Virginia Irene Warren Dinsmore, 86, of Portsmouth, R.I., and San Antonio, Texas, died Jan. 18, 2002.

Born in Winfield, Iowa, Sept. 11, 1915, she was the daughter of the late Tingle Thomas Warren and Jennie Johnson Warren.

Married for 55 years, she was the wife of the late Col. Dwight R. Dinsmore.

Virginia was involved in music her entire life, beginning in high school, where she was the accompanist for the boys glee club and mixed groups, a singer in the girls glee club and a trombone player in the school band.

After graduating as valedictorian of her high school class, she entered Parsons College with two scholarships, one for music and the other for high scholastic achievements. After two years at Parsons, she enrolled at Iowa State Teacher's College in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where she played in the college symphony and band and sang in the Bel Canto, a select singing group. Virginia was made a member of Sigma Alpha Iota national music honorary society and graduated with a bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in music.

Prior to her marriage, she taught high school music and directed glee clubs. She furthered her training in choral work by attending summer school, one that was directed by Felix Christensen, head of the St. Olaf choir.

After her marriage to Col. Dwight R. Dinsmore of the U.S. Air Force, she continued to use her talents at each duty station directing musical productions, wives club choral groups and church choirs in Texas, Alabama, Virginia and Germany. Virginia gained wide public acclaim for her outstanding artistic work in Europe in support of cultural life in the U.S. Air Force community.

Virginia directed the 50 Voice Hainerberg Protestant Chapel choir in Wiesbaden, Germany, to first-place honors in the Air Force worldwide choir contest two years in a row.

She also organized a community chorus of 100 voices to present Handel's "Messiah" in two brilliant performances before German and American audiences.

Sharing her husband's love of barbershop chorus and quartet singing, Virginia also directed and sang with many Sweet Adeline choruses all over the United States.

She is survived by a daughter, Diana Dinsmore of Portsmouth, R.I., a dance teacher at Rogers High School; and a son, Charles "Chip" Dinsmore of Happy Jack, Ariz.

Services will be held at the Porter Loring Mortuary in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 25, 2002, with burial at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio.


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