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Pinnacle Bank chairman Roy Dinsdale drove the state visiting company's branches

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Gloria and Roy Dinsdale

Gloria and Roy Dinsdale in his office as Pinnacle Bank opened its new headquarters at 180th Street and West Dodge Road in 2011, reflecting the bank's growth.

Roy Dinsdale could often be found in his Ford Crown Victoria with polka music playing, a cup of iced tea in hand and a pack of Juicy Fruit gum in his pocket. 

As executive chairman of Pinnacle Bancorp, the holding company of Pinnacle Bank, he usually drove 70,000 to 80,000 miles a year visiting branches around Nebraska.

Dinsdale died Wednesday at the age of 95. He carries a legacy in Nebraska as the executive chairman of Pinnacle Bancorp and Dinsdale Brothers, a farming and agricultural firm headquartered in Palmer, where he was born and raised.

Sid Dinsdale, Roy’s son, said his father impacted communities around the state through his work and passions.

“He lived a great full life — was so well respected and loved by family, friends and colleagues,” he said. “He was a 'goer.' He was a business guy up until he couldn’t be anymore.”

Pinnacle Bancorp was created in Palmer, a village about 20 miles north of Grand Island. Roy Dinsdale’s father, George, and uncle, Tom, opened the State Bank in 1938. It was the forerunner of what's known today as Pinnacle Bank and Bank of Colorado, Sid Dinsdale said.

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Roy Dinsdale began his part in the business venture in 1958 when he and his brother, John, commonly called Jack, expanded their family’s company to a bank in Neligh.

For decades, the siblings continued to open banks in rural Nebraska communities. Pinnacle Bank now has branches in eight states.

Over the decades, the bank has stuck to its community banking model, with local officers in charge of each market’s lending decisions and operations.

Roy Dinsdale fostered his interest in business in the business administration program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he met his wife, Gloria Stephens. 

He graduated in 1948 and married Stephens shortly after she graduated in 1949 — they celebrated 72 years together in 2021. The couple went on to have three children: Sid, Chris and Jane.

Roy Dinsdale lived in Palmer his entire life, in a house across the street from his brother Jack’s family. He also has two other siblings, Howard and George.

He was generous in donating money to the community, Sid Dinsdale said. He founded the We Care Fund, which donates to active military members serving overseas.

In 2011, Roy Dinsdale's company paid $11.25 million to name Lincoln's new sports and entertainment complex as the Pinnacle Bank Arena.

UNL renamed the redeveloped C.Y. Thompson Library on East Campus after the Dinsdale family made a major contribution to its renovation. The library, which reopened in January 2021, was named the Dinsdale Family Learning Commons in honor of brothers Roy and Jack, according to a university news release. 

He also received several honors, including being inducted into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame in 2003 and into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame in 2014, Sid Dinsdale said.

Chris Dinsdale, Roy’s son, said he spent most mornings in his feedlots in Palmer, checking the livestock and driving the cornfields.

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Dawn Dinsdale, Roy’s daughter-in-law, said he always made it a point to connect with the managers and presidents at many of his bank locations.

“He remained personally connected with everybody, and he worked hard at that,” she said. “He just loved to have personal conversations with people. It was important to him and that was what made him remarkable.”

Roy Dinsdale died with Gloria by his side. She said he continued to be active in his companies until about a year before his death.

“We want to celebrate his 95 years,” she said.

There will be two services to honor Roy Dinsdale. One will be at 2 p.m. Jan. 6 at Countryside Community Church, 13130 Faith Plaza in Omaha. Another celebration of life service will be at the Palmer United Methodist Church, with a time and date to be announced.

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