Raymond Dale, of Smithville, Texas, died June 5, 2011 at his rural home where he lived with his wife of 15 years, Margaret Lynn Dale. His death was attributed to a sudden heart attack. He was 70 years old.
Raymond was born in Wink, Texas, on August 5, 1940 to Carroll Raymond Dale and Glenna Ferguson Dale. He was one of three siblings born to the couple. His older brother, Robert Edgar Dale, preceded him in death. His older sister, Lila Elizabeth Dale Huber, resides with her eldest daughter, Sharon Roberts, in Amarillo, Texas. He had countless endearing qualities. While an infant in west Texas, he learned early how to whistle profusely, a skill that astounded, amused and often aggravated his family members depending on the time of day he selected to perform his birdlike mimicry.
In 1958 Raymond graduated from Monterey High School in Lubbock, Texas. He would eventually spend over thirty years in Lubbock. After his High School graduation he enlisted in the US Navy and served aboard the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier now permanently harbored in Corpus Christi. While visiting in Corpus Christi he took the opportunity to visit the Lexington. He was piped on the ship as if he were the admiral and shown parts of the ship to which the public did not have access. He thought it was disturbing to find such an important part of his life now a museum. After leaving the Navy, Raymond attended Texas Tech for part of a semester. He then entered the US Army with plans to be career military in Army Intelligence. His plans changed and he returned to Lubbock to finish his education. In 1970 he graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Park Administration with an emphasis on landscaping. After graduating, Raymond pursued several self-employment career options, including pool installation, landscaping design and maintenance, irrigation system installation, and interests related to agriculture products.
After moving to the Houston, Texas area in the late 1970's Raymond soon became associated with the University of Houston, where he was selected to be the Director of Landscaping Design and Grounds Management. Fourteen years later he accepted a similar position at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He retired from UTMB in 2004.
Raymond spent his entire life in Texas, apart from his eight years of military service abroad. His last several years were spent in pastoral rural settings where he busied himself with activities related to gardening, landscaping, and relaxation. He and Lynn raised and trained championship Briard dogs, known for their outstanding herding abilities. On their farm in Smithville, Raymond enjoyed other outdoor activities with his family that included target shooting with rifles and handguns.
Raymond was deeply patriotic and took every opportunity available to express his appreciation of those in the armed forces. He prized his days in the Navy and in the Army and displayed the American flag on a tall pole standing in his front yard. On Facebook, he often would share cartoons, editorials, and personal commentary on military matters. He would also, occasionally, express his concern, or gentle outrage, about current political leaders, events and topics. Not only humorous about himself and situations he found himself in, he often shared a light-hearted view of the difficulties in life.
Those who knew Raymond best will all attest to his personal integrity, his sensitivity, his sincerity, and his willingness to help those individuals he found in true need. His life was devoted to simple truths. He honored his God in quiet moments of solitude, and lived by an enduring code of respectfulness to eternal goals.
He is preceded in death by his son, Kelly Dale, who died on December 14, 2007. He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Lynn Dale; his daughter Kari Blenderman of Houston, her husband Shane and daughters Jenica, Jillian, and Jana; his son Christopher Dale of Austin and his wife, Kristin; daughter-in-law, Cathy Dale of Austin and son Kaden; ; his children's mother Ann Dale; step-daughter, Michelle Garza of Houston and her sons, Alec and Brendan; his sister Lila Huber of Amarillo; and many cherished nieces, nephews and cousins.
Graveside services are scheduled for Thursday, June 9th, starting at 10:00am at the Oak Hill Cemetery south of Smithville on Hwy. 95.
Raymond was admired and respected throughout his life. He had a zest for living that stimulated those around him. He inspired, loved, encouraged, and supported and that made all the difference to so many.
Arrangements under the direction of Marrs-Jones Funeral Home, Smithville, TX.