Dale Forrest Dalbey, 89, passed away Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009, following a long struggle with respiratory problems. He was born Feb. 4, 1920, to James and Coral in Grand Forks, N.D., the fifth of six children. His mother passed away when he was 2 years old, and he and the three other youngest children went to live with their aunt and uncle Morwood on their farm. He attended country church and school, and accepted Jesus Christ as his savior at age 9.
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After high school, he attended Bible school in Minneapolis, where he met Candace Kelly. They were married Aug. 22, 1942. "Pop and Candi" celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary on Aug. 22, 2009.
Dale served as a church planter in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. One summer in the '50s, he drove 160 miles each way every week to serve as pastor in Gas Hills, Wyo. He also pastored Montana churches in Whitefish, Sidney and Fairview. Both he and Candi agreed the Fairview Alliance Church (1981-1985) was the highlight of their ministry. He also taught school in Lambert and at the Wyoming Industrial Boys School in Worland.
In 1963, Dale accepted a position in sales and eventually was general manager at KGLE Radio in Glendive. Following that position, they moved to Fairview to pastor. In 1989 they retired and moved to Billings, where they resided until they moved to Belgrade in 2007 to be with their son and daughter-in-law, Tim and Sharon, who have cared for their needs since then.
Dale was preceded in death by his mother, Coral Huffman Dalbey; father, James Richard Dalbey; his brothers, Creighton and Harley; sisters, Lenna Wells and Gertrude Torsted; and son-in-law, John Paul.
He is survived by his wife; seven children, Nancy Paul, Richard (Jeri), Mark, Dale (Carol), Tim (Sharon), Dan (Jane) and Steve (Sue); 22 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren; his brother, Charles; and sister, Evelyn Darr.
Dale loved to hear Candi play the piano and organ, and he would sing along. His favorite Bible verse was Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is a gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast." His love and concern for people was evident as he was a Christian witness even in his final days at Elsie's Assisted Living. Just hours before he died he said he could hear angels singing, describing it as "how sweet the sound." We will miss his witty sense of humor and his readiness to tell a joke or a story of his past.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, at Faith Chapel in Billings.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Dale's honor, payable to his wife, Candace, who is in assisted living. Memorials may be sent in care of Tim and Sharon Dalbey, 6600 Springhill Road, Belgrade, MT 59714.
The family wishes to extend their thanks to the staff at Rocky Mountain Hospice and Elsie's Assisted Living for their care of Dale.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Sept. 6, 2009