Howard and Edith Dingle

David and Susan Dingle

Dingle residence, New Suffolk, NY

I was born on September 25, 1928, the youngest of 4 children, to Howard and Edith Dingle of Cleveland, Ohio. My father was the founder of the Cleveland Worm & Gear Company, and an amateur violinist who hosted a string trio on Sunday evenings in our home. I learned to play the piano at age 7, encouraged by my father, a Trustee of the Cleveland Symphony. He enjoyed finding the best teachers for me, like Boris Goldovsky and Arthur Loesser, and frequently listened to my lessons.


Graduating from University School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, I enrolled in Cornell University where I graduated in the Class of 1950 with a B.A. in Economics. My activities and interests at Cornell included: Freshman Lightweight Crew, Glee Club (accompanist for three years), Theta Delta Chi fraternity, Class councils and Sphinx Head Senior Honorary society.


My business career started in Sales and Marketing with Scott Paper Company. I spent 12 years with them in retail sales, sales training, and product management, before being appointed Coordinator of Marketing for Scott’s partnership with Bowater Paper Company , introducing soft paper products to the U.K. Market.


With this corporate background, I then opened a travel agency (co-founder of the specialty travel agency Peter Paul and Dingle). I was one of the first financial planners to achieve Certified Financial Planner status, developing Bridge Energy with Henry McDonald. I became a Mortgage Broker 90s until my retirement in 2003.

Throughout these diversified business ventures, I was rarely without a “night job” as a jazz piano player—a constant theme, continuing well into my retirement!


I have always tried to listen without judging and to pay such attention to others, so that they felt understood, regardless of age or status. I am grateful to have maintained friendships with classmates from University School and Cornell, business associates, fellow musicians—and two ex-wives, as well as one current wife.


My friendships with my first wife Elizabeth Severinghaus (Warner) and second wife Celia Drayson (Ryan) led to our two blended families sharing Christmas celebrations and other family events. When I met Susan Grathwohl in 1986, it was love and cabaret at first sight. Together we created and performed cabaret shows featuring composers of the American Popular Songbook—Gershwin, Rodgers & Hart, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen and Irving Berlin. Along the way, with no effort on our part whatsoever, we became the proud grandparents of 15, (11 mine and 4 hers).


My community interests have included: Southold Presbyterian Church (Elder), Brick Presbyterian Church, NYC (Deacon) , Kane Masonic Lodge, NYC (Chaplain), Rotary Club of New York (Trustee).


Retiring to New Suffolk NY from Manhattan in 2003, I have enjoyed playing music, reading, and continuing to attend seminars offered by Landmark Worldwide.


I wanted to tell you my life story in my words, to let you know that this has been a wonderful life!