George Henry Dingledy, 99

Former Wabash mayor George Henry Dingledy, age 99, died unexpectedly March 26, 2023 in Indianapolis. 
He was born on November 26, 1923, and grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. He was one of six children born to Frederick and Florence (Moran) Dingledy.
Dingledy was drafted into the U.S. Army at age 19 and joined the 164th Infantry (American Division.) He landed on the Solomon Islands on Christmas Day 1943.  The unit moved in January 1945 to the Philippine Islands (where MacArthur landed) and then to Cebu Island; both places were Japanese strongholds. World War II ended on September, 1945 and Dingledy, was sent to occupy Japan.
Following his discharge after 33 months of active duty in the Pacific Theater, Staff Sgt. Dingledy used the GI Bill of Rights to attend college. Through a visit to the hometown of a fellow student at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, he met the student’s sister Rita Ann Fedewa whom he married in 1948. He graduated from the University of Tampa in 1950.  Dingledy was employed as a sales representative for the Sunbeam Corporation from 1951-1958, in Jacksonville, Detroit and Memphis. He moved to Wabash, in 1958 when he bought the Fedewa Appliance Store with his brother-in-law Tom Fedewa from his father-in-law Arthur Fedewa.
For the next 30 years, Dingledy served his community in a variety of ways. He was president of the Retail Division of the Chamber of Commerce, and also president of the Wabash County United Fund.  Dingledy was named the Chamber’s Distinguished Citizen in 1974. Dingledy was a strong supporter of education, serving eight years on the Wabash City Schools board and six on the board of the Upper Wabash Vocational School.  He was also on the board of directors and an officer of the Wabash Valley Dance Theater, as well as president of the Honeywell Swim Team Booster Club for two terms.
He was a long-time member of the Wabash Toastmasters Club where he served as president, and also served as commander of Post 286, VFW. Dingledy was an avid reader and especially enjoyed history. With this in mind, he became the Oral History Project Director, compiling oral histories of local citizens in Wabash for the public library. These included veterans of wars from the Spanish-American through Vietnam. When he moved to Indianapolis in 1989, there were over 100 accounts on file documenting the city’s history.
During 1979 Dingledy served as president of the Indiana Oral History Roundtable. Dingledy served four years on the Wabash Carnegie Public Library board of directors, including one as president. In addition, he was a member of the board of directors of the historical society for many years. Dingledy joined Rotary in 1958, and served as President of the Wabash Rotary Club. Dingledy was Rotary District Governor from 1987-1988 in Rotary Zone 30 and was a member of the Rotary Council of Past District Governors. Dingledy remained an active member until his passing. He was the oldest active Rotarian WWII veteran in the state of Indiana. Dingledy served as Mayor of Wabash, Indiana from 1979-83. For this and his other community, business and military service, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb honored Dingledy last August with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award.
He was survived by his three children, John (Carol) Dingledy of Columbus, Thomas (Lucy) Dingledy of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., and James Dingledy of Indianapolis; seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Dingledy was preceded in death by his parents, his wife (1924-2006), son George Henry Dingledy II (1953-1981) and daughter Christine Thieroff (1952-2020).
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 31, 2023, at the Chapel of Remembrance Mausoleum at Memorial Lawns Cemetery in Wabash, with Father Jay Horning officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Lawns Cemetery. Friends may call from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Service, 1241 Manchester Ave., Wabash.
The preferred memorial is the Wabash Carnegie Public Library.

Posted on 2023 Mar 29