Scott Leigh Dingman, of Bemidji died peacefully at home on October 1st surrounded by his closest family members following a courageous battle with cancer.
Born the eldest son of Gordon and Mary Jane Dingman on February 3rd, 1953, in Augusta, GA, Scott was introduced in childhood to the Minnesota north country through a family summer home on Little Mantrap Lake. He chose as an adult to live among the lakes and forests that he came to know intimately and love deeply.
After graduating from Marshall, MN High School in 1971, Scott attended Southwest Minnesota State University, where he earned degrees in Studio Art and Art and Health Education. During this time, he began a 21 year period of active duty and honorable service to his country through the Minnesota National Guard, specializing in combat medical care. Scott married Benita Mann in 1986, with whom he celebrated 35 years of marriage in August of this year. With their own hands Scott and Benita built the elegant wilderness home where they lived and played for over three decades. Scott retired as a certified special educator in the Bemidji Public Schools in 2015, a position he held for 15 years.
A gifted life-long student of Shotokan Karate who quickly became a dedicated and accomplished teacher, Scott inspired others with the clarity of his teaching and his commitment to mastering the physical, psychological, and spiritual elements of this way of life. Nowhere was this commitment more apparent than in his final days. Having achieved the level of 8th degree black belt and the highest level of certification as judge, instructor, and examiner, Scott served ably for many years as Chief Instructor for the five-state North Central Region of the International Shotokan Karate Federation.
In addition to Benita, Scott is survived by a son Ryan Dingman, Ryan’s partner Mallary Herbert, a daughter Mya Totzauer, as well as Mya’s husband Dwayne Totzauer and their children Jenna, Jasmine, Josiah, and Jemi, all of Bemidji. A younger brother Robert Dingman and his wife Martine Fisher, of Boston, MA. also survive him. Scott likewise leaves the hundreds of Karate students, of all ages, in his Bemidji dojo and throughout the country whose lives he touched. Lastly, Scott leaves Mr. Yutaka Yaguchi of Denver, CO, his mentor and beloved “sensei” for over 50 years.
A celebration of life will take place this Saturday, 10/9/2021 at 4298 Parker’s Lake Road NE, Bemidji, MN from 2:00-4:00p.m. Those who wish to make a special recognition of Scott’s life and work are encouraged to donate in his name to the American Cancer Society or the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
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