Our Son, Blake Robert Dingman, 21, was stolen from this life on Wednesday, November 7th, 2018. Blake was the victim of a senseless and horrific shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks CA. We, his parents, brother, grandparents and extended family are devastated that his life has been cut short just as he was reaching out towards a promising future.
On July 15, 1997, Blake came stubbornly into this world after 22 hours of labor and was born at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks. He entered this world with the same amount of passion that he would go on to live his life with. Blake was an intuitive person and was a quick study at most anything that he set his mind to learn. During Blake’s life, his incredible sense of balance and agility allowed him to excel at nearly any sport he tried. As a youth, Blake played both soccer and Pony baseball and his father managed several of those teams. Blake’s incredible speed made him an asset on both the soccer and baseball fields. He had a fearless nature and one heck of an arm which allowed him to make some spectacular plays at both centerfield and catcher. Also in his youth, Blake enjoyed skateboarding, BMX bike riding and was particularly good at doing tricks on a scooter, winning some local competitions. His mechanical ability and love of taking things apart led him to making some YouTube videos, showing other kids how to fix or upgrade their scooter.
As Blake grew older, his toys got bigger and intentionally louder. Blake’s first vehicle was a white Ford Ranger that he affectionately name “Becky”. Becky underwent many transformations through the years as Blake worked on his goal of turning her into a “pre-runner” used for off-roading. “Becky” and Blake went on many adventures together… Mudding at Hoontown, climbing mountain trails with friends and gathering for night rides on the Miller Jeep Trail in Gorman. One of the greatest things about the sport of off-roading is that it was something that he and his brother, Aidan loved to do together. Those are times Aidan will cherish forever. Blake’s other love was his motorcycle which he thoroughly enjoyed taking to the dessert with friends. The fact that Blake did not grow up riding a motorcycle did not stop him from buying one. As with other sports, Blake was a natural and quickly gained the skills to ride well with his buddies who had much more experience. Every chance he got, he and his friends would plan a trip to Pismo or the dessert and would camp, ride and have a great time making memories together. Of course it seemed every trip, something came home broken, or needed towing… but that was just part of the adventure…
Blake had a huge heart and considered it a great challenge to use his mechanical skills to help a friend in need. Whether it was something simple like replacing brakes or a more complex project such as adding suspension… Blake would jump right in and work on the task until it was complete. Blake’s first job was working at Bennett Automotive and there he learned the basics of working on cars. Blake also loved working along side his grandfather, Jim whom he called Poppop on many of these projects. Many of the skills he learned in the automotive arena were developed as they worked side by side on his Poppop’s custom ’31 Ford, turning it into a hot rod. There wasn’t a job too big or an hour too late… Blake received many calls past midnight to help tow a friend out of a bad situation… No matter the hour, Blake would be there.
Academically, Blake attended Hillcrest Christian School in Thousand Oaks from Kindergarten through 9th grade. During those years he made some amazing friends that he was still close with at the time of his passing. During his middle school and high school years, Blake was a natural and easily learned to play the guitar. At Hillcrest, he played in worship band and also played on the high school baseball team. After Hillcrest, Blake attended and graduated in 2015 from Newbury Park High School where he made many more amazing friends. Blake also attended Moorpark and Ventura Colleges and was currently taking electrical classes, furthering his knowledge for his career as an electrician that he had been working towards for 2-1/2 years. About a week before he was taken from us, Blake was offered a fantastic job for a large electrical contractor. Blake was very excited about this new opportunity and we have no doubt that he had a great future ahead of him as an electrician.
Blake loved people and he told them so often. He was a great and faithful friend. He was an awesome son, big brother and our first born. He lived his life to the fullest and never wanted to be sitting around wasting time.. Unless he was wasting time with friends, which is never a waste. Blake gave the best hugs and he gave them freely, even if he was meeting you for the first time. He had an amazing and contagious laugh and a beautiful smile that lit up the room. The amount of friends that have reached out to us and have told us of their love for Blake is a testament to how well he loved and cared for others. As a young man, Blake was just beginning to grow into who he was going to be. He was loved… immensely, and the hole in our family will not be repaired easily or ever. We are thankful for the hope we have in Jesus and the comfort that He brings to our family. Blake was not one to speak outwardly of his faith, but everyone who speaks of him says the same thing… that he was such a “Good Guy”. We know that goodness came from the One who made him, and we are anxiously awaiting the day that we will see our amazing Blake again in heaven.
Blake is survived by his parents, Dan & Lorrie Dingman, brother, Aidan Dingman, grandparents, Jim & Carol Smith, step-grandmother, Irene Dingman, and aunt and uncles, David Dingman and Roger & Laurie Jones. Blake is also survived by many cousins and extended family.
Please join us on Saturday, December 8th at 2pm at Calvary Community Church, 5495 Via Rocas, Westlake Village.
Together with the Dunham family, we look forward to celebrating the adventurous lives of both Blake and his good friend Jake Dunham.
In lieu of flowers, we would ask that you consider donating to the following organizations.
Wounded Warrior Project - www.woundedwarriorproject.org
NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness - www.nami.org
A Celebration of Life
Saturday December 8, 2018 , 2:00 PM at Calvary Community Church
1-888-579-7953 Code: 75290P
July 15, 1997 Place of Birth:
Thousand Oaks, CA Death:
November 7, 2018 Place of Death:
Thousand Oaks, CA