Bruce and Marilyn Dingler have been married for 66 years. Courtesy picture
Dr. Bruce M. Dingler died on January 24
CENTRAL POINT — The town’s beloved dentist, community volunteer, and favorite tennis and golf buddy for many a local over the years, Bruce M. Dingler passed away on Monday, January 24.
Dingler, 88, served on the Central Point City Council in 2018 and has dedicated his time to several entities, including the District 6 School Board, Community Development Commission, City Budget Committee, City Pantry, his church and wherever he found a need.
An avid Oregon Ducks fan, Dingler left behind dozens of friends and family who say they will remember him for his big heart and even greater sense of humor.
His 66-year-old wife, Marilyn Dinger, said while his passing was no surprise, it was still hard to rationalize that her husband of over six decades was really gone.
An example of his kindness came a few weeks ago, when Dingler fell on the couple’s porch trying to pick up the newspaper, despite limited mobility, to save his wife from risking a fall.
“Always take care of everyone else,” she said. Her husband even left notes with dates and other details to facilitate his obituary to his loved ones.
“I have a hard time reading Bruce’s writings, but he wanted to do this to make it easier for me,” she said.
“That was how he was. Always thinking of others.
Born on January 8, 1934, in Klamath Falls, Dingler graduated from Klamath Union High in 1951. An avid tennis player, he attended the University of Oregon on a tennis scholarship while playing for his beloved Ducks.
He started college shortly after graduating from high school, but left after his freshman year to serve in the United States Army in 1952 during the Korean War. After the army, he returned to school and graduated from the University of Oregon Dental School in 1963.
Dingler and his wife married on December 3, 1955, and raised three children. sons born in 1959 and 1960 and a daughter born in 1969. After dental school, he ran a practice in Raleigh Hills, near Portland, for about a year before being offered the opportunity to return to southern Oregon to open what would become its longtime downtown. practice.
Dingler’s eldest son, Brad, remembers accompanying him for nighttime dental emergencies, learning about finances, and his father’s devotion to family and friends.
“Dad taught me a lot about finances when I was very young. He said, ‘Save, save, save.’ He was very practical, but also always ready to help anyone. He was very understanding and compassionate – one of the most selfless individuals,” the son said.
“I remember ordinary things we used to do together, like going to the dump – loading everything into the van and walking down (at the time) Main Street in Jacksonville. We went to cut wood every Saturday. Just having a good time together.
Longtime friend Debbie Saxbury said Dingler was a valued friend who would always offer a helping hand. She said, “Bruce, or ‘Newman’ is what I nicknamed him after the Seinfeld character, was my friend who I deeply respected, and he was a great man who loved this community.”
Central Point City Recorder Deanna Casey said Dingler’s passing was a loss to the entire community.
“Central Point has lost a great man with the passing of Dr. Dingler. He was such a great asset to the city as a member of Central Point Council from 2006 to 2018, ensuring council decisions kept the best interests of the citizens at heart,” Casey said.
Mayor Hank Williams recalled Dingler coaching youth sports over the years, in addition to his many volunteer roles and ubiquitous sense of humor.
“We played golf twice a week with a bunch of other guys. He kept saying that most of the clothes I wore had some sort of bank logo on them, and he said, “If you didn’t wear the stuff with the logos, you wouldn’t have anything to wear.” I’ve been a banker my whole career,” Williams said with a laugh.
“He would give our friend Dr. Olsen the heck out for wearing an (Oregon) Beaver jacket, because Bruce was a dyed-in-the-wool duck.”
Marilyn Dingler said the couple spent most of their married life in Central Point, except for a dozen years in Medford. She said her fondest memories were of family time at a house near Old Stage Road where her husband adored all the wildlife and her years of training their children in the sport. Dingler had a strong faith and was a devoted member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Medford.
She said, “He was a good man. He had strong faith and was always ready to do anything for someone in need. Bruce was very fond of Central Point, and we will all miss him dearly.
Dingler is survived by his three children; Bradley Dingler (Evelyn) from Arizona, Jeffrey Dingler (Rachel) from Portland and Janey Giles (Dan) from Medford; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is also survived by two brothers, Ron Dingler of Medford and Don Reynolds of Ontario, and his sister Margaret Wilding of San Diego.
He was predeceased by his father, Otto Dingler, a stepmother, Lorraine, his sister-in-law Nancy Morrow and his stepdaughter Lori Dingler.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dingler’s memory to the Crater Foundation, PO Box 5172, Central Point, OR 97502.
To donate online, see https://craterfoundation.district6.org/ways-to-help/
Contact freelance writer Buffy Pollock at [email protected]