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Jean Dinning, who wrote ‘Teen Angel,' dies at 86

March 10, 2011 |  6:35 pm


Jean Dinning, who wrote the tragic tale "Teen Angel" that became a No. 1 hit in 1959, has died. She was 86.

Dinning died Feb. 22, said her daughter, Cynthia Wygal. Dinning had been staying at Wygal's Garden Grove home under hospice care for complications from a respiratory infection.

"Teen Angel" was the story of a girl who dies after going back to a car stalled on railroad tracks to get her boyfriend's high school ring. Dinning's brother, Mark, performed the song, which was No. 1 on Billboard magazine's charts in December 1959. Above is a video of Mark Dinning from 1960.

Eugenia Dinning was born March 29, 1924, in Enid, Okla. She performed as one of the Dinning Sisters, who were popular particularly during the 1940s. She moved to Orange County about 10 years ago as her health declined, Wygal said.

 -- Keith Thursby