Eben Charles Dingman

BUCKFIELD – Eben Charles Dingman, 35, died on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, after his car overturned in icy conditions on Streaked Mountain, as he returned from the Bridgton location of Bear Bones Beer, the brewery that he co-founded.Eben’s family and extensive network of deeply connected friends will always remember his intelligence, high energy, inventiveness, agility, compassion, and fierce sense of justice. He read widely and deeply, had empathy for oppressed people and creatures everywhere, and readily shared humor, wisdom and compassion with all who crossed his path.Eben was born on March 12, 1984, in Lewiston, Maine, to the late Jane V. Souza Dingman and Charles F. Dingman, of Leeds, Maine. Many of his childhood friends in Leeds remained close to him throughout his life. He attended Leavitt Area High School in Turner and studied thereafter at several institutions of higher education, but formal education was never his primary way of learning. The pace of structured schooling was too slow for him. His agile and creative mind constantly assimilated information and brought forth new ideas: some useful, some profound, and some hilarious. In 2013, Eben moved from central Maine to Mexico City, Mexico, where he taught English as a second language and became fluent in his second language, Spanish. During his three years there, he also studied business and economics at the Mexico City campus of Endicott College. His experience in Mexico gave him not only fluency in Spanish, but ease in socializing in that language and culture, which to some extent had eluded him in his native environment. He laughed, joked, and responded easily in Spanish, while often pausing to consider his words before speaking in English. He developed a deep appreciation of Mexico and all of Latin America, including the indigenous and European influences on its culture. Upon his return to Maine in 2016, he worked with one of his best friends, Adam Tuuri, to found Bear Bones Beer, a craft brewery in Lewiston, Maine, which subsequently expanded to Bridgton. With Adam, Eben found ways to create innovative beer and inviting spaces in which to enjoy it, substituting extraordinary effort for limited capital, and recently expanding into distilled spirits.Eben was athletic and an avid student of sport, enjoying basketball, soccer, and snowboarding. He taught both swimming and snowboarding at various times in his life, showing a special gift for teaching children how to move athletically and safely in these activities. He was a wonderful uncle to his nieces and nephews, and was naturally communicative and entertaining to children wherever he found them. Eben cared deeply about social and economic oppression everywhere, with a special understanding of its impacts in Latin America. Despite his entrepreneurial engagement with the economy in which he found himself, he believed that wealth and resources should be equitably shared by all the people of the world, not by those who through happenstance or violence have gained a disproportionate share. His love of hip-hop reflected his appreciation for its origins in oppressed communities and its stark evocation of injustices requiring fundamental change. Eben’s brainchild, a popular bourbon-based beer called Double C.R.E.A.M., derives its name from the Wu-Tang Clan’s song “C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me).”Early in the operation of the brewery’s tasting room on Lisbon Street in Lewiston, Eben met and rescued from the street a Basenji-pitbull dog, whom he named “Winston,” after both the smell of cigarettes on the neglected animal and the protagonist in George Orwell’s “1984.” Eben was a devoted caretaker and trainer of Winston, who has grown to be a personable, athletic, friendly, and beloved dog, echoing in many ways the qualities of his boy.In addition to Winston, Eben is survived by his father, Charles Dingman, his sisters Amy, Emily, and Susannah; his brother Andrew; his nieces Francesca and Halle; his nephews Greyson and Everett; and his aunts, uncles, and cousins. He will be missed as well by his siblings’ and father’s partners, spouses, and friends, as well as the vast network of his own friends, formed throughout his life and held close regardless of when they first met. Friends are invited to visit and share memories of Eben at Bear Bones Beer at 43 Lisbon Street in Lewiston on Friday evening, December 20, from 6-8 p.m. (with the brewery remaining open until 10 p.m. for those who wish to stay and visit longer). A service of remembrance, celebration, and re-commitment will be held at the Leeds Community Church, 123 Church Hill Road, Leeds, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 21. Arrangements are under the care of Chandler Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, 45 Main St., South Paris. Messages of condolence may be sent to family and friends at [email protected]

Instead of flowers, donations in Eben’s honor may be made to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, “RAICES,” at https://www.raicestexas.org/ways-to-give/donate-in-someones-honor/