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Dale Johnson

Dale Johnson

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I happened across Dale's The Games People store in Gastown while vacationing in B.C. back in '99. What caught my eye was is the few classic pinball machines in the window. Fast forward 6 years and on a business trip in 2005 I walked down Water St. to see if the store was still there. It was and I inquired with the clerk, Patrick, about the pinball machine flyers I had seen on ebay. He quickly summoned Dale from Deighton's Well to meet me. Dale spent the next hour providing a tour of eight floors of his vast inventory of board games, arcade games, pinball machines, and pool tables. I was very impressed by his immense knowledge about everything in the warehouse. Over the two years that followed I helped Dale sell off a portion of his inventory whilst spending many a night musing about how we might save The Games People. Dale often told me that he did not want to burden his family with this massive amount of products, and while I was sad to see it all go in an auction, I know he knew he was doing the right thing. I truly enjoyed his mentoring and companionship and feel privileged to have known him for the brief time I did. Rest in peace dear friend.
"If you can't find it, you may as well not have it!" of the may guides of wisdom endowed upon me by this wonderful man. I had the honour to work with him for a very short period in the summer of 2003 but it left a lasting impression.My sincere sympathies to those left behind.
I was saddened to hear the news that Dale Johnson had passed on. Growing up on Woodbine Drive I have fond memories of the Johnson clan. When ever there was a street party Dale would always supply a juke box. Let me tell you this was a hit with all the neighbour hood kids! My parents and my thoughts go out to the family at this time...
I worked for Dale in the summer/fall of 1982 at The Games People in Gastown. He was a kind and generous man and treated all of his employees with respect. I'm sad to hear of his passing. May he Rest in Peace.
Hello everyone,

I would like to tell you about the dale I grampa.
Some of my fondest memories with him include all of us grandkids walking up to the store to buy soda and vanilla ice cream to make rootbeer floats with...yum! It was honestly the highlight of visiting!

When my gramma and grampa lived in there house together on Woodbine drive in North Vancouver, Grampa occupied the downstairs,and my Gramma didn't always want us bothering him....but I didn't listen very well, because I was always sneaking down there to share sweets with him(licorise allsorts and bridge mix) I loved those times with him,and I know he loved those visits right back.

When I got older and had my own family, I didn't always get to see my grampa as much, with life being so busy and all, but when i did make it down with my husband James and our kids, Shelby and Caydn, Grampa would take us out for dinner, yes just down the street for pizza, and beer for us big kids:)

I want to say Thank You so much to all the other guests who signed my grampa's guest book....I really enjoy learning everything there is to know about him, and some of these things are new to me, so again, Thank you:)

Until we meet again Grampa:) I love you dearly!
Your grandaughter,
I never knew him, but anyone in the business that long surely contributed to my love of games and keeping the industry going. God Bless Dale and his family
Although I didn't find out until 3 days before his passing that he had been so ill, I was deeply saddened to learn this. It was also sad to realize that now the last of the Johnson clan was gone. Young and old the Johnson boys and girls all brought a lot to this old world. Condolences to all his kids. Sincerely; Lee (Johnson) Wrathall
It was with great sadness that I heard of Dale's passing.
I got my first job in the coin industry at Dale Distributing in Richmond, BC back in 1975 (or so) and worked there almost a year, and there got my start in the business.
I had kept in touch with Dale a bit over the intervening years and when the opportunity arose to help with selling the games from the warehouse he and I were able to come to an agreement that worked for both of us.
We then worked together for a number of years trying to sell off the games from his enormous warehouse in Gastown and I have many fond memories of that time. Dale loved to talk about his life as a distributor and operator of games and I had hoped to record these stories but alas that is not to be.
He and I had many lunches and dinners together where we would talk about the coin business and all the stories he told and the people he knew - it was amazing how much that man remembered!
Dale had many friends in Gastown and was often stopped in the street or at Deighton's Pub (where he could often be found) to chat about the area.
He will be greatly missed.
I am saddened to hear of Dale's passing. While I did not know Dale for as many years as most, I do appreciate the times we spent touring the warehouse and the lengthy discussions we had about days past of the coin-op industry while in the shop, at lunch, or in his living room. My favorite memory with Dale was walking through the warehouse for the first time, and myself being able to name virtually every pinball machine there by identifying the artwork. Dale was very impressed by this, (I know because he told me so), and I don't think Dale impressed very easily. The more people I meet in the coin-op industry, the more I am amazed at how many people and their coin-op careers lead back to the days of Dales Distributing. There is no doubt that Dale was an icon of the Canadian coin-op industry, with many very impressive accomplishments to his name. Dale will be missed.
So sorry to hear of uncle Dale's passing. I used to visit him in his lair at "The Games People" when I was in the Vancouver area. I know he'll be missed!

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This photo was taken by dad's friend Jonathon on the occasion of dad's 75th birthday.  Does he look 75 to you!?
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