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'Teen Angel' writer Jean Dinning dies

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. -- Songwriter Jean Dinning, who wrote the teen tragedy hit "Teen Angel," has died. She was 86.

Daughter Cynthia Wygal tells the Orange County Register that her mother died Feb. 22 in Garden Grove.

Dinning's brother Mark performed "Teen Angel," which is about a girl who dies tragically. A couple's car stalls on railroad tracks and they safely get out, but the girl runs back to get the boy's high school class ring and a train hits the car.

The song was released in October 1959 and it became an instant hit.

Dinning is survived by her sisters Ginger and Dolores; children Shay Edwards, Cynthia Wygal, Howard Mack, Ronald Surrey and David Surrey; eight grandchildren; and eight great grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned May 21 in Nashville, Tenn.

-- AP

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