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Dale E. Cutler 87, of Hercules, passed away on April 24, at Aldersley Retirement Community in San Rafael. Dale had bravely fought cancer for many years, and died accepting death in his own unique, reserved and gracious manner. Dale was born on April 12, 1925 in Kalispell, Montana to Erwin and Mary Ann O'Malley Cutler. After graduating from Kalispell High School, he attended the University of California at Berkeley, graduating with a BA degree in music. His piano career began at five when he demonstrated prodigious musical talents, and remained with him throughout his lifetime, being combined with a successful twenty-year stint as a jet pilot in the United States Air Force, attaining the rank of Major. Early in Dale's military career he cheated death when he was forced to bail out when his T-33 lost power at 38.000 feet while on a mission over the Japanese Alps in January of 1957. His excellent technical skills, his attention to detail, and his stability and intelligence were key in surviving, and together with his whimsical nature and superb writing skills, he self-published an account of his experience, which he aptly titled, "Bearly Scared". After a wartime tour of duty in Vietnam, Dale retired while stationed at Hamilton AFB in Novato, California. He then obtained his teaching credential and joined the music staff at Sonoma State College, teaching piano and working with the Opera Workshop, as well as accompanying bay area professional singers and playing concerts. He often performed four-hand concerts with other pianists, including the renowned Gunnar Johansen, Artist-In-Residence at the University of Wisconsin. Dale is survived by his three children Andrea Berenson of Colorado and his two sons, Geoffrey and Anthony, both of Marin County, as well as his grandson, Ryan Stillway and great-granddaughter, Lily, both of Colorado, his longtime dear friend, Patricia Scheuer and his ex-wife, Barbara. He was predeceased by his infant daughter, Leanne, and his sister, Connie Cutler. A memorial gathering will be held at Aldersley, San Rafael on Friday, June 8th, at four to six p.m, hosted by Marian Marsh Wade, dear friend and professional colleague. Dale's family is deeply appreciative of the tender and loving care of the staff at Aldersley. Memorial donations may be directed to: INSPIRIT, PO box 383, Woodacre CA, 94973 (In support of paralytics in real intense times)
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on May 25, 2012
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