Alpine Helen & White County, Georgia
Mark your calendars for July 20-22. Those are the dates for this year’s Dingler Family Reunion. We are returning to Georgia where the “Alpine” village of Helen will be our host for the reunion weekend.  Helen has been mentioned in the past as a possible site, and everyone was enthusiastic about the suggestion when it was discussed at last year’s reunion.

Helen is located in the Northeast Georgia Mountains region. While it is a small city (only 430 residents!), Helen is also Georgia’s third most visited city. The city used to be a logging town, but when the industry declined, Helen reinvented itself as a tourist destination with an alpine village theme.  It’s the charm of Bavaria, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Don’t forget to pack your Lederhosen and Dirndl!

Hotel Info

We have a block of rooms at the Baymont Inn & Suites in Helen (8220 S Main Street Helen, Georgia 30545-3649 706-878-2111).  The nightly rate is $124.99 + tax (+ $5.00/night Georgia fee). A free hot buffet breakfast is included along with complimentary WiFi, a fitness room, and an outdoor pool. You can book your room by calling the hotel at 706-878-2111. Make sure you let them know you are with the Dingler Family Reunion.  The hotel is providing the meeting room at no cost as long as we book at least half of the room block, so be sure to get the reunion rate.

Now we know that the rate is a bit higher than we’ve received in the past, but the nightly rates in Helen are higher because it is a popular destination.  We think it will be worth it, so we hope to see you there. Please note that the hotel does not allow pets.

Learning More about Alpine Helen

If you are looking for more information about Alpine Helen, check out the Alpine Helen / White County Convention & Visitors Bureau website.  There you will find information on attractions, dining, shopping, and more.  You can also read the Helen Travel Guide brochure for 2018.

Alpine Helen is active on social media. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Here’s a video from their YouTube page.

Louise Dingler SmithWe are sad to share that Louis Dingler Smith passed away yesterday.  Louise was a regular attendee of the annual reunion, and it always felt like the reunion couldn’t start until the ladies from Mobile arrived. She will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with her children, Selma and Ed, and the entire family.

A memorial service will be held in Mobile, Alabama on Thursday, October 26, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at Ashland Place United Methodist Church (15 Wisteria Avenue, Mobile, Alabama, 36607), followed by a visitation in the church parlor. A graveside service will be held at South Cemetery in Blountsville, Alabama on Saturday, October 28, 2017, at Noon.

The obituary from the Mobile Register and Legacy.com is copied below. The obituary and guest book are online at Legacy.com.

Born in Blountsville, Alabama, Louise was the third of four sisters born to Era Estelle “Belle” Whitaker Dingler and Edd Dingler. She grew up in Marion, Alabama, graduated from Perry County High School in 1942, and then Judson College in 1946 with a bachelor’s degree in Speech and English.

She married William Hobson Smith prior to his deployment to the South Pacific Theater with the U.S. Army in WWII. After the war, they both entered the University of Virginia where she pursued her master’s degree. The death of her father required that they return to Alabama where she entered the University of Alabama and received her master’s degree in English Literature.

Louise’s professional life began as a teacher at Cove Elementary School in Panama City, Florida. When she moved to Mobile in 1962, she taught English at Murphy High School. In 1965, she was one of the first teachers hired at the University of South Alabama and remained there until she retired in 1992. She loved and studied the Renaissance period and the Age of Enlightenment and traveled with USA’s British Studies Program as a student just for the love of learning.

More than anything, Louise was a true Southerner. However, while she was grounded in and steeped in Southern traditions, she was a progressive and forward-thinking woman. She was an advocate for equal rights for all, especially women, and was a part of a civil lawsuit challenging sex discrimination at the University of South Alabama in the 1980s. She never stopped seeking to improve herself and the world and, in the 1970s, she sought and was awarded one of only 100 grants offered nationwide to build one of two solar houses in Alabama which still stands today.

Having grown up during the Depression and knowing hard times, Louise used education and her natural curiosity to discover a life other than that offered by her immediate environment. She found and developed a great love of all things beautiful and particularly enjoyed gardening, art, entertaining, and travel.

Louise was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, William Hobson Smith, her infant daughter, Selma Louise Dingler Smith, and two sisters Jessie Dingler Boggs (Mrs. M. Donald) and Lavonda Irene “Bonnie” Waller (Mrs. Rufus Matthew). She is survived by her oldest sister, Inez Dingler Criminale (Mrs. George C.), her children, Selma Louise Dingler Smith and Edward Lee Dingler Smith, his wife, Melanie Love Smith, three granddaughters, Clare Whitaker Smith, Caroline Love Smith, and Isabel Burnham Smith, and step-granddaughters, Dr. Kristin Nicole LeMaitre and her husband Dr. Andrew Barker and Melissa Renee LeMaitre.

