David Lyons Dingman was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his loving parents, Thelma and Reed, and his two sisters, Sally and Sue. His fondest childhood memories were of playing every sport imaginable at Burns Park and hunting with his dad. He spent much of his adult life in Salt Lake City, Utah, later retiring to Hailey, Idaho, and St. George, Utah.
Dr. Dingman's medical career began in 1961, when he graduated form the University of Michigan School of Medicine after attending Dartmouth College. He completed his residency in general surgery, and later went on to complete a fellowship in head and neck cancer before completing his plastic surgery residency at the University of Utah. Settling in Salt Lake City, Dr. Dingman established his private practice at Holy Cross Hospital. He later returned to academic medicine, serving as assistant chief of the department of plastic surgery at the University of Utah, where he was instrumental in founding The Wasatch Clinic for Outpatient Surgery and serving as the medical director. He relished his time as a teacher and mentor, and was honored as Teacher of the Year before retiring in 1993. Throughout his career, Dr. Dingman led many medical missions with Interplast, and he later served as medical director of the organization. In this role, he focused his efforts on training and mentoring surgeons from host countries so that they could continue to provide the medical care needed locally.
Dr. Dingman was also an avid adventurer and mountaineer. As a young man he served as a guide and instructor at the American School of Mountain Climbing in Grand Teton National Park. In 1959 he led a team to be the first in history to scale both of Mount McKinley’s twin peaks in the same day. In 1963, during his general surgery residency, he was selected by the National Geographic Society to join the first American team to summit Mount Everest. As a member of this team, he is credited with rescuing four summiting climbers who had fallen into distress on their descent. Dr. Dingman, along with the other members of the team, received the Hubbard medal from President Kennedy.
After retirement, Dr. Dingman pursued his hobbies of flying and building. A lifelong pilot, in retirement he learned how to be an aerobatic pilot, and finished at the top of regional and national competitions. He also designed and built a canoe, a kayak and two airplanes.
He was Dr. Dingman to countless patients, colleagues and students, but he was just Dave to his many friends and two stepchildren, Dad to his six children and Grandpa to his 18 grandchildren. His family and friends often joined him and his wife, Barbara, in the many activities they enjoyed together—hiking, biking, sailing, fishing and skiing. Dave and Barbara spent 34 years working together, finding new adventures together, and supporting each other in their individual endeavors. Dave passed his enduring sense of integrity and curiosity on to his colleagues, friends and family. He will be remembered for the strong, fine person that he was and for his ever-inquiring mind, which he put to good use in every endeavor.