Dinzel Ray Earnest, 88, passed away peacefully, Tuesday, March 7, 2023, in Abilene, TX. Visitation will be from 3 PM to 5 PM, Sunday, March 12, 2023, at Elmwood Funeral Home, 5750 Hwy 277 South. Funeral service will be 11:00 AM, Monday, March 13, 2023, in the Elmwood Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow the service at Texas State Veterans Cemetery.
D.R. was born on July 18, 1934, in Abilene, TX, to John Dinzel and Opal Marie Earnest. He joined the United States Air Force in July of 1954. He married Mabel Iona Earnest on May 20, 1956, at the Abilene Air Force Base' Chapel. After living in El Paso and being stationed in Japan, they moved back to Abilene, TX. D.R. joined the Abilene Police Department as one of the first members of the K-9 Unit. His entrepreneurial spirit led him into careers that included real estate and life insurance sales before finding his calling in the classroom. As a McMurry Graduate, D.R. taught 6th grade for fifteen years in the Abilene Independent School District at Anson Jones Elementary. He worked with students on everything from their academics to sports and photography. D.R. loved to inspire students in and out of the classroom. He taught Sunday School to share the word of God, and he taught sportsmanship as the President of Southern Baseball Little League. One of the things that he was most proud of was when he attained his Private Pilot's License. He piloted a Cherokee Piper 180 for many years. He loved building, painting, and spending time with his family. He shared his love of painting with his great grandkids. He was very generous with his time and talents. He will be remembered most for his sense of humor and the love he shared so freely.
Dinzel is survived by three children: Gale Barnhill and her husband Ken of Lake Dallas; Diana Walker and her husband Steve of Abilene; and Danny Earnest and his wife Debbie of St. Charles, Illinois, as well as ten grandchildren, Iona Shaye Robinson, Kenneth Barnhill, James Barnhill, Rebecca Barnhill, Kari Barnhill, Jeremy Walker, Lyndi Manning, Lacey Gaffney, Ryan Earnest, Garrett Earnest; numerous great grandchildren; one brother, Glenn Earnest; several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mabel Iona Earnest, and his parents.
Special thanks to Windcrest Health and Rehabilitation for giving our dad such a caring, loving home away from home.
The family suggests memorial donations be made to Meals on Wheels, 717 N. 10th Street, Abilene, TX 79601, and Hendrick Hospice Care, 1651 Pine Street, Abilene, TX 79601, in recognition of the great care they provided D.R. during his times of need.