Raymond C. Dingledine Jr. (1919-90)
AHA Staff, November 1990
Raymond C. Dingledine, Jr., emeritus professor of history and former chair of the history department at James Madison University, died on July 18. He was 71 years old. For generations of students at Madison College, later James Madison University, and to the city of Harrisonburg, Dr. Dingledine represented a tradition of scholarship and public service which was unique in the community.
Born in Harrisonburg, VA, 1919, where his father was both mayor and professor of history, Dr. Dingledine received his B.A., master's, and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. In 1948, following service in the U.S. Navy, he joined the faculty of Madison College. In 1965 he became department chair, a post which he held until his retirement 21 years later. Dr. Dingledine was the first chair of the history department following its separation from the social sciences. His great loves were his family, Virginia, the university, and Harrisonburg. For 18 years he was a crucial member of the city council, where he was greatly valued for his tact and his concern for the entire community.
During his years at James Madison, Dr. Dingledine wrote the definitive history of Madison College, Madison College: The First Fifty Years, 1908–1958. In 1956 he published Virginia's History for the commonwealth's public schools. Nine years later he revised and expanded this text into Virginia's History and Geography, including Our Home, Virginia, and the World. Throughout his tenure, he taught a much-loved course in Virginia history. At the end of his life, Dr. Dingledine was completing an autobiography of William Cabell Rives, Virginia statesman and patriot. This work is being edited and prepared for publication by the author's daughter, Anne Dingledine Stribling.
Surviving are Dr. Dingledine's wife, Emily Reel Dingledine, four children, and six grandchildren.