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Allyn Dingel

Jeff Kropf

Allyn Dingel (left) with Daniel Eismann

Not every word approved by vote at the Idaho Legislature is necessarily apt, but these from Senate Concurrent Resolution 111 are: “his good humor, his prodigious memory of persons, times and events, and his unfailing courtesy, honesty and integrity.” Even the order fits well.

Allyn Dingel, an attorney and lobbyist – though that description seems somehow a little off – who died on Thursday, was a veteran of the Idaho Statehouse, an effective participant there and liked across the board. He was a Republican, but not entirely doctrinaire, just as – for an insurance industry advocate – he wasn’t wholly doctrinaire about that business either. And he seemed to relish the fact that, by way of his son’s marriage, being related to the Democratic Bilyeu family. He also relished the Bilyeus along with, it seemed, almost everyone he knew.

He was never elected to office though you suspect he could have been; he had the right skill set. He loved to talk, and not much was needed to prompt a great stemwinder of a story.

Dingel had a lot of stemwinders to share, and share them he did, and that’s our primary memory of him. Over a span of half a century, he was in the middle of a lot of political events, and few of them seemed to escape his recollection. He enriched our understanding of the state that way. And he made the state a better placed in other ways too.

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