CAPE VINCENT, NY — Doris A. Dingman, 88, of Cape Vincent and Charleston, SC, passed away July 8, 2020, at Samaritan Hospital after a brief illness.
She was interred in Riverside Cemetery, Cape Vincent, on the July 17 surrounded by family and friends with the Rev. Donald Briant officiating.
Born April 28, 1932, in Dexter, the daughter of Ona Crouse and Lawrence Allen, she was raised in a loving extended household that included her grandparents Katherine and Roy Crouse and her Uncle Howard Crouse.
Remembered as a somewhat mischievous child, she was raised in challenging times that saw an entire world at war. While helping with a family business located near Baggs Corners, she witnessed the many troop movements that took place between Madison Barracks and Pine Camp. She recalled fondly the time a platoon of soldiers surrounded their fruit stand and confronted her mother and grandmother. A young Doris had raised the American flag that morning, upside down, a signal of distress. She saw her father leave for the beaches in Normandy and her Uncle Howard for the islands in the Pacific.
After graduating from Dexter High School in 1949, she entered the New York State Teachers College at Potsdam. Her future husband, Donald R Dingman, was in Potsdam attending Clarkson College. They were married early in 1953. Donald was in the Army and Navy ROTC programs in college and chose the Navy upon graduation. Doris watched her new husband deploy in support of the Korean War.
Doris and Donald had three children; Allen, William and Amy. They raised their family in Carthage with William and Amy going off to college. Doris accompanied her oldest son, Allen, to a military induction center where he would deploy in support of the war in Vietnam. In a familiar theme, Doris would support all four of her grandsons, as they served in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. Doris suffered several tragedies in her life. Donald passed away at the age of 40 and later, Amy at age 26 was killed in an auto accident. Her granddaughter Katherine, aged 26, also passed away. Throughout her life she was able to cope and adapt to incredible periods of sadness.
Teaching music to countless children over three decades at the Carthage Elementary School brought her joy. She was well recognized for the concerts she orchestrated, especially the productions in the grand auditorium of the old Carthage Elementary building.
Doris received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Potsdam State Teachers College and the State University of New York at Potsdam. She achieved additional graduate degrees from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.
After retiring from teaching, Doris owned and operated two small businesses with her second husband, John Petrus until his death. She ultimately retired to Cape Vincent where she spent many years “watching the ships go by”.
She spent time volunteering in several organizations, Cape Vincent Lighthouse Historical Society, Cape Vincent Chamber of Commerce and Improvement League and CASA. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Cape Vincent American Legion Auxiliary Unit 832 and a past board member of the Jefferson County Mental Health Association.
Looking for new adventure, she spent the last several years living with her son Allen and his wife Jane. Her travels took her to Texas where she explored the southwest from Fort Worth to the West Texas oil country, the Pecos and the Texas trail system. Ultimately, she accompanied them to Charleston, South Carolina, where she was living at the time of her passing.
Doris was predeceased by her parents, husband Donald, daughter Amy, and granddaughter Katherine. She is survived by her sons and their wives, Allen (Jane Wiley) and William (Dawn Davidson). She is also survived by her grandchildren Erin, Spencer, Lee, Christopher, Ian, nine great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Donations may be made in her memory to the Cape Vincent Lighthouse Historical Society or the Cape Vincent Fire Department and Ambulance Service.
Cards may be sent c/o Dingman, PO Box 368, Cape Vincent, NY 13618.
The family would like to thank Bruce Bezanilla and the staff at Bezanilla-McGraw Funeral Home.