Thomas Jerald “Jerry” Dingler, 75, entered into his heavenly home on October 31, 2023, following a brief battle with cancer.
Jerry was born August 23, 1948, to William Bernise Dingler and Janis Thomas Dingler. He was a 1966 graduate of Quitman High School where he played on the basketball team.
Following high school graduation, Jerry moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where he worked at General Dynamics on the F16 Project. While in Fort Worth, he also took classes at Texas Christian University.
After two years in Texas, Jerry returned to Louisiana and enrolled at Louisiana Tech University. He graduated in August, 1972, with a degree in Business Administration.
During this time, he also served six years in the Louisiana National Guard in the Jonesboro unit.
While at Louisiana Tech, he met the love of his life, Gwendolyn Kelly. They were married November 25, 1972.
Jerry spent his professional years in sales and marketing.
In January, 1975, he and Gwen purchased and published The Bienville Democrat, a small weekly publication in Arcadia for several years.
In the early 80’s they sold the paper, and Gwen came home to be with their three children: Kelly, Julie, and Jonathan. Jerry continued working in sales in various forms through the years, including time spent at The Piney Woods Journal working with his father-in-law, Tom Kelly.
An avid hunter in his younger years, he enjoyed being in the outdoors and introducing his children to outdoor activities.
A follower of Christ from an early age, Jerry served as a deacon at First Baptist Church Arcadia. After moving his family back to Ruston, he was active in Christ Community Church and later The Bridge Community Church where he faithfully supported his wife as she served as the Children’s Ministry Director.
Jerry’s deep and quiet faith gave him much strength and peace during his final battle with metastatic melanoma.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents Bernise and Janis Dingler; his sister, Kathryn Ella Dingler; and father-in-law, Tom Kelly.
He is survived by his wife of almost 51 years, Gwendolyn Kelly Dingler; three children Kelly Diana Arabie (Tre) of Lewisville, Texas; Julie Kristina Ramsey (Jered) of Ruston, Louisiana; Jonathan Thomas Dingler (Cally) of Lufkin, Texas. Six grandchildren – Kathryn Elise Arabie, John Martin Arabie of Lewisville, Texas; Jillian Clare Ramsey, Jaxson Gladyn Ramsey of Ruston, Louisiana; and Lillie Grace Dingler, Molly Mae Dingler of Lufkin, Texas. One sister Jacqueline Sue Freeman (Donny) of Jonesboro. Sisters-in-law Gaynell Kelly of Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina; Cammie Kelly Pyles (Johnny) of Crystal Springs, Mississippi; mother-in-law Nellene Smith Fisher of Ruston. Nieces and nephews Daniel Freeman, Laura Roberts, Jessica Bowden, Whitney Kelly, Phillip Palmer, Holly Bridges, and Danny Pyles. Along with his faithful furry companion, Zoie.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, November 4, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at The Bridge Community Church in Ruston with pastor Chris Hanchey officiating and music provided by Dee and Tami Alexander.
Pallbearers will be A.J. Burns, Daniel Freeman, Bill Hogg, Danny Pyles, Scooter Roberts, and Johnny Templeton.
Interment will be in Quitman Baptist Church in Quitman, Louisiana, under the direction of Edmonds Funeral Home of Jonesboro. Memorials in Jerry’s memory may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Ruston; Med Camps of Louisiana; DART of Ruston; or The Well in Ruston.
The family is thankful for the loving care of Premier Hospice over these past two weeks.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21