her husband, Dan
Krmpotich, moved to North Idaho from Running Springs,
California as part of the “magnificent seven” who created
the vision of “See and Do” at the new school, The Rocky
Mountain Academy. She helped develop their wilderness
and emotional growth program, preferring to stay close
to the kids and the woods rather than administration.
Earlier this year the wilderness office building she
inhabited for all those years was named “Mare’s Lodge”.
was also a co-founder and director of Kidsview, later
known as Woodhaven, a small experientially-based
private preschool, elementary and middle school.
After ten years, economic hardship forced its closure
and Mare became an active volunteer at the public
schools where her children, Luka, Anya and Micah
longtime friend who spoke at the CEDU gathering,
still stunned that Mare’s tremendous tenacity and
strength finally met its match by the ravages of
cancer, remarked that it only made sense that Mare
would go first -- to do re-con for the rest of us!
Meanwhile we all can continue to gain inspiration
from Mare’s powerful example of loving service to
others, a love of life and deep joy in the beauty
of the wilderness.