Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dale Deloy Dodge -- In Memorium

Jason's grandfather passed away Thursday January 15th. He was 79 years old and just shy of his 60 year anniversary to his wife, Catherine Mae "Pat" Dodge.

We spent a few days with Jason's family remembering Jason's grandfather, and for me, learning about his life, which was well lived. He was born in 1929 and raised in Ogden, Utah. His mother passed away when he was 11, and he spent time in foster care and living with other relatives. At 15 1/2, he enlisted in the marines (at a time when they didn't verify your age, possibly because of the great need for young men to fight the war). When he returned home, he enrolled at Weber State College and earned a 2 year degree to become an iron worker. He traveled throughout Utah working on various construction projects. He took the family with him on many of these jobs, and they lived in such places as Vernal and Tremonton, eventually settling back in Ogden. Jason's grandmother stayed in their Ogden home to raise her three children while Dale continued to travel for work and for adventure.

In way of adventure, Dale enjoyed riding rodeo--Aren't these great photos!? (presuming I've worked out technical difficulties, if not, they'll show up here eventually) Dale competed in rodeos around the intermountain area. He was also an amateur boxer.

As an iron worker, he continued to travel the state. The family wasn't wealthy, and Dale often found accommodations on park benches or other less inviting places. With the help of his sons, Dale installed the steeple on the Ogden Temple--he signed the interior.

Dale also found time to support the cause of the laborer. Some photos turned up of Dale protesting agricultural conditions with Caesar Chavez. (This is really great stuff that no one has talked about before.)

In 1991, Dale suffered a stroke which left him mostly paralyzed and without speech. At the time, the doctors didn't think he would survive. His family says he was too tough and mean for death to take him at that time. Despite his disability and the pain he suffered, he remained cheerful (possibly more so than before). Every visit with Dale included a "hand shake" during which he would attempt (and succeed) to squeeze the life out of your fingers. After 17 years and a series of illnesses, Dale finally succumbed. He will be missed.


  1. all best, to all. you know we're in a similar position around here.

  2. Sheree, this is a great tribute to an amazing life. We're big fans of laborers around here. ;)

  3. Sorry for the lame watermarks! I don't intend to buy an Adobe license just to convert a few pictures, and the freeware version of print-driver leaves watermarks. Also, a few corrections, since Sheree didn't consult her fact checker (me!). My Grampa never got a degree, he studied for a few months before the birth of my father forced him to quit. My grandparents lived in most of the houses/trailers in Ogden at one time or another. They didn't get the house on North Liberty till my dad was almost out of school. He was injured in the Marine Corps when a cart for loading bombs crushed his legs. He wouldn't let them amputate, and walked out almost a year later. He boxed professionally and golden-gloves in ogden when he was younger. He could also run pretty fast for someone with bad legs and who smoked most of his life. There is a family story of him running down some smartass egg-throwing kids that I always believed without question. So, there you are. Hope this helps and thanks for the kind words---Jason