Wayne Lincoln Dahlinger

February 12, 1933August 5, 2018
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Wayne Lincoln Dahlinger, age 85, of Plano, Texas went to be with the Lord on Sunday August 5, 2018. Wayne was born Sunday February 12, 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Hilda (Weitzel) Dahlinger and Albert C Dahlinger. He was the youngest of three children, joining Brother Jack and Sister Eileen. His parents felt it fitting to give him Lincoln, for his middle name since Wayne shared the same birthday as President Lincoln.

Wayne grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a child he often helped the elderly of his neighborhood with things like shoveling snow, shoveling coal, cutting grass, and delivering groceries etc. He did so for little or no charge. He graduated South Hills High School, 1951, where he met his future bride, Mary Lee. In 1955 He graduated Grove City College, where he was President of his fraternity and vice President of his senior class. After graduating college Wayne took a career as a Professional Engineer. He had a successful working career, first with Atomic Energy Commission and then with United States Steel Corporation. He advanced to Professional Manager/Director of Facility Engineering. He was responsible for the construction of many large and complicated facilities. Wayne was known at work for his dedication, integrity and superb ethics.

Wayne dedicated his life to his one and only, Mary Lee, on Saturday August 06, 1955, by taking her hand in marriage and vowing to stand by her side through all of life’s challenges and rewards. The vow and dedication paid off with three beautiful children; David, Douglas, and Susan, five wonderful grandchildren; Katie, Kelsey, Brett, Daniel, and Michael, and one great-grandchild Finn Lincoln Gross. He was proud of his children and grandchildren. It was an honor to have his first great-grandchild carry on the namesake, Lincoln. Wayne and Mary Lee had an amazing journey and were one day shy of celebrating sixty-three years of marriage. Wayne was raised Presbyterian and he carried that heritage through his life. He was proud and blessed to have accepted The Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior when he was twelve. It was at that time he also committed himself to helping others. As an adult he served the Lord through his works at church and in his life; church greeter, church usher, and anything else that was asked of him. Wayne served as a Deacon for four terms and an Elder for four terms. He was superintendent of the church Sunday school, Head of Christian Education Department, Youth Group Leader, taught Sunday school (7-8 grades) for twenty-eight years, counseled many teenagers and taught Junior Achievement Classes. At the time he was transferred to Texas the demands from his job kept him from participating in church offices, but he and Mary Lee continued to serve the elderly families, inside and outside of church. He and Mary Lee attended Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church and were active members.

Wayne had a special place in his heart for young people, they were very important to him. He was often heard saying, “They are our most important commodity,” when speaking of the youth. The children in Wayne’s neighborhood referred to him as “Mr. D”.

Wayne loved working outside in his yard, he enjoyed playing golf, and watching his grandchildren play sports. He loved sports, so much he was a volunteer baseball coach for thirteen years and he coached basketball. He played industrial softball and basketball for many years and later “graduated” to playing church softball.

Wayne and Mary Lee dedicated their lives to their grandchildren. They were very grateful to be included in their lives, as they have brought such joy to both of them. In Wayne’s own words, “This needs to be expanded upon—about my love for them and how proud I was of them for all their accomplishments and how they were all brought up to Love the Lord Jesus and how they are living their lives”. But how does one expand on this? There are no words that could capture and express how Wayne felt about his grandchildren and the love he carried in his heart for them, the closest one could come, is to say he had the love for them that his Lord Jesus had for him.

Wayne’s family and friends will cherish his memory and think back on him fondly. They will recall a man of integrity, a great guy, a wonderful Husband, Dad, and Papa, a man who was very loyal to his family, a man who loved his country, and a man who LOVED his LORD.

Wayne was preceded in death by his son David; mother Hilda and father Albert; sister Eileen and brother Jack.

Wayne is survived by his wife, Mary Lee; son Doug (daughter-in-law Candy ); daughter Susan Hudspeth (son-in-law Lee Hudspeth); granddaughters Katie Gross (grandson-in-law Zach Gross ), Kelsey Hudspeth; grandsons, Brett Hudspeth, Daniel Dahlinger, Michael Dahlinger; and great grandson Finn Lincoln Gross.

Letter from Grandchildren, read at services by Granddaughter, Katie Gross:

When I made the decision to speak at this today, I struggled for several days trying to figure out how I could possibly tell you all enough about Wayne Dahlinger. How I could even begin to explain the kind of man and grandfather that he was. And I felt a great burden of responsibility to adequately speak on behalf of Kelsey, Daniel, Brett Michael, and Zach. But then I realized that it’s impossible. I couldn’t ever possibly get you all to fully understand what it was like to have him as my Papa. And that’s when I decided what I wanted to do instead. I wanted to write a letter to him, from all of us.

Dear Papa,

I don’t feel like anyone understands the pain we’ve all been in this week. Kelsey said it best the other day when she said, “I don’t think anyone outside this family knows just what we lost the other day”. There is a hole now. You’re missing, and I think it will always feel that way. You had such a huge presence, filling a crucially important role in our lives, and are in so many ways responsible for the people we are today. We don’t really even like using the word “Grandfather” when we talk about you, because it doesn’t seem to be significant enough to describe you.

