Dale Henry Swanson Jr
(1928 - 2009)

Dale Henry Swanson Jr
Nickname: Papa Dale

Pennsylvania, United States of America
July 30, 1928

California, United States of America
June 8, 2009

In loving memory of Dale Henry “Papa Dale” Swanson, 80, who passed away of natural causes June 08, at his Orange County residence. Born in Abington, PA, to Dale H. Sr. and Margaret Swanson, Dale will be sorely missed by the many friends and acquaintances who had the privilege of knowing his gentleness and generosity of spirit. Amongst those most benefitting from Dale’s kindness and wisdom were individuals he assisted through addiction recovery. He was quite well known for being a friend to Alcoholics Anonymous and the individuals struggling to regain their health and well-being.

The eldest of three children, Dale is predeceased by brother Fred and sister Deborah Swanson; and is survived by Godchildren Ann Gerakitis, of Georgia, and Bruce Carter, of Colorado; Cousins Mary Ellen Salinas, TX, Robert Swanson, IA, Richard Swanson, IA, and Thomas Waters, PA; and dear friends Robert Brown, Joanna Harralson, and the Brown, Ay, Alberty and Hare families of Southern California, as well as Canon James R. Wilcox, retired senior pastor at St. Mary Magdalene Church of Orange and former Archdeacon of the Diocese of the Holy Trinity.

Dale earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree (BSEE) from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, in 1949. Shortly thereafter, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served honorably for two years, attaining the rank of Second Lieutenant Ordnance, mustering out at White Sands Proving Ground Missile Range, New Mexico. An advocate of hard work from an early age, Dale was just 14 years old when he successfully served as groundskeeper for a Pennsylvania golf course. Later, when his military service ended, he excelled at various engineering and sales positions in Wisconsin, and in 1987 retired—after 20 years employment—from McGraw-Edison Company, Power Systems Division.

Deeply spiritual, Dale was a founding member of St Mary Magdalene Church of Orange, CA, and in the past 35 years served on the Vestry for many years; and was the Senior Warden for a goodly portion of that time. Additionally, he was Director of Lay Readers and Acolyte Trainer, as well as Master of Ceremonies for Solemn High Masses. During STMM’s early years, Dale served as choir director and later was often a delegate to both Diocesan and Provincial Synods. A special joy for Dale was being able to assist Canon Wilcox with Sunday Mass, as well as frequently playing the church organ.

Music was a constant in Dale’s life. As a teenager, he was provided with a tuba at school and managed to “drive the family crazy when I’d take it home on weekends and practice my oom-pah-pahs,” he often recalled. As an adult, he left performing in parades and band concerts in the past and opted for the gentler sounds of playing the organ and piano. Dale was a devotee of classical music, ballet, opera and theatre, making certain he had season tickets to performances of symphony, dance, plays and opera companies. But the dominating force in his life was his love of people of all ages. Dale had few acquaintances, simply because they quickly became lifelong friends, instead, including Orange County Drs. Welsh and Maguire, who took him on as one of their first patients and maintained a relationship with him for more than 30 years.

Just as compelling was Dale’s love of animals, especially of the canine variety. In the 1970s, he raised Pugs, making certain that when the weather got really warm, the doghouses in his backyard were air-conditioned for maximum comfort. During the past 10 years, he enjoyed the best of relationships with Hannah, the black Labrador he raised from a pup. Dale and Hannah both looked forward to driving around Orange County with him at the wheel and Hannah, seated on the car’s passenger side, poking her head out the window to catch the wind whistling by. For this reason, donations to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals http://www.aspca.org/donate/ would be greatly appreciated (Dale would definitely approve!). A memorial service for Dale, followed by a reception, will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, June 27, The Church of St. Mary Magdalene, 205 S. Glassell St., Orange, CA 92866. Officiating will be Dale’s friend and pastor Canon James R. Wilcox, who adds:

"How fortunate for us that in knowing Dale we have encountered and
derived pleasures from a good man who has enriched our lives by his
friendship. His measure is a treasure to last throughout our lives.

The prophet, Malachi, described the ones whom God seeks in these
words: 'They shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I
make up my jewels.' With that said, it is not difficult to think that our
friend Dale, has been added to God's collection."

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Guest Book (13 entries)
Dale was very instumental in my life.He came to me through a God send,I believe. It was his example and patience that allowed me to better myself, so I intern could help others.He will always be a part of my life...
Jerry Romero (Friend)
July 20th, 2009
"Papa Dale" cared for me when i did not and or could not care for myself.I am where i am today because of this wonderful man.Loved and cared for me and my wife, and was also there to see all four of my children being born. We love you "Papa Dale" and you will in our hearts for a life time.
Brett Heskett (Friend)
July 19th, 2009
Uncle Dale has been a part of the Overton family for over 50 years. When we lived in San Diego he was part of the family before I was born - and when I arrived he became my Godfather. All of us have many wonderful memories of Uncle Dale (My Dad (now deceased), Mom and two brothers and a sister). He had a huge impact on all of our lives and we were very blessed to have had him in our lives. Miss and Love You Uncle Dale! Lori Overton-Taylor and family.
Lori Overton-Taylor (Goddaughter)
July 3rd, 2009
Although Dale never had a natural family of his own, the Lord saw fit that he would be an integral part of more families than the average man. My kids and all of our family know him as Granpa Dale, and we are proud and honored to have been a part of his life. It stuns me to think that more than 40 years have gone by since meeting him when he rented the house I grew up in, in Lakewood. God has you now Dale, and I for one am envious.
Ed Stevens (family friend)
July 2nd, 2009
I was in the army with Dale, at White Sands. I didn't know him well, but he was very helpfull in setting up a school for the Corporal and Nike missiles, that I was involved with. From what I read, being helpfull was an important part of Dale's life.
Norri Sirri
June 29th, 2009
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"What a warm, loving, generous soul. You are missed and in my thoughts daily. I will take good care of your Labrador - I know she looks for you every day."
Robert Brown
September 6th, 2009
"Just as a candle, Dale was a soft, warm glow in the life of many families. He will be sorely missed but I know he's happy in the presence of our Lord. Love you always Dale."
Ed Stevens
July 2nd, 2009
"Dale -"Uncle Dale" to me(& my Godfather)since birth 48 yrs ago-was an amazing man w/a big heart & always smiling. Uncle Dale was a big part of the Overton family & will be greatly missed as he had an impact on each of our lives. Love you Uncle Dale"
Lori Overton-Taylor
June 26th, 2009


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