Bernard A. Dzingle

Bernard A. Dzingle

ALTAMONT — Bernie Dzingle was the type of man who remembered you.

He loved garage and estate sales, his wife, Deborah Dzingle, said, and he’d see something that he had absolutely no need for: “But he’d say, ‘Oh, I think Nikki might like that. I’ll take it home for her.’ Nikki was a neighbor,” Mrs. Dzingle said, “or he would buy things for other people, and then he would just tuck them away.”

After his mother died a few years back, Mr. Dzingle began to make it a point to reach out to his two uncles and three aunts on his father’s side of the family, his wife said, “At least for their birthday. And he did it more often than that.”

Which is kind of rare, Mrs. Dzingle said; “you don’t find guys who do that,” it’s typically the type of thing “they either let their wife do” or let fall by the wayside.

Mr. Dzingle died on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. He was 69 years old.

Bernard A. Dzingle was born to Aledoris and Gladyce (née Wysocki) Dzingle  on Sept. 7, 1951, in Loup City, Nebraska. 

His mother was a homemaker and his father was the supervisor of roads for Dodge County in addition to being a farmer. “They raised cattle,” Mrs. Dzingle said. “It was a working farm.”

At just 8 years old, but still the oldest of five children, Mr. Dzingle would drive his family’s tractor around the farm. “And I said, ‘You couldn’t reach the pedals.’ He said, ‘We worked it out.’ That was farmland way out in the central part of Nebraska,” Mrs. Dzingle recalled with a laugh. 

After high school, Mr. Dzingle received a degree in architecture.

“He put himself through college for the most part,” Mrs. Dzingle said of her husband, by taking the pictures of his friends’ and roommates’ girlfriends and transforming them into paintings.

While Mr. Dzingle never became a formal architect, his wife said, his skills did come handy later in life. 

While working for a builder doing new construction, for example, when a client didn’t like the placement of the powder room, Mrs. Dzingle said, “Bernie would go, ‘I’ll take care of that for ya.’ And he would just redo the drawing,” which would then have to be stamped by a licensed architect, but “[Bernie] would be able to architecturally see whether or not it would work.”

“Bernie made his way to the East Coast as a sales representative for a construction enclosure system,” Mr. Dzingle’s family wrote in a tribute. 

It was while working for that company, Kelly Klosure, which manufactured temporary enclosures that were used to protect workers on high-rise buildings still under construction, that Mr. Dzingle would meet the woman who would become his wife. 

Deborah A. Mitchell worked in accounting for a company called Albany Ladder when she and her future husband first met. 

“And when he came in to see our sales manager and, apparently, he liked the way I walked down the hall — or so I was told afterward by the sales manager,” the now-Mrs. Dzingle recalled with a laugh. “[The sales manager] said, ‘Oh, you better keep an eye out, that’s a traveling salesman.’” 

And when Mr. Dzingle’s employer told Mrs. Dzingle’s Albany Ladder employer that he would miss her when she moved to Nebraska — well, Mr. Dzingle happily found gainful employment in the Capital Region. 

The couple married on May 1, 1976, and went on to have four children. 

“After starting a family in 1986, Bernie worked as a stay-at-home dad and a real-estate broker,” Mr. Dzingle’s family wrote in a tribute. 

“He was one of the first stay-at-home dads who were around here,” Mrs. Dzingle said. After her oldest son was born, Mrs. Dzingle said that she stayed home for 10 to 12 weeks.

“And then there were a few years in between,” she said, and the couple had twins. She continued gleefully, “And I just remember him looking at me one day saying, ‘You’re not going back to work that fast, are you?’ I said, ‘No, I’ll stay home.’ So I stayed home about six months with the twins.”

After the twins, another daughter followed. 

Mr. Dzingle made his kids baby food from scratch, his wife said, changed diapers and, when it was time, potty trained them as well. But ask him to size up his children for a pair of Keds, she recalled with a laugh, “He didn’t have a clue. He’d look at them and go, ‘Yeah, that should fit.”

Her husband also gave their children their first taste of the outdoors, Mrs. Dzingle said, taking them hunting and fishing — Mr. Dzingle himself having been an “avid hunter and an outdoorsman,” his family wrote in a tribute. 

“Most recently, he worked as an auto transporter for Lia Auto Group, self-proclaimed as Bernie Bahama, because of his Hawaiian shirt collection,” Mr. Dzingle’s family wrote.

At 69 years old, retirement, let alone slowing down — literally — wasn’t in the cards for Mr. Dzingle. 

“He really liked driving. He liked being out there. He liked seeing the sites,” Mrs. Dzingle said. Her husband, on his own initiative, would go the extra mile for his co-workers, she said, just to make their lives a little easier. 

“I said to him once, ‘Why do you do this? You’re not the supervisor; you’re not the leader of this,’” she said, and her husband told her that he just knows who likes to ride with whom; who needs to be home in time to pick up their grandchildren from daycare; these were the small things that others didn’t or wouldn’t take the time to do — people would just be told to jump and if they didn’t, they were out of a job. 

“He was known for his green thumbs and took great joy in growing, propagating and caring for his many cactus, succulents, and unique plants, and sharing them with others,” Mr. Dzingle’s family wrote in a tribute. “A collector of many things, Bernie enjoyed estate sales and finding useful items he could repurpose and pass on to loved ones.” 

In addition to his creativity and artistic talent, according to his family, Mr. Dzingle could fix just about anything. 

“Bernie and Deborah enjoyed traveling, visiting, and reconnecting with family across the U.S. and seeing the world,” Mr. Dzingle’s family wrote. “He had a lot of love to share and during this social current environment had a difficult time holding back the hug he wanted to give.”

The Saturday before he died, Mr. Dzingle traveled to Saratoga to pick up something his sister-in-law, whom he hadn’t seen in eight months, had for his wife.

“And when he saw her, she had her mask on, he had his mask on, and he goes, ‘All right, hold your breath, I’m coming in,’” Mrs. Dzingle said, and her husband proceeded to give her sister a giant bear hug. 

“People have said to me, ‘He gave the best bear hugs.’ And he did, I mean he would hold on to you, just let you know this is not just some wimpy hug,” she said. Her husband would tell the soon-to-be embraced, “I’m going to give you a bear hug. Hold your breath, I’m coming in.”

****

Bernard A. Dzingle is survived by his wife of 44 years, Deborah; his children, Ryan Dzingle of Las Vegas, Nevada, Ashley Sweet and her husband, Kevin, of Grafton, New York, Evan Dzingle and his wife, Karen, of Niskayuna, and Kendra Dzingle of Springfield, Massachusetts; and by his grandchildren, Jacob Sweet and Harper Dzingle.

He is also survived by his brothers, Steve, Jerry and his wife, Ann, and by Daron and his wife, Marna; as well as by numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews from across the country.

 His baby sister, Rosanna Marie Dzingle, died before him. 

Calling hours will be held on Monday, Oct. 12, from noon to 2 p.m., with a prayer service immediately following, at DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home, 5216 Western Turnpike, Guilderland. Masks and social-distancing will be required.

Memorial messages may be left at www.altamontenterprise.com/milestones.

Memorial contributions may be made to New York Oncology Hematology — to its Community Cancer Foundation, 449 Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065 or online at newyorkoncology.com/donate.

— Sean Mulkerrin

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