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Michael A. "Mike" Dinges

December 4, 1946 June 17, 2020
Michael A. "Mike" Dinges
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Obituary for Michael A. "Mike" Dinges

Michael A. “Mike” Dinges, age 73 of Darlington, WI passed away Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at Lafayette Manor in Darlington. He was born on December 4, 1946 in Kenosha, WI the son of Ed and Marilyn (Mueller) Dinges. Mike was born and raised in Kenosha where he graduated from Bradford High School in 1965. After high school he attended the University of Wisconsin – Platteville where he received his bachelor’s in Education degree in 1970. In 1966, Mike married Gayle (Prowse) Soper; their union blessed them with one son, Michael. He was later united in marriage to Barb (Howe) Soper on June 9, 1979 and welcomed 3 additional children to their family: Stephanie, Stuart, and Scott. Mike dedicated 38 years teaching at Darlington High School but also spent time working as a dairy farmer, a ferrier, and as an engineer at Flexsteel in Dubuque, IA.

Mike loved horses as you know he owned over 100 at one time. He was a lifelong member of The Darlington Saddle Club. He also loved to fly and was a lifelong EAA member and attended the EAA Fly in ever year in Oshkosh, WI for 50 years. He enjoyed that time with his good friend, Joe Klessinger, his son Mike, and grandson James.

Mike was a wonderful story teller – true and untrue. He always said he should have written a book full of his stories. During Mike’s many years of teaching he helped many kids along the way, not only as their teacher, but as a friend who cared. He was known to many as “Papa Dinges.” Every Friday in his classes he would give his students his phone number and say “call me if you need me” and many of them did over the years. The relationship he created with his students was built on pure respect and appreciation for one another.

Mike loved his dogs and all the puppies that would pass through the house. He enjoyed his Amish friends who became like family over the years. He and Barb were also known in Darlington and other area communities as Santa and Mrs. Claus around the holidays for nearly 40 years. He was a gentle, kind man who will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by his family and friends.

Mike is survived by his son: Mike (Melanie) Dinges of Stoughton, WI; his step-sons: Stuart (Deana) Soper of Fayette, WI and Scott (Debbie) Soper of Mineral Point, WI; his grandchildren: James and Katie Dinges; five step-grandchildren: ReAnna (Bob) Parker, Sarah Koeller, Andrew (Sheila Mick) Soper, Josh and Natty Soper; and seven step-great-grandchildren. He is further survived by three sisters: Chris (Kerry) Raymond, Wendy Barnett, and Patty (Jerry) Fridlington; 5 sister-in-laws: April Dinges, Sharron Dinges, Donna (Arleigh) Bondele, Connie Howe and Janet Howe and one brother-in-law: Bill (Suzanne Howe. He was preceded in death by his parents:Ed and Marilyn Dinges; his wife Barb in 2018; one step-daughter, Stephanie Soper-Hanson; two brothers: Ed Dinges and Dave Dinges; two brothers-in-law: Larry Hendrickson and Jerry Howe; and his father and mother-in-law: Bill and Marion Howe.

A public visitation will be held Tuesday, June 23, 2020 from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at Erickson Funeral Home (508 Main St., Darlington). A private family funeral service will be held Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. at Erickson Funeral Home with Rev. Joji Reddy of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Darlington officiating. Burial will be in Union Grove Cemetery. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at

For those who prefer, a memorial fund has been established in Mike’s name.

Although not required, it is the recommendation of the funeral home staff that masks are worn during the duration of your visit inside of the funeral home and that you practice proper social distancing guidelines.

To send flowers or plant a tree in memory of Michael A. "Mike" Dinges, visit the Tribute Store.

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4:00 PM 6/23/2020 4:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 6/23/2020 8:00:00 PM
Darlington - Park Place

508 Park Place
Darlington, WI 53530

Darlington - Park Place
508 Park Place Darlington 53530 WI
United States

Cemetery Details


Union Grove Cemetery Final Resting Place

Darlington, wi 53530

Darlington 53530 wi
United States

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