John Charles Dimmer
April 19, 1928 - March 28, 2021
Tacoma, Washington - John Charles Dimmer passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, March 28, 2021. He was born in Tacoma, WA on April 19, 1928. He grew up in Lakewood, WA, and graduated from Clover Park High School in 1946. He attended the University of Washington, and graduated in 1951 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering. Upon graduation he was accepted into Navy OCS, and commissioned as an ensign. Given his engineering education, he was assigned to the Naval Ammunition Depot in Crane, Indiana, where he served honorably until his discharge. He returned to Tacoma and began working as an industrial engineer for Northwest Metal Products, and then hired on with Washington Steel Products in August of 1956. Shortly thereafter he became reacquainted with a young woman whom he had met in college, Marilyn Jean McCormack, and they were married on December 14, 1957. In 1960 he was hired as President of Western Plastics Corporation, a small extruded PVC pipe operation with one office in the Port of Tacoma. Over the next twenty years he built the company into a major operation with offices along the west coast and into Canada, ultimately selling the business to Hepworth Ceramics, Ltd. in 1980. He subsequently established FIRS Management, an entity through which he managed a diverse portfolio of personal investments in such industries as banking, real estate, technology, and industrial businesses. He served on the Board of Directors of Puget Sound National Bank, and then when the bank was sold to KeyCorp, he served on their Board of Directors. He was also a Director of Momentum Corporation, Spry, Stellar Industrial Supply, Free Range Media, and Bennett Industries. Service and philanthropy were major components of Mr. Dimmer's life. He served on the Clover Park School Board for many years, was a Trustee for LeMay – America's Car Museum and The Museum of Flight, was a Board member of MultiCare Health System and was a member of the University of Washington – Tacoma Advisory Council. He established the John C. & Marilyn J. Dimmer Scholarship which awards college scholarships to high school graduates in the Clover Park School District, as well as another scholarship fund that, together, have provided the opportunity for hundreds of students to obtain a college education. He also established The Dimmer Family Foundation which has donated millions of dollars to the arts, healthcare, education, and veterans' causes in the greater Tacoma community. Mr. Dimmer was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Tacoma Rotary Club #8, the Tacoma Club, Rancho LaQuinta Country Club, the Tacoma Country & Golf Club, and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He held a private pilot's license and owned and flew a Stearman PT-17 biplane, a North American AT-6, a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat, and a General Motors FM-2 Wildcat. He was also a registered Industrial Engineer. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marilyn Jean Dimmer, his son, John Brian Dimmer (Diane), his daughter, Carolyn Jean Dimmer, his granddaughter, Colleen Elizabeth Tangvald (Baldur), his grandsons, 1LT John William Dimmer and Alexander Scott Dimmer, and many nieces and nephews. True to form, he left instructions upon his departure and asked that his friends join together for a pleasurable and humorous gathering to toast him one last time. The family will stage an appropriate event when circumstances permit. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the John C. & Marilyn J. Dimmer Chair for Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington – Tacoma.
Published in & & & from Apr. 3 to Apr. 8, 2021.