Heartbroken, but grateful for the love that surrounds us, my brother and I share the passing, on Sunday, September 23rd, of our beloved father, Richard “Dick” Ingle, 83, a native of Battle Creek. His final moments came, the consequence of heart failure, nestled in the peace and support of dear family and friends. Family came first always to my father, a lesson he learned from his hard-working and devoted mother, Mary (Reynolds) Ingle (Tobey) and from the bond he forged with his brothers, Bud, Gerry, and Don through the hard years of the Great Depression and World War II. Dad struggled in his relationship with his own father, Lawrence, despite that pain, he embraced fatherhood fully, hugging both of us in a sweet childhood filled with unconditional love. He took enormous pride in watching his nieces and nephews become loving parents, and in my brother as, in his judgment, a finer father than he. Leaving us before he could witness what his beloved grandchildren, Aria, Broxton, and Graham, would become, broke his heart, but his generosity, humor, positive spirit, perseverance and energetic effort as a steward of life will surely guide and inspire them to great heights. Our father came from a generation that considered work a privilege. He worked for over twenty-five years as a meat cutter for the National Tea Company, and we can hardly remember a day missed or a complaint. As a child we would marvel at my father’s capacity to get to work even through the worst blizzards and strains. Professionally, my father’s greatest success and pride was the partnership he built to launch Meyer’s Food Center in Marshall. The long hours he worked made it possible for him to offer us more than he could have even imagined as a child, especially an outstanding education. Dad loved the life of the mind, even though he couldn’t afford to attend university, and he taught us to love and respect learning, travel, and thoughtful debate, especially about history and religion. None of us Ingles will ever forget Sunday dinners gathered around grandma’s table arguing politics and affairs of the day, all usually led by my father. Often he disagreed with us, but he was passionate in teaching us to stand for our beliefs. He made our lives rich in more than just material security. Companionship graced our father’s life, first in the loving partnership he shared with our mother, Lois Jean (Wallace) Ingle, his beloved West Virginia girl and wife of nearly forty years, and later in the joy he took from his friendship with Margaret Trunick. The love my father shared with my mother was deep, and he stood by her and filled her with confidence and dignity in the face of depression and cancer, respecting and caring for her family and friends as his own. His time with Margaret, comfortable with laughter, hours on the phone, and adventure, eased his loneliness in the years after our mother’s death. My brother and I would like to extend a special thank you to the Trunick family for the love and joy they shared with my father in his later years. You helped make his passing a beautiful one. We are also supported in our grief by my father’s surviving brother, Don and his wife Sonnie, a sibling relationship so close and bonded that bickering love made them inseparable and an entertaining duo. An extended family mix too numerous to detail, stands within his now dwindling shadow. Our father never met a stranger. He was a real “heavyweight champion” (my brother's words), when it came to friendship and making room at the table, fully and instantly, for all. If you were lucky enough to get caught up in his deep footprint, forever affected by his love and acceptance, you will never forget him or the easy, laughing way he reached out to make you family. A devoted man of the Lutheran church he supported the congregation at St. John’s Evangelical Church in Battle Creek for decades and will certainly be missed when the next hymn rings out;) His favorite was “Chief of Sinners Though I Be,” and we hope you sing it, off-key, in his memory. Do not be sad. Love life as he did. Look for him when you eat corned beef at Christmas, or ride a coaster at Cedar Point, or drink Ruby Red, or share coffee with a neighbor, or hear Willie’s “On the Road Again,” or tell a corny joke, or rake leaves, or enjoy the beauty of the sun setting over Fine Lake…..look for him when you open your hearts to everyone you meet, uplifting and including them with laughter and a positive spirit. We are bent for a time, but will rise again as we love each other as he would wish. How privileged we have been to call him our dad, our brother, our uncle, our friend.
God Bless Us, Everyone
Beth and Brett Ingle
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
26 Arbor Street, Battle Creek MI 49015