Dale C. Johnson, 80, of Heber Springs, Ark., and formerly of Le Mars, died unexpectedly Sunday, May 9, 2004, at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.
Dale was born Nov. 8, 1923, in West Union, the son of Charlotte (Gullickson) and Gerhard Johnson. He graduated from West Union High School in 1941.
He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1942 and completed pilot training in 1943. During World War II, he flew C-47 transports in Italy and France and was honorably discharged in 1946.
Dale Johnson and Lila Grindeland were united in marriage on May 3, 1946, at the First Lutheran Church in Decorah.
He received his bachelor of arts degree from Luther College in Decorah in 1956 and his MAE degree in 1957 from Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls. After working at the post office, Dale made education his career, establishing many innovative student learning and incentive programs. He served as an educator at three Iowa schools: Clermont-Elgin, West Union, and Le Mars, where he retired as junior high principal in 1982.
He and his wife retired to Arkansas where they became active in Hope Lutheran Church. Dale filled in as a substitute pastor, taught adult Sunday school and Bible Study, and served on the church council. He was also an active board member of Health Resources of Arkansas.
Dale was known as a caring, Christian man, who had a great love of family and volunteered much of his time to helping others. He will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Dale is survived by his wife, Lila of Heber Springs; a daughter, Kristie Sailors and her husband, Rod, of Lyons, Neb.; a sister, Eileen Sperry and her husband Bill of Oroville, Calif.; a sister-in-law, Hildegard Gomez of Azusa, Calif.; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two sons, Ronnie and Douglas; and a brother Wayne.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Hope Lutheran Church in Heber Springs. The Rev. Bill Flemr and Pastors Stephen Douglas and Robert Dealy will conduct the services. Internment will be in the church columbarium.