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Dale Lamar Blackwell Jr.


1932 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Dale Lamar Blackwell Jr. Obituary
November 13, 1932 - August 27, 2017 Chatsworth High School substitute teacher "What happened today in history?" Dale Lamar Blackwell, Jr., 84, passed away at his home in Granada Hills, CA on Sunday, August 27th, 2017. He was born in Minneapolis, MN, on November 13th, 1932, to Dale (Sr.) and Kathryn Blackwell. Dale became "the man of the house" at the young age of 10, when his father was killed in World War II in March 1943, and was raised - along with his younger brothers and sister - by his mother and her two sisters. Dale graduated with honors from North High School in Minneapolis before studying engineering for two years at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He left school to join the Air Force, serving in Korea and later in Morocco. While in Morocco, Dale was a disc jockey for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. After leaving the Air Force, Dale continued to work in radio in Australia before returning to the U.S., where he attended UCLA and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Theater. Instead of going into the entertainment industry as he'd planned when he originally came to California, Dale was hired and trained as a computer program analyst at System Development Corporation ("SDC") in Santa Monica - considered the world's first computer software company. It was at SDC where Dale met his wife, Emily Louise Lenoir. They were married on March 19th, 1966, and had one son - Brad Thomas Blackwell - born on August 14th, 1967. In 1973, Dale & his family moved from Westchester (Los Angeles) to Granada Hills, in the San Fernando Valley. As the market for business computers grew, Dale moved from programming into sales, and later into selling residential real estate. He also enjoyed doing freelance voice-over work for radio commercials. Dale settled into his last career as a substitute teacher for high schools in the San Fernando Valley, where he was known as the "this day in history" teacher: He would begin each class with an explanation of the many interesting things that had happened that day in history (and sometimes discuss the latest episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer). After his retirement, former students would recognize Dale in public and walk up to ask, "Hey, Mr. Blackwell. What happened today in history?" Over the years, Dale's hobbies included calligraphy, silk-screen painting, winemaking, welding, woodworking, and writing computer games. He's always loved reading and, in his later years, enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. Dale is survived by his wife Emily, his younger brothers Paul (Heber City, UT) and Richard (Racine, WI), several nieces and nephews, his son Brad and daughter-in-law Jennifer, and his three grandchildren: Zoe, Skye, and Thomas (Granada Hills, CA). He was predeceased by his sister Barbara Jo Riviello (Parsippany, NJ). Dale's life will be celebrated by family & friends at his home in Granada Hills on Saturday, September 16th, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to City of Hope at www.cityofhope.org/giving.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 8 to Sept. 10, 2017
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