Ocean Shores mourns the passing of Mayor Crystal Dingler
Crystal became mayor in 2012 and guided the city through some of its most trying times, first financially and then through the pandemic.
“It’s a great loss for the city of Ocean Shores. She was elected three times as mayor and all of the city’s department heads were her hires,” said Martin. “And just the work she did not only in the city but outside the city, on different committees, both regional and national. It’s a great loss.”
Crystal and her husband of 58 years, Dean, moved to Ocean Shores in 2004. Not one to sit by the sidelines, she quickly became a volunteer of her time including Vice Chair, Washington Coast Marine Advisory Council (member 2018 to present); 2017-2018 Chair, SW Region Transportation Planning Org.; Founder, Nonprofit Leaders Conference for Coastal and SW WA, Past President of Ocean Shores Friends of the Library, Past Chair of Ocean Shores Library Board, North Beach Community Television Board Member At Large; Trainer; Assoc. of University Technology Managers, Trustee of National Board, Intellectual Property management trainer & chaired annual meetings; Co-taught Intellectual Property Mgt., National Council of University Research Administrators.
Crystal earned her master's degree in English at the University of Washington in her 30s and went back to school in her late 40s earning her law degree. She passed the bar at the age of 50. She never stopped learning.
She was passionate about travel and genealogy. She developed and maintained several genealogy county websites and co-authored a series of genealogy resource books.
She was also a published poet. Her poem Nesting is a childhood memory from her family farm. “It’s not as though we understood anything then, the fields tall with wheat-like grass, the orchard frozen one lone winter and the blackberry brambles rampant through the dead branches of apple and cherry. We lined each nest with the lavender fluff of thistle and gathered our eggs from the hen house. We would hatch them ourselves, raise batch after batch until we were rich. We laughed those purple seedy laughs trading secrets like fluffy yellow chicks. How the eggs rested against our legs like warm brown flesh, how we kept lifting our skirts to see if anything had hatched.”
She was more than a mentor to her city staff. Her positive and communicative management style earned their respect, loyalty and trust.
Crystal is survived by her husband Dean and their three children, Elizabeth, Kurt and Ken and her cat Pitty.
A celebration of life and memorial service date has yet to be determined.