It is with great sadness that the family of Henry “Hank” Dingemans announce his passing. He was surrounded by many loved ones when he lost a tough battle with cancer on March 21, 2019 at the age of 69. Hank will be dearly missed by his daughters, Cassie and Jamie, as well as his granddaughters, Lauren and Chloe. He is survived by his siblings, Lola, Dennis, Karen, Carroll, and Anita, who will always hold his memory in their hearts. Hank also leaves behind his best friend, Eileen and her son Aaron.
Hank's story is an adventurous one. It began in a small town in Minnesota, and led him to Ripon, Wisconsin; Flagstaff, AZ and eventually Cottonwood, AZ. He accomplished many great things in his life. He graduated from Ripon College in Wisconsin with a degree in Biology, attended graduate school at Northern Arizona University and returned to school again to earn his teaching credentials. He tried his hand in many lines of work: as a farm hand, grocer, bar-tender, convenience store manager, real estate advertiser, and teacher. Hank had marriages with two wonderful women, Shelby and Kelley, and went on to be the most fun Dad and coolest Grandpa that anyone could ask for.
But anyone who knew Hank knows that the places he lived and achievements he accomplished weren't all that made him the remarkable person that we sorely miss. We miss that same haircut he had his entire adult life, his Hawaiian shirts and yellow polos, his strong arms and cowboy boots. We miss the way he could make conversation with absolutely anyone – he never knew a stranger. We miss his smile and crystal blue eyes; the way he would greet you, saying “It's so good to see you!”, and always meant it.
Hank lived life with zeal, striving to “have more fun” and advising others to do the same. He loved road-tripping, traveling, sports, and card games. Hank was a hiker, camper, bicyclist, rock-hound, birder, bug-expert, and gardener. He was also a scientist, a collector, and a conservationist. He loved to read Arizona Highways magazine, listen to NPR, and watch PBS and Seinfeld.
Hank had so many passions and hobbies and constantly sought to know more, do more and see more. He was a thoughtful optimist with a huge heart, a true friend, and real jokester. He was one of the most well-rounded human beings we will ever know.
A Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday June 15th at 9:30 AM at Dead Horse State Park in Cottonwood. Guests are invited to wear yellow or a Hawaiian shirt in the spirit of Hank.
If you'd like to remember Hank, we ask that memorial contributions be made in Hank's name to Friends of the Verde River, Lowell Observatory, NPR, PBS or the McDonald Observatory at the University of Texas.