A memorial service will be held in Mobile, Alabama on Thursday, October 26, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at Ashland Place United Methodist Church, 15 Wisteria Avenue, Mobile, Alabama, 36607, followed by a visitation in the church parlor. A graveside service will be held at South Cemetery in Blountsville, Alabama on Saturday, October 28, 2017, at Noon.

Published in the Mobile Register and Baldwin County on Oct. 25, 2017

We received some sad news recently. John Edward Dingler passed away on July 3, 2017. John was a frequent attendee of the annual Dingler reunion,and we were all hoping to see him again this year.

His obituary from the McDonald and Son website is included below:

John Edward Dingler, age 55, passed away on July 3, 2017. John is predeceased by his parents Lorena Neese and Thomas Dingler. He is survived by his brother Garry Dingler of Thomson, GA, sister-in-law Wanda Dingler, brother Charlie Dingler of Buford, niece Cassandra, nephew Clayton and many other relatives.

Born in Newnan, GA John moved with his family at a young age and grew up in Cumming, GA. John was an avid pilot who loved racing motorcycles on flat tracks and loved racing cars when he was not working on them. He was a true craftsman.

John’s service will be Sunday, July 9th at 3pm, with visitation from 12:00pm until service time at McDonald and Son.

Please visit John’s memorial page on the McDonald and Son website for a video showing photos from his life.

The 2017 Dingler Family Reunion dinner will be at 5 PM on Saturday, July 22 at BJ’s Tallahassee. BJ’s is located at 1749 Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee. You can see their menu online.

BJ’s does not have a private room, but we’ll have our own section in the back. If you’re attending the reunion and haven’t told us that you’re coming already, please send an email to reunion@dingler-family.org and tell us how many will be attending.

If you haven’t made your hotel reservations yet, it’s time to do so. The SpringHill Suites Tallahassee Central is our host hotel, and we have a room block of 20 rooms. All rooms are priced at $99/night plus tax. You will have your choice of a King Suite or a Two Queen Suite. This rate is good for two days before the reunion as well as two days after, just in case someone wants to arrive early or stay late.

To make your reservations, you have two options:

  • Call the hotel directly at 850-325-1103
  • Call Marriott’s toll-free reservations number at 888-236-2427

You must ask for the Dingler Family Reunion rate to get the reunion rate. It’s also important for you to mention you’re with the reunion because the meeting room cost is waived if we have at least ten rooms booked.

The room rate is only guaranteed until July 7, so make sure you book before then.

Make plans now to attend the 38th annual Dingler Family Reunion in Tallahassee, Florida, July 21-23.

Yes, Florida. We had talked about going back to Rome, Georgia, at last year’s reunion, but things didn’t work out. Unfortunately the hotel situation in Rome didn’t work out for us. About half of the hotels declined our requests du to a lack of availability, and a couple of the remaining hotels didn’t have meeting space available. We ran the remaining hotels by Diane Harbin for her thoughts, and she agreed that the choices weren’t good. So it was back to the drawing board, and we decided to change things up a bit again.

We’ve never been to Florida before, so why not? Enter Tallahassee. It’s the state capital with a lot to see and do. We have never been, so it should be a fund weekend of exploring and reconnecting.

The SpringHill Suites Tallahassee Central is our host hotel, and we have a room block of 20 rooms. All rooms are priced at $99/night plus tax. You will have your choice of a King Suite or a Two Queen Suite. This rate is good for two days before the reunion as well as two days after, just in case someone wants to arrive early or stay late.

To make your reservations, you have two options:

  • Call the hotel directly at 850-325-1103
  • Call Marriott’s toll-free reservations number at 888-236-2427

You must ask for the Dingler Family Reunion rate to get the reunion rate. It’s also important for you to mention you’re with the reunion because the meeting room cost is waived if we have at least ten rooms booked.

The room rate is only guaranteed until July 7, so make sure you book before then.

Check back later for information about the location for our meeting and dinner on Saturday night. We’re working on arrangements now and hope to have something to share in the near future.

Our Saturday night dinner will be at BJ’s Tallahassee at 5 PM on Saturday, July 22. Learn more.

See you in Tallahassee!

SpringHill Suites Tallahassee Central (hotel website)
1300 Executive Center Dr
Tallahassee, FL  32301
(850) 325-1103