Jack Fredrick Dale, son of the late Hugh Elbert and Norma Bell (Cook) Dale, was born May 13, 1928, in St. John, Kansas. He departed this life Sunday, February 22, 2009, at St. John’s Hospital, in Springfield, Missouri, at the age of 80 years.
On September 22, 1950, he was united in marriage to Betty Ruth Middleton, and to this union three children were born.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Lee and Sangster Dale.
Jack is survived by his wife, Betty, of the home; three children, Chris Dale and wife Carol of Mtn. Grove, Teresa Bradley and husband Ray of Mtn. Grove, Missouri, and Tonya Lancaster and husband Joel of Norwood, Missouri; seven grandchildren, Adam Dale and wife Amanda, Justin Bradley, Matthew Shannon and fiance Christina, Andrew Dale and wife Dacie, Nathan Shannon, Joshua Shannon, and Allison Dale; two stepgrandchildren, Clinton Lancaster and wife Emily, and Whitley Lancaster; four great-grandchildren, Haley, Jonathan, Brady, and Jack; a stepgrandchild, Logan; and many other relatives and friends who will sadly miss him.
Jack spent most of his life in the Mtn. Grove area and graduated from Mtn. Grove High School in 1946. He and two high school buddies, Tom Duvall and Jim Embree, joined the United States Army immediately after graduation and were stationed in occupied Japan. Jack received a medical discharge in 1948, after a land mine explosion damaged his hearing.
Upon returning from the military, Jack enrolled in Northwestern University in the American Television division, as he was very interested in acting, movies and playwriting. He attended school during the day and worked nights at a gasket factory, and lost two fingers in a press machine. After the accident, he returned to Mtn. Grove, where he met his future wife, Betty, who was working at Sikes Cafe. She noticed a guy driving a red convertible and fell in love (with the car).
He and Betty soon moved to Wichita, Kansas, where Jack worked in the engineering department of Boeing Aircraft. They moved to Bryan, Ohio, in 1951, and Jack spent the next eight years in the engineering development department at Aro Equipment Company.
The Dale family moved to Cabool, Missouri, in 1959, and Jack started his own business in 1961. He owned and operated Jack F. Dale and Associates until his retiring in 1995. He remained active, however, while remodeling houses, and designing and overseeing numerous projects at First Free Will Baptist Church. He also was a licensed home inspector.
Jack was the chairman of the trustee board at his church and took his job very seriously, treating it as a ministry. He taught his first Sunday school class in 1952 and taught Bible classes for 57 years. He was in the middle of a Sunday school lesson when he suddenly fell ill and had to be rushed into surgery, where he went to be with the Lord, in spite of the exhaustive efforts of the medical staff that tried to save him.
He began a passion for woodworking many years ago, and his carpentry and furniture-making skills have been shared with his family and friends who treasure his creations. He was a gifted writer and had his Christmas play, “Heaven Came Down,” published by Randall House. He was also an editorial contributor to the Springfield News-Leader. He had just written a play about John the Baptist and was planning the sets and staging at the time of his passing.
The word that comes to mind about Jack is “faithful.” He was faithful to God, to his wife and his family, and to his church. He endeavored to be the best ambassador of Christ all of his life. The family takes great comfort in knowing that, as he was ushered into the presence of God, he was told, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Welcome to your new home not made by hands; eternal and in peace.”
Funeral services were held on February 25, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. in First Freewill Baptist Church with Rev. Gary Fry, Rev. Bruce Moore and Rev. Jerry Pinkerton officiating. Ray Bradley sang “The Light Of That City,” Carol Dale sang “Upon This Rock,” and the congregation sang “In The Garden.” Pallbearers were Adam Dale, Justin Bradley, Matthew Shannon, Andrew Dale, Nathan Shannon, Josh Shannon, and Allison Dale. Full military honors were provided at the cemetery by American Legion Post 30, The Lima Team, and Jared Moore served as bugler. Burial was in Willow Springs Cemetery under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mtn. Grove.