Posted on: January 29, 2018
The following remembrance was shared by the children of Dr. Dinmoer:
With great sadness in our hearts, we must tell you that our beloved father, Richard Clayton Dinmore, passed away peacefully at home, in the early morning hours of December 25, 2017. He was ninety-four. Dad died surrounded by his family and with the knowledge that we had all gathered and spent Christmas Eve filling his home with the love, laughter, and silliness created by our annual tradition of dinner and parlor games, just as we have done since we were children.
Dad was ‘Dad’ to his six children and four children-in-law, ‘Grandad’ to nine, ‘Grandpa Great’ to three, and ‘Dick’ to his close friends and to Eileen, his dear wife of sixty-two years. He was ‘Dr. Dinmore’ to thousands of patients and casual acquaintances, and ‘Richard’ to the physicians, nurses, hospice team, and home health care nurses who helped us take care of him with great respect, tenderness, and dignity during his final weeks of life.
As we go forward, all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him will remember a powerfully intelligent, logical man who had all the qualities that both men and women admire, and who was endlessly curious about the lives of others. He loved animals indiscriminately, enjoyed travel, was a voracious reader, appreciated fine dining, was an avid golfer, played a mean game of cribbage, and would often play the devil’s advocate during endless hours of conversation, about any topic we wished to discuss, preferably while nursing a bourbon and soda. As a physician, Dad believed in and lived by the Hippocratic Oath, the tenets of which he often spoke about while we were growing up. We remember a man who had hands that were equal parts strength and tenderness; hand that were the first thing tiny new lives felt; hands that were sometimes firm but mostly imparted a sense of love and security when he held our hands in his. The strength of character conveyed through his hands was present even in his waning hours, as we each found comfort by holding his hands in ours.
Dad was born on November 21, 1923, in New York City, to Henry Clayton Dinmore and Estelle Louise Jacob. Yet, it is more accurate to consider him a California boy. His parents were San Francisco natives, and further back, in the 1840s, his great grandparents on his maternal side arrived in San Francisco before California was a state, and on his paternal side were the first settlers of Petaluma, California. His family returned to San Francisco from New York when he was very young, but he lived most of his childhood in Beverly Hills, California.
He spent his teenage years in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he graduated from Punahou High School in 1941. He was on the island at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Dad performed his wartime service as a Troop Carrier Pilot in the 9th Air Force in Europe, and he was later part of the First Allied Airborne Army. After World War II, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia and went on to earn his MD degree from ‘The University’, as he would say (that was the snob in him!), in 1953. Dad’s career in medicine as an Ob/Gyn spanned thirty-nine years, seventeen of those in private practice in Colorado Springs, and the remaining twenty-two as a physician in the United States Air Force, from which he retired as a Colonel in 1988.
After spending his lifetime studying human reproductive physiology, and delivering thousands of newborn babies safely into the world, Dad never let go of his commitment to life-long learning. During his thirty years of retired life, he studied the philosophies of Spinoza, St. Augustine, Descartes, Pascal, and John Hick as well as contemporary political science, anthropology, and law, all at Arapahoe Community College. He spent many years reading about and building museum-quality, square-rigged, 18th and 19th century ship models; he wrote a memoir of his mother, Estelle Jacob Dinmore; authored his autobiography, So Far So Good; and was still attending courses at University College University of Denver just a week before becoming too seriously ill to sit in the classroom.
Dad’s passion for current events and politics only increased with age. He was a devoted liberal and believed that government should absolutely be concerned with sound social legislation for the benefit of all its citizens as well as with preservation of a true egalitarian democracy as envisioned by our forefathers. Dad’s humor and mental powers were palpable until forty-eight hours before he took his final breath. He is an inspiration to all of us for how to remain curious and engaged in life every day.