Papa, you protected us, and man did you do it well. You bought us 2nd floor escape safety ladders, window locks, carbon monoxide detectors, small pepper sprays for our keys and industrial sized for our cars and purses. You bought us door bar barricades, first aid kits, car battery jumpers, fire extinguishers for our trunks, and combination window shatter/seat belt cutters for if we ever accidentally drove into a body of water. You cut out millions of informative articles and gave each of us Army grade flashlights. After I told you I was pregnant with Finn, you spent hours reading information sheets for each of your medications, highlighting anything related to pregnancy complications or exposure risks, and when I came over to your house the next time, you had made a sign saying “KATIE STOP” in bold red letters, to keep me from getting too close to anything that could harm me or the baby. You stayed awake numerous nights worrying about each of us, waiting to receive the call that we made it to our destination safely. We laughed and kidded with you about each of these things, but it was special. You were special, and we knew you loved us.

Papa, you loved us, and you did it well, investing and pouring into our lives daily in so many different ways. You loved us with words of affirmation, supporting us, complimenting us, bragging about us to your friends, often giving us more credit than we were even due, or adding three plus inches when you told people how tall we were. Christmas morning will never be the same. You and Grandma spent so much time each year shopping for special, personal and thoughtful presents, presenting them 1 at a time, and each with a story. We loved listening to you tell those stories. You worked for hours organizing Easter egg hunts, corresponding to your yellow legal pad inventory sheet, always making sure things were “fair” by adjusting the time we got to hunt according to our ages, or giving hints to Michael where eggs were hidden. But more than any of that Papa, you loved us through quality time, through genuine interest in our interests and investing so much effort and energy into our activities. Years of attendance at every game we played, recital or concert we performed in, and college show or event we were involved in. Watching the TV broadcast for any game we went to with the hopes of seeing us on camera, organizing batting practice schedules and feeding balls into the machine with your helmet on, religiously bringing a cooler of gummy snacks, goldfish and Gatorade to every baseball game, not just for us but for our teammates as well. You were there for it all. You welcomed Zach into our family with open arms, quickly and effortlessly forming a beautiful seven-year friendship that saw countless hours sitting together on the couch watching any sporting event that was on, thousands of phone calls for score updates or to find out the game time and channel, and stories seated around the dinner table. I could never begin to thank you enough, or explain to you what it meant, for you to love him as your own.

Papa you taught us, and man did you teach us well, both in word and in action. You taught us to over prepare for all situations, to take pride in our work, and to not do something at all if not done right. “There’s a right way to do things”, you would say. You modeled marriage for us and how to have a successful relationship, you taught us how to fake being awake when caught in a nap, how to check our tire pressure and to keep up with oil changes, how to properly maintain a lawn, and to never take the items in the front of the grocery shelf. You taught us to have strong convictions and principles, to be methodical and logical, to serve others, to love your neighbor (quite literally), to treat everyone fairly, and to always give 110%.

Papa we always thought of you as indestructible. Your physical absence is hard to bear, but we grieve with hope and with joy knowing where your spirit is. We know without a doubt where you are, not because you were a good man, and man were you, but because you were a saved man. Papa you taught us so many important things over the years, but more than anything, you made sure we knew that the most important decision we would ever make in our lives, was the decision to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and to spend our lives following Him. We followed you as you followed Him. God first. Family second. Education third, and everything else comes after that. We are so thankful for your training. Your physical body may be gone, but the life and family you and Grandma built together is still here and will be for generations. We can see your handprint in it every day, and it’s as strong as it is because of the firm foundation you laid. The way you protected us, loved us and taught us. When we think of you Papa, we will think of the Apostle Paul, in your opinion the greatest of all the Apostles. As he wrote in his second letter to Timothy, “you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, and you have kept the faith. Now there is in store for you the crown of righteousness and everlasting life”. Until we meet again. We love you.

Love, Your grandchildren

A Memorial Service will be held Monday, August 13, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Ted Dickey West Funeral Home 8011 Frankford Road Dallas, Texas 75252.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Dahlinger family.

In lieu of flowers, we would ask that you might consider making a donation to Grove City College in his memory.


  • Hilda Dahlinger, Mother
  • Albert C Dahlinger, Father
  • Mary Lee Dahlinger, Wife
  • David Dahlinger, Son
  • Doug Dahlinger, Son
  • Susan Hudspeth, Daughter
  • Candy Dahlinger, Daughter-in-law
  • Lee Hudspeth, Son-in-law
  • Katie Gross, Granddaughter
  • Kelsey Hudspeth, Granddaughter
  • Brett Hudspeth, Grandson
  • Daniel Dahlinger, Grandson
  • Michael Dahlinger, Grandson
  • Zach Gross, Grandson-in-law
  • Finn Lincoln Gross, Great Grandson
  • Eileen Dahlinger, Sister
  • Jack Dahlinger, Brother


  • Memorial Service Monday, August 13, 2018

Wayne Lincoln Dahlinger

have a memory or condolence to add?

Lisa Coppinger

September 9, 2018

I have only just found out about Wayne’s passing. I had many occasions to work with him in our neighborhood, to see and speek with him at HOA functions and to see him working with his grandson on baseball at the local cages. His warm smile and knowing presence will be missed by myself, my family and countless other families in our neighborhood who may not know all that Wayne has done for them. Godd bless his family and thank you for sharing him with us.

Nancy Harstine kleckner

August 12, 2018

I'm so sorry for your loss. My daddy thought so much of your son David and all your family. Thank you for your kindness and visiting daddy when he was so sick. Prayers for all your family . I still have the Texas watch you gave daddy.


These trophies held by officers Rosemary Short, Bob Breinig, Nancy Zentgraf, and Wayne Dahlinger, are symbols of the fine leadership and co-operation we have in our S.C.A.


These trophies held by officers Rosemary Short, Bob Breinig, Nancy Zentgraf, and Wayne Dahlinger, are symbols of the fine leadership and co-operation we have in our S.C.A.


June 1956