Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie



September 21, 2018


by Jacque Ritchie, TALON

"One night we were sitting around the dinner table and dad announced, 'We are going sailing for a year,'" recalled Charlene Anderson. The eldest of three daughters Charlene told the crowd of around 200 who came to celebrate the life of Dale Anderson on Saturday September 15 at the Aztec Museum Pioneer Village, "I was about 12-years-old and I thought, 'okay, we are all gonna die,' but eight months later, there I was at the helm of the boat in the middle of an Atlantic squall with dad sitting right at my feet...he taught us we are capable of accomplishing incredible things, more than we think we can."

The memorial service for long-time Aztec luminary Dale Anderson was soulful and solemn but not sad, according to those who knew him well, Dale would not have put up with that nonsense. "One of Dale's favorite things in life, besides his grandkids was to just sit and conversate with folks," said son-in-law Patrick Swope. This is how the memorial went, many people in Anderson's life took turns speaking about their varied experiences over the years and how knowing him had impacted their lives.

Angela Grubbs met Anderson just after she finished studying agriculture at San Juan College in 2011. Grubbs was visiting the Pioneer Village and was inspired to plant a garden there. She enlisted Anderson for help and advice. "There are not many people who have your back from the minute you meet them," Gestering to the green space around her Grubbs