October 15, 1939 - May 1, 2021
Conway, SC... Merle Thomas "Tom" Dingess, 81, a retiree of both the United States Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency, died at Conway Medical Center on May 1, 2021. He was born in Chapmanville, West Virginia to Thomas Clay and Lillie Mae (Curry) Dingess, and attended Chapmanville High School in Chapmanville, West Virginia where he was better known as "Catbird." He attended two years at Marshall University and is a graduate of West Virginia State University. His military specialty was in Telecommunications Operations. During his military career he received the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, a National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the Air Force Conduct Medal with Five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster, and a Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon. During his career with the USAF he served in Portugal, Turkey, Italy and Thailand, as well as many bases across the United States. After retiring from the United States Air Force in 1980, he enjoyed a career with the Central Intelligence Agency where he served in Bangladesh, The Philippines, and India. Mr. Dingess was a competitive athlete and an avid sports fan and outdoorsman; he played fast-pitch softball and golf, and enjoyed fishing in fresh and ocean waters. He also loved his great home state of West Virginia and was a loyal fan of all West Virginia University Mountaineer sports. The discipline and patriotism he learned from years of service never left him as his family and friends will attest. Mr. Dingess always looked on the bright side of life, was a gentleman, and had a wonderful sense of humor - he kept everyone laughing until his very last days. His optimism and joie de vivre will be painfully missed. He was predeceased by three brothers, Stanley "Bud" Dingess, Bernie Dingess, and James "Jim" Dingess; and two sisters, Sandra Lee Dingess and Sheila Ann Trader. Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Panom T. Dingess of Conway, SC; three sons, David Dingess of High Point, NC, Brian Dingess (Amy) of Fort Worth, TX, and Christopher Dingess of Conway, SC; two daughters, Kimberly Dingess-MacLachlan (Alex) of Greensboro, NC and Michele Dingess Noma (Rob) of Atlanta, GA; thirteen grandchildren; and eleven great grandchildren. A graveside service, with full military honors, will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at Hillcrest Cemetery in Conway, SC. The family will receive friends immediately following the service at the graveside. Memorials may be sent to Homes For Our Troops, 6 Main Street, Taunton, MA 02780 or online at www.hfotusa.org Please sign an online guestbook at www.goldfinchfuneralhome.com Goldfinch Funeral Home, Conway Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Conway, SC... Merle Thomas "Tom" Dingess, 81, a retiree of both the United States Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency, died at Conway Medical Center on May 1, 2021. He was born in Chapmanville, West Virginia to Thomas Clay and Lillie... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
Merle Thomas "Tom" Dingess, 81, a retiree of both...
Flowers & Gifts
Send flowers to the Dingess family.Send Flowers