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Longtime community leader dies

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HARTINGTON — A longtime community supporter died this week.

Bill Dendinger, 75, died Sunday after a long battle with illness.

Dendinger was the general manager at the local telephone company for over four decades. He began working as the general manager at the local phone company in 1969.

Current Hartelco CEO Tom Noecker said Dendinger was always looking to take the company to the next level. "Bill was the driving force behind Cedar Vision and Hartington Telemarketing and many other projects," Noecker said. "He was always looking for a way to make improvements."

Dendinger also served on Hartington Economic Development for over three decades, serving as President of the group from 1986-1994 and then as a Board member until 2017.

Current Economic Development Board President Chris Miller said Dendinger was the type of person who was never afraid to roll up his sleeves and get to work on a project.

"Bill was the type of person that gave back to his community in many different ways," Miller said. "He was a forward thinking member of the group and helped lead the group for many years, not just as president, but a member that volunteered time after time to help with the many projects our group took on, from the new swimming pool, to the Hartington Sports complex. I believe Bill was the type of person that just wanted to help make the world he lived in and his community be a better place to call home."

Dendinger also served as an EMT for 25 years, and cochaired the Hartington Centennial celebration in 1983, and has helped out with several fundraising projects for the community. 

Upon his retirement in December 2015, Dendinger said he oversaw a lot of changes at the phone company.

“When I started we had aerial lines, placed on poles above ground. There were party-lines in the country and four-party lines in town,” Dendinger said.