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At the age of 93, Candace Harriet (Kelly) Dalbey went to be with her Lord on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011, as the result of a stroke. Candace was born Oct. 28, 1918, in Sleepy Eye, Minn., the youngest of five children. Her mother and father passed away when she was a teenager. The family moved to Mankato when she was in the third grade, and she graduated high school there.
As a youngster she took just nine piano lessons but it all stuck, because she played piano for chapel while in Bible school and served as pianist for most of the churches her husband pastored. She continued to play until a few years ago when her eyesight failed. It was a pleasure for her to accompany Dale and the kids as they sang.
At age 13, she accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and eventually attended Bible school in Minneapolis. While there she met Dale, and they were married Aug. 22, 1942. "Pop and Candy" remained together for 67 wonderful years. We will greatly miss mom's beautiful Irish smile and sense of humor as well as her ability to make strangers feel like old friends.
In addition to being a full-time mother, Candace assisted Dale in his ministry in various churches in the Montana, Wyoming and Idaho area. In the ensuing years they pastored churches in Whitefish, Sidney and Fairview, Mont., and Blackfoot, Idaho. In 1981 they returned to Fairview, pastoring for four years. They regarded this as the highlight of their ministry life.
After a time in Billings following retirement they moved to Bozeman in 2007 to be near son, Tim and his wife, Sharon who cared for them in their final years.
Candace always considered Dale her prince. She said his love for her reminded her of the Bible passage that talks about Christ's sacrificial and unconditional love for the New Testament church.
Candace was preceded in death by Dale; her mother, Melia Stromstead Kelly; father, Perry Kelly; brother, Archie; sisters, Rachel Propp, Mildred Smith, Beulah Bishop; and son-in-law, John.
She is survived by her seven children, Nancy (Royce), Richard (Jeri), Mark, Dale Wallace (Carol), Tim (Sharon), Dan (Jane), and Steve (Sue); 22 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Her favorite Bible verses were in Ephesians: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Also, "By grace you are saved and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man boast."
Our thanks to the staff at Gallatin Rest Home for their care, and to the staff of Bozeman Deaconess during the final days of her life.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial will be planned for sometime in the spring.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Dec. 11, 2011