February 2, 1920 - January 31, 2014 BLACKWELL John R. Dale, of Blackwell, Oklahoma, died Friday evening, January 31, 2014, in the Blackwell Regional Hospital at the age of 93 years. John R. Dale was born on February 2, 1920, in Wichita, Kansas, to William Fred and Nellie Grace (Knott) Dale. As a young boy, he moved with his family to Three Sands, south of Tonkawa, where he attended school. Following his education, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1939 and began working in the Rocky Mountain National Park building jetties to prevent soil erosion. On September 13, 1939, he entered the United States Marine Corps in San Diego, California, and was assigned to the First Defense Battalion, whose mission was to fortify the islands of the Pacific. In late November of 1941, John's battalion arrived on Wake Island, where his duties were operating a scope on a five-inch coastal gun. While serving on the island, his family was informed in May of 1942 that he had become a prisoner of war. While in captivity, he was transferred to and worked in several war prisons, including Khang Wan Prison near Shanghai, where he was held captive until April of 1945. Following the surrender of the Japanese, he returned to the United States and was honorably discharged on February 26, 1946. He married Wilma Ilene Warnholz on March 10, 1946, in Caldwell, Kansas, and they briefly settled in San Francisco, California. Upon moving to Blackwell, he worked for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission for seven years. In 1953, he then began working as purchasing agent and newsletter editor for Kay Electric Cooperative, retiring in 1985 after thirty-two years of service. His wife preceded him in death on May 12, 2008, and he continued to make Blackwell his home. While in Blackwell, John served as a Cub and Scout Master for his son's scout troops. He also served as member and president of the Blackwell School Board, chairman of the local chapter of American Red Cross, president and secretary of the Blackwell Kiwanis Club, member of the Blackwell Hospital Trust Authority and Blackwell Board of Adjustment and Zoning Committee. John also served as Blackwell's urban representative on the Western Kay County Soil Conservation District for a number of years. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church, the Friendship Sunday School Class and served as chairman of the Administrative Board and Trustees. Other memberships included the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Masonic Lodge and Disabled American Veterans. He was an avid reader and enjoyed traveling with his family and raising vegetables. He is survived by two daughters: Vicki Bonner and her husband Ron of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; and Krista Castle and husband Greg, of Edmond, Oklahoma; four sons: Fred Dale and wife Judy, of Plano, Texas; Greg Dale and wife Jacque, of Mayfield, Kentucky; Bruce Dale, of Blackwell, Oklahoma; and Doug Dale and wife Patti, of Edmond, Oklahoma; eleven grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; and dear friend, Lela Fowler, of Blackwell, Oklahoma. He was also preceded in death by his parents; two infant sisters; and five brothers, Charles, George, Oscar, Thomas, and Frank Dale. Services are scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Friday, February 7 in the First United Methodist Church in Blackwell, with the Rev. Pam Cottrill and the Rev. Russell Bracy officiating. Burial will follow in the Blackwell Cemetery with military rites performed by the United States Marine Corps. Honorary casket bearers include Michael Dale, Brandon Dale, John Bonner, Stephen Bonner, James Prescott, Kevin Garrett, Josh Jones, Dennis Cassady, Larry Davis, Gene Holcomb, Wheeler Cobb, Phil Johnston, Phil Whetstone, Kevin Elder, the Friendship Sunday School Class, and the Bob's Grill Coffee Group. Casket bearers will be Fred Dale, Greg Dale, Bruce Dale, Doug Dale, and Ron Bonner. A memorial has been established in his honor with the First United Methodist Church, in c/o Roberts and Son Funeral Home, 120 W Padon, Blackwell, OK 74631. A visitation for family and friends will be held at the funeral home on Thursday evening, February 6, 6-8 p.m. Online condolences may be made at:

Funeral Home

Roberts and Son Funeral Home, Inc. - Blackwell
120 W. Padon  Blackwell, OK 74631

Published in The Oklahoman on Feb. 4, 2014