Choking back tears, Sen. Diane Bilyeu, D-Pocatello, announced the death of Allyn Dingel, a Boise lawyer, lobbyist and volunteer who was honored this year in a concurrent resolution by the Legislature.
Dingel died Thursday night at home. He had lung cancer. Sen. Bilyeu's daughter is married to Dingel's son.
"On behalf of the Dingel family, I thank you all very much," Bilyeu told her colleagues.
Bilyeu saw Dingel on Saturday and said he was touched by the tribute offered him during debate on Senate Concurrent Resolution 111 on April 2. Dingel's family was in the Senate that day, while Dingel watched online.
Bilyeu said Dingel expressed surprise at the warm comments. She said she told him, "It's because everybody appreciated you and loves you so much."
Majority Leader Bart Davis adjourned the Senate Friday in Dingel's memory. Dingel's career in Idaho public life dates to the early 1960s when he was a deputy attorney general.
Davis, R-Idaho Falls, authored SCR 111, which was transmitted to the Secretary of State on Monday. The measure recognizes Dingel “for his good humor, his prodigious memory of persons, times and events, and his unfailing courtesy, honesty and integrity” and honors him for a lifetime of achievement.
Born in Twin Falls in 1936 and a 1958 graduate of the University of Idaho, Dingel was a lobbyist for the insurance industry. A courtroom at the Ada County Courthouse is named for him and he spent decades working on behalf of low-income clients.
Dingel was a founding member of the Idaho Law Foundation, represented the Idaho Bar at the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and American Bar Association, chaired the Idaho Code Commission and won the state bar’s Distinguished Lawyer of the Year award in 2004. He also has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on the state’s behalf.
Dingel held leadership positions with the Episcopal Diocese of Idaho, the Boise Philharmonic and the Republican Party.
Read Senate Concurrent Resolution 111 at: http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2009/SCR111.htm