Sudden illness claims deputy’s life

When Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy Torrey Dringman of Stanwood was asked to check on an elderly woman, he only needed to ensure she was safe.

But during his visit, he noticed that her cramped trailer was falling apart. So he arranged for free repairs.

“Torrey took it upon himself to make sure she got what she needed,” said friend and fellow deputy Greg Rasar. “He was a very compassionate and caring person.”

Dringman, 43, died June 17 after suffering major organ failure. The cause of his death is still unknown.

Dringman was devoted to his wife, Laura, and sons Taylor, 14, and Trevor, 12, friends said. He also often found ways to help, the kind of man who quietly brought groceries to needy families and enjoyed leading a Stanwood Boy Scout troop.

Dringman, an Eagle Scout, also advised high school and college-aged Scouts from five counties in the Order of the Arrow.

“He was just steady as a rock. It didn’t matter what the problem or circumstances were. He’d calmly and methodically work his way through it,” said Duane Rhodes, head of the Mount Baker Council of Boy Scouts of America, which includes Snohomish County.

“It was those qualities I think made him such a good law enforcement officer,” Rhodes said.

Dringman, a 13-year sheriff’s office veteran, was part of the team providing security for Community Transit, Sheriff Rick Bart said.

“He had a great sense of humor,” Bart said. “He was a big man who would fill up a doorway, but he was a teddy bear. He’ll be missed.”

Dringman enjoyed backpacking, hiking, hunting and fishing with his sons, friends said.

“Even though he was only here for a short time, he invested more of himself to his kids and his family than most men are able to invest in a lifetime,” Rasar said.

The 6 foot 4 inch, 260-pound deputy felt ill with flu-like symptoms June 14. After his condition worsened, he was rushed to the hospital June 16, and he died the next day.

“It just seems to be a mystery,” said friend Ron Pumphrey, a former deputy who knew Dringman for more than 20 years. “He’s reminded many of us who knew him that our time is short, and it’s important to spend time with the people you care about,”

“Torrey’s focus was always there – his family, his job, the Boy Scouts and his church,” Pumphrey said. “He had very high moral standards, and he lived a life of conviction, integrity and character.”

Reporter Katherine Schiffner: 425-339-3436 or schiffner@heraldnet.com.

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