Alfred Hugh Dallinger, long-time Ballinger businessman and civic leader, died January 17 , 2012 in Fredericksburg. He was 94.
Al was born Aug. 23, 1917, in Plainview, where he lived for the first 22 years of his life. In 1934, at 16, he graduated from Plainview High School and spent two years at Wayland College in Plainview before joining the local Foxworth Galbraith Lumber Co. In Aug. 1939, the company transferred him to Eldorado where he met his future wife, Bettye Jo Sanderson, a young high school teacher fresh from Daniel Baker College in Brownwood.
They were married Dec. 20, 1941, shortly after the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Al joined the U.S. Air Corps and was stationed at Kelly Field in San Antonio while Bettye continued teaching in Eldorado, driving to San Antonio on weekends.
Al was commissioned a Second Lieutenant with the flying rating of bombardier. In October 1944, he was promoted to First Lieutenant and assigned to a B25 bomber command in Greenville, SC, which left almost immediately for combat zones in the South Pacific where Al served until the end of the war. He was honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of Captain.
He returned to a position with Foxworth Galbraith in Sonora. In 1947, he bought an old hardware store in Ballinger and renamed it Dallinger Hardware and Furniture Co. He operated it for the next 43 years.
Al served two terms as Ballinger's mayor, during which time the city government adopted a new city charter, expanded the city council, added a new pipeline from the city lake to the water treatment plant and another water storage plant in town, signed an agreement to sell water to Rowena since it had no water source except contaminated water wells, expanded Ballinger's sewer lines, built a community center adjoining the city park and extended paving on streets previously unpaved.
He was a long-time and dedicated member of the Ballinger Pat Williams Post 8 of the American Legion and the Ballinger Lion's Club. He served several terms on the Ballinger Chamber of Commerce board of directors and, in 1967, took office as president of that organization.
He was a member of the Doss Bible Class at Ballinger First United Methodist Church and a 49-year member of the chancel choir. The choir room was named in his honor in 2002. Al was also a charter member of the Ballinger Community Choir in 1975.
Survivors include Bettye, his wife of 70 years; his son-in-law and daughter, Barry and Joanne Cheshier of Fredericksburg; a grandson and his wife, Jeff and Julie Cheshier of Lakeway; and three great-grandchildren, Kate, J.R. and Lillie. Al is also survived by two nieces, Kathy and husband, Jim Paige of Fredericksburg, and Ann and husband, Dan Tiscareno of Pittsburg, CA; and three nephews, Doug Wright and wife, Pat, of Lafayette, LA; Ralph Wright and wife, Linda, of Lubbock; and Dale Wright of Fayetteville, AR.
Visitation will be Thursday, January 19 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Lange Funeral Home in Ballinger. A public graveside service with military honors will be conducted on Friday, January 20 at 10:00 am at Ballinger Evergreen Cemetery. Immediately following the graveside proceedings, a memorial service will be held at 11:00 am at Ballinger First United Methodist Church with Max Pratt, minister of Ballinger Ninth Street Church of Christ officiating. The family wishes for all guests to please join them in the church fellowship hall after the services for a time of fellowship and a light lunch.
Al had memberships in the Plainview, Ballinger and Fredericksburg United Methodist Churches. Memorials may be sent to any of those congregations or to a favorite charity