Ralph ‘Herman’ Dingler Jr., a hard worker who ‘was no stranger’ to the sea

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Ralph 'Herman' Dingler Jr.
Ralph ‘Herman’ Dingler Jr.

On Monday afternoon, Dec. 28, 2015, Ralph “Herman” Dingler Jr., left this world and the pain of cancer, surrounded by his family and wife of 36 years, Janette Dingler.

Born in Lenoir on Feb.  3, 1935, he moved to Carolina Beach in 1941 with his parents, the late Ralph H. Dingler Sr. and Joyce Hamby Dingler. The family was later joined by little brother, James ‘Terry’ Dingler.

From a young age, Herman was never afraid of work and “making a hustle.” He would have several jobs at once, from chasing surf mats, selling fishing boat tickets and lifeguarding, to soda jerking at the Drug Store and running the projector at the Wave Theater

It was while shoveling sand for a few dollars a day that his future father-in-law, Ed Merritt, taught Herman the art of laying brick and block. He married Ed’s daughter Betty Jo, and they soon had two daughters, Toni Dingler, and Susan Dingler. Although the marriage didn’t last, he continued to always be a beloved member of the Merritt family.

Never one to engage in controversy or debate and argue politics and religion, he always had a gentle spirit, and selfless generosity to others. He proudly served our country in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Herman loved to fish, and he was no stranger to the ocean, river and the bay. In between brick jobs, he would shrimp the river, dig clams and knock oysters to feed his girls and to sell. His most enjoyable times were spent on the then undeveloped Bald Head, with his friends and top cohort, the late Seavy Bryant.

Self-employed for 53 years with his partner and dearest friend, the late Randolph Ross, Herman finally retired from masonry, but never from working. He was then able to join his good buddy, Kenneth Batson, in the shrimping business, which brought him much happiness.

Herman has left behind endless great memories for his family and friends: daughters, Toni Wilkes and Susan Dingler and her daughters, Mary Causey, Grace Causey and Margaret Watkins, with great-grandchildren, Shiloh and Michael. He embraced his wife Janette’s children as his own: stepson Lance Agin and his two sons, Will Agin and Kenny Agin, stepdaughter Lia Turner, with her three sons, Nick Turner, Robbie Turner and Cory Turner and stepdaughter Missy Forrestal with her two sons, Zak and Jared Forrestal, and three great-grandchildren. Herman also loved his “adopted” grandson, Bill Brown.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31 at Federal Point Cemetery in Carolina Beach, with chaplain George Nelson officiating.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Carolina Beach Inlet Association would be appreciated.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.

To view the full list of Port City Daily obituaries, click here.