Dale LeRoy Johnson, 80, of Belgrade, formerly of Amherst, N.Y., passed away peacefully on Friday, May 2, 2008, at Mountain View Care Center. He was born on Dec. 4, 1927, in Newman Grove, Neb., to Casper and Lucy (Neuman) Johnson.
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He was one of 12 siblings and spent his early childhood on a farm in Nebraska. His family moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where he graduated from East High School in 1945.
He enlisted in the Navy in 1946 and continued in the Navy reserves until he was honorably discharged on Dec. 24, 1952. While on active duty he was stationed at Treasure Island, San Francisco, Calif.
He graduated Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, with a bachelor of science degree in business administration in January 1952. Following graduation, he was a businessman who worked in management and sales. He worked for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company from 1952 to 1969. He also worked for Motor Tire, Interstate Tire and retired as vice president from Meyer Tire in 1992. During that time he moved frequently with his company and lived in Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and New York.
Dale met the love of his life, Mary Ann, at a dance in Des Moines, Iowa. They were married on Nov. 23, 1949, and together raised three daughters. They both enjoyed traveling, and their favorite trips were driving across the country and visiting Sweden and Spain. In later years they enjoyed annual trips to California and Lake Tahoe.
Dale enjoyed traveling, golfing, skiing, hiking and fishing with his grandchildren. Throughout his life, he was actively involved with the Lutheran church, the Masons and Shriners Club, American Legion, the Loyal Order of the Moose, YMCA, Western NY Tire Dealers Association, and other community and business organizations. Dale was a Third Degree Master Mason, Order of the Scottish Rite and Ismailia Shriner.
In 2004, Dale and his wife, Mary, moved to Belgrade to live near their daughter, Linda, and her family. When Mary passed away in 2005, Dale moved in with Linda's family and resided there. He loved the beauty of Montana and the simpler way of life here.
He continued to be active in Peace Lutheran Church, the Belgrade Masonic Lodge, the American Legion, and the Belgrade Senior Center. While in Montana, he enjoyed hiking and sightseeing at Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Hyalite Canyon. He also enjoyed golfing, attending the local rodeos and spending time with his grandchildren.
Dale was a devoted family man, known for his honesty and integrity; his dedication and diligence at work; and his positive, optimistic attitude. He was a supportive and loving husband and father, and took great joy in spending time with his grandchildren. He will be remembered and missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Dale was preceded in death by his wife, Mary; parents, Casper and Lucy; brothers, Casper, Nobel, and Olvin; and sisters, Helen, Verna and June.
Dale is survived by his daughter, Linda Wilson (husband, Daniel) of Belgrade and their children, Jeremy, Justin, Wade and Jessica; daughter, Susan Robbins of Amherst, N.Y, and her children, Jeffrey and Katie; and daughter, Karen Brown (husband, Bob) of Depew, N.Y., and their children, Ben, Emily and Elizabeth. In addition, he is survived by brothers, Kenneth Johnson of Wayne, Neb.; Paul (Loretta) Johnson of Des Moines, Iowa; Allen (Mary) Johnson of Pleasanton, Calif.; Gordon (Heidi) Johnson of Leander, Texas; sister, Fern (Thomas) Ades of Des Moines, Iowa; sister-in-law, Clara Johnson of Des Moines, Iowa; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at Dahl Chapel and Funeral Home in Bozeman. Burial will follow in Sunset Hills Cemetery, with full Masonic and military rites.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on May 9, 2008