It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Robert Peter Dale, who succumbed to complications of COPD  on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. He was 77 years old.

He was born on March 4, 1944 to Theresa (Ellens) Dale and Vernon Dale in St. Paul. When Robert was 4 years old, the family moved to Mora where he attended elementary through high school. He served in the U.S. Army from 1961-1964 where he was primarily stationed in Germany. After returning home from the Army, he met his loving wife of 52 years, Loretta (Unger) Dale. 

His love for the outdoors and thirst for adventure brought him to Alaska in the spring of 1971. He worked as a meat cutter for Family Market in Anchorage, Alaska and later at the commissary at Elmendorf Air Force Base. In addition, his skilled services were in high demand around hunting and fishing season. After retirement, his inability to sit still drove him to his next career as a bus driver for the Head Start program in Anchorage and later Wasilla. His humor and dedication to his “little window lickers” earned him the bus driver of the year award in 2007. He was also very devoted to his crockpot and loved collecting new recipes to try and share.

His main passions were family, friends and fishing. He spent much of his free time at his cabin in Ninilchik, Alaska where he enjoyed taking his family and friends halibut fishing on his boat. He always bought two of everything – one for the home and one for the cabin. Although Alaska was now home, his love for Minnesota remained strong, and he cherished time with his childhood friends and visited frequently. 

He was never at a loss for words and was a very lively character. He always had a story to share; and many of his stories became more elaborate and colorful as the years went on. He will be remembered for his quick wit and story telling along with his loving heart for family and friends. 

He was preceded in death by parents, Theresa and Vernon Dale; brothers, Rich and Gerald Dale; and son-in-law, David Schwankl, Jr. 

He is survived by his wife, Loretta of Wasilla, Alaska; daughters, Karri Dale Crosley and Kristine Dale Schwankl of Anchorage, Alaska; grandchildren, Rachel and Sarah Crosley, Jessica and Zachary Schwankl of Anchorage, Alaska; son-in-law, Daniel Crosley of Big Lake, Alaska; brother, Melvin and wife Pat Dale of Plymouth; brother, John and wife Peg of Zimmerman; and sister Judy Hoene of Burnsville. 

He will be laid to rest in Mora later this summer.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Lung Association or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.


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