The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

Albert Joseph Dinsmore

 

February 8, 2018

Albert (Al) Joseph Dinsmore, 89, of Moses Lake, died on Jan. 23.

Albert was born in Seattle on April 29, 1928, to Leona (Crawford) and Ellis Isaac Dinsmore. He and his three brothers (William, Robert and James) became orphans in 1937.

Robert was taken in by a family, but the other three boys were sent to foster homes. Albert compared it to slave labor and said he had run away several times.

Albert completed eighth grade and then due to the foster home situations, struck out on his own.

He was a Civil Air Patrol Cadet but the dates are uncertain.

In 1951, Al took a job as a mechanic with Studebaker Engine Company in Phoenix, Arizona. He was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 13, 1951 in Phoenix and after training, was sent to Korea.

Private First Class Albert Dinsmore, Infantry, Heavy Mortar Company, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, United States Army was wounded in action against the enemy near Hill 1101, North Korea on Oct. 19, 1951. He recuperated in Tokyo, Japan.

He was awarded the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, United Nations Service Medal, Army Occupation Medal (Japan), Combat Infantry Badge, and the Purple Heart.

In late January 1953, he returned to the states and on Feb. 28, 1953, he was released from active military service and transferred to the United States Army Reserve for a period of five years.

In April 1953, Albert joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and was a 64-year member of Local 46 at the time of his death.

Albert married Virginia May (Slusser) Copeland on Oct. 31, 1953. Virginia had two children from a previous marriage, Donna Lee and Maurice J. Copeland.

She and Albert loved camping with friends and the grandkids, fishing and travelling the western states and Canada. They were married for 31 years until her passing on Jan. 20, 1985.

On Aug. 13, 1954, at age 26, Albert went to work as an Electrician with the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredge Company, for the U.S. Coast Guard at Submarine Base Bangor, Silverdale.

On Sept. 18, 1956, Albert was honorably discharged from the Army of the United States of America.

He worked for Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company in 1965 and was a member of Local Union 112, Pasco and Kennewick.

Albert worked on some amazing projects like the Ballard Fisherman’s Terminal. When he finished wiring the pay-showers, they dropped in a quarter to test the first one and all of the showers came on. That’s when he earned the nickname, “Damnit Dinsmore”.

He worked on the Space Needle, Hoover Dam, the decommissioning of several dams on the Olympic Peninsula and the Kingdome.

In February 1976 while wiring the Kingdome, he took time out to give a tour to just-married granddaughter Gina and her new husband Jim.

He was working at the Southgate Mall in 1986 when met his soul mate Gloria in Kmart. It began over a discussion about gas grills versus Hibachis and they were married on April 15, 1989.

Albert retired in 1990 and began a 20-year road trip with Gloria. Together they traveled to 49 of the 50 states including Alaska, missing Hawaii.

Researching the Dinsmore family history which includes founding the Butterfield Stage Company and “topping-out the trail” in the Klondike Gold Rush: as well as the Crawford and Hick families. They crisscrossed America searching graveyards, courthouse records and visiting with kinfolk.

Al carried a tattered little notebook with his Army buddies’ information through which he found and visited many of them. HQ was always Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Albert moved to Moses Lake on April 17, 2009, to be near his grandchildren. He sold his last motor home and moved into the Hearthstone Inn, where he made several lasting friendships and earned the nickname, “Al, Al, Al”.

His last years were spent at the wonderful Monroe House where he appreciated the care and loved (and teased) the staff members. He died in his sleep on Jan. 23, probably dreaming of faraway places.

Albert was preceded in death by his mother Leona with her infant child, his father Ellis, his brothers William, Robert and James, a sister Mary Louisa, his wife Virginia, his stepdaughter Donna Lee, and his grandson Michael Edward Ritter.

He is survived by his stepson Maurice Copeland (Dick Dorisse) of Palm Desert, California, grandchildren Gina (Jim) Weber of Ritzville, Elisabeth (Chris) Hardy of Beaverton, Oregon, Patti (Bruce) Gering of Moses Lake, Barbara (Paul) Theroux of Long Beach, California, Margaret (Phil) Greer of Littleton, North Carolina, and William (Lori) Ritter of Salem, Oregon, six great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and his sweetheart Gloria Hicks-Jones of Albuquerque.

Albert had a non-stop sense of humor and was always ready with a joke or a wisecrack. Almost every visit would end with these words; “Glad you got to see me!” or “Have a rotten day!”

A military honors guard will be held at the Monroe House on Saturday, Feb. 17. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Albert’s honor to the following; American Legion Post No. 209, SemperFifund.org, LilacBlind.org or Boy Scouts of America at grandcolumbia.org.

 

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