She was born in Des Moines, Iowa on February 21, 1916. In 1933, she graduated from Edgewood, a Catholic boarding school for girls. She graduated from Cornell University in 1939. In 1946 she married CDR Frank Dingfelder, USN. She had one child. She received her Master of Arts degree from the University of Hawaii in 1961. After her husband's retirement from the Navy in 1959, they moved to Chico, CA. When her husband died in 1989, she learned that MOAA had a scholarship program, and found it to be a very rewarding experience.