James Henry Dingeman Jr., loving husband of Anne Virginia Ford Dingeman and devoted father, passed away Monday, Dec. 24, 2018, following a courageous battle against mantle cell lymphoma.
Jim grew up in Grosse Pointe Farms, graduated from Austin Catholic Prep High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College. His business career began in the late 1960s as a commercial banker with Bank of the Commonwealth in Detroit. He moved on and became a partner with Griggs Steel Co. in the 1970s, held an interest in Pikes Peak Water Co. in Colorado, joined a Los Angeles based performance driving/stunt company in the 1980s, and ran for U.S. Congress (Michigan 12th District) in 1990. Despite a defeat by the incumbent, his passion and devotion to the campaign generated many new friends at the state and federal levels with whom he kept in contact throughout his life.
His experience as a banker and business owner led him to a position with BBK Ltd. of Southfield, where he provided operational restructuring and turnaround services. In 1998, he purchased Sterling Supply, a cutting tool distribution and supply chain management concern in Ferndale. Prior to winding down in 2006, the company received several supplier of the year awards from American Axle and Manufacturing. He finished his career working for Oakland County as a business developer and film executive under L. Brooks Patterson. He retired in 2014.
Jim will be remembered by his friends and family as an outgoing, charismatic individual whose hobbies and interests included precision driving for movies and television, and was a member of the Screen Actors Guild; Steeplechase in Virginia; leisure boating and aviation, and had a pilot’s license; playing squash at the Detroit Athletic Club; hunting and shooting in Michigan, Colorado and Africa; sport fishing in the Caribbean; jogging in 10Ks and a marathon; water skiing on Lake Huron; and snow skiing at Otsego.
Jim experienced numerous adventures that resulted in interesting stories. His favorites were the Fort Lauderdale to Detroit boat trip with his sons; motorcycle touring Tibet and other remote locations with good friends; trips to Europe and elsewhere with his wife, Anne; and U.S. Air Force officer promotion ceremonies honoring his son, John. He was proud to watch his daughter, Ann, follow her dream and his path to the film business.
He is survived by his wife, Anne Ford Dingeman; daughter, Ann Fisher Dingeman; sons, James Henry Dingeman III (Bronwen Gay), Michael Defoe Dingeman and John Fisher Dingeman; grandchildren, Miles Henry Dingeman and Bronwen Lily Dingeman and sisters, Mary Ann Staff (Ed) and Patti Dingeman Moran, as well as several nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon Friday, Jan. 25, at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms.
Donations may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Michigan Chapter at lls.org/michigan.