A bright light flickered out Thursday, December 9, 2021, only to shine ever so brightly on the other side as Richard Murrel Dale, 96, of Huttonsville, passed from this mortal life to join his sweetheart, Verna, who passed October 18, 2014.
Born October 30, 1925, in St. Albans, he was the third child of Charles Andrew and Esta V. Boone Dale.
His family moved to McRoss when he was a young child.
Richard was a true patriot of this great nation, serving in the US Navy as a signalman on an LSM boat during World War II. His crew took the first group of marines to Nagasaki, Japan, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He recalled details about his duties as signalman, and happily attended Navy reunions with his shipmates in earlier years.
On December 1, 1949, Richard and Lou Verna Trent were united in marriage and were able to celebrate nearly 65 years together before her passing.
Richard and Verna had three children, Tom, Jerry and Rose.
In the fall of 1956, Richard began his 35-year career for West Virginia State Parks, starting as assistant superintendent at Babcock State Park under the tutelage of Superintendent Clyde Crowley who, Richard reported, was a kind and helpful mentor. In 1960, the family moved to Cedar Creek State Park, Richard’s first state park as superintendent. Next were moves to Holly River State Park, Watoga State Park, Audra State Park, Cass Scenic Railroad and finally to Prickett’s Fort State Park. Richard was a public servant and took his park duties to heart, cheerfully greeting guests and going the second mile to make their stay enjoyable.
Richard and Verna moved to Mill Creek in 1988 in retirement to their beloved “Rocky Top.”
Richard was inducted into the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Longdale Lodge No. 14 on September 19, 1959, and he received a lifetime (50-year) pin from Beverly AF and AM. He was pleased to represent the good things that this ancient order stood for.
He shared his love for woodworking in making items for family members and friends along the way. He never tired of gardening and nature, always attentive to feeding his birds, which he enjoyed watching from his recliner. How he loved to watch his vegetables grow, always hoping for a good crop of leather britches to have with a pone of cornbread. After Verna’s passing, Richard reported that “Rocky Top” wasn’t dear to him anymore, and he moved to Huttonsville where he lived in his own home with help from angels, Lorena Bennett, Lorena Yokum, Cathy Crum and Sada and Potsy Cartright.
Richard really enjoyed going to the Mill Creek Senior Center. He loved the fellowship with friends, Pledge of Allegiance and prayer as much as the warm meal. He would often think of a special song and pick up the phone to sing to Peggy, his special friend at the center. All who knew Richard, loved him. He taught by example to love God and to love his neighbor. He supported the local Tyrand Co-op Ministries with regular donations for those less fortunate.
He learned to fish early in life and never grew tired of this sport. He travelled to Holden Beach each spring and fall to fish from the pier and a boat. One of his special fishing buddies was Kirby Buzzard, who was always happy to bait his hook, or reel in the fish.
Richard was Protestant by faith and he enjoyed listening to Dr. Charles Stanley on Sunday mornings. He would read along with his Bible and sometimes share a spiritual message with family members.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two older brothers, Clayton Howard and Carl Lewis Dale; and grandson, Logan Wyatt Dale.
Richard is survived by his three children: Tom (Sue) of Missoula, Montana, Jerry (Pam), of Huntersville, and Rose (Buck), of Weston; grandchildren, Adam Dale (Gretchen), of Pinedale Wyoming, Morgan Dale (Dessa), of Missoula, Montana, Jeremy (Nicki) Clark, of Morgantown, Mandy (Matt) Bennett, of Weston, Dillon (Ashley) Clark, of Bedford, Pennsylvania, Aaron Clark (Emily), of Weston, Evan (Jill) Dale, of Wheeling, Grant (Krystal) Dale, of Shady Springs; great-grandchildren, Keller and Landon Bennett, Owen and Sam Dale, Juniper and Hazel Dale, Ava Clark, Peyton and Rosie Clark, Madelyn, Wyatt and Lydia Dale, and Adeline and Harper Dale. These kids loved their “Papaw,” and he loved them immensely. Richard is also survived by special nephews, James (Ellen) Dale, of Brightwood, Virginia, and Richard (Lori) Trent, of Painesville, Ohio, and special niece, Margaret (Chip) Carson, of Warrenton, Virginia; and several Shafer cousins, of Greenbrier County.
Service was held Sunday, December 12, 2021, at the Wallace and Wallace Funeral Home in Arbovale with Pastor David Rittenhouse officiating. Burial with military rites by the Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corp and Masonic Rites was in Arbovale Cemetery, next to his beloved Verna.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Tyrand Co-op Ministries, 39 State Route Mill Creek, WV 26280; one of Richard’s favorite charities.
Online condolences may be shared at WallaceandWallaceFH.com