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Eight Bells: Dennis Dieball, Sr.

Published on November 12th, 2018

Denny Dieball passed away peacefully November 11th at the age of 74 at his home in Toledo, Ohio. He bravely fought brain cancer for three years.

Denny was a lifelong sailor, instructor, craftsman, role model, husband, father and grandfather. A Toledo native, Denny started working as a boatbuilder after serving in the US Navy. Soon after accepting early retirement from his career with the local power company, he started Dieball Boat Works, where he specialized in making sailboats go fast. His client list read like a “who’s who” in the sailing world, which earned him the nickname, “The King”.

As a sailor himself, he was a multi-class champion sailing in the Rhodes Bantam, Interlake, Lightning, Highlander and Jet 14 classes. Though impressive in its own right, Denny was equally proud of the accomplishments of his clients. World, Continental, National and Midwinter championships were many times linked to the speed and care Denny gave customers’ boats.

Denny served the sport tirelessly. His volunteerism earned him impressive recognition including Life Membership to the Interlake Sailing Class Association and Toledo Ice Yacht Club. He also was well known as an eager volunteer mark-setter at North Cape Yacht Club.

All sailing accomplishments aside, he was a devoted family man. Husband of 51 years to Judy and father to sons Ernie (Jacqueline) and Skip (Laurie). He was a loving grandfather to Meghan, Mallory, Dean and Maddox … all of whom he has passed along his passion for the sport of sailing.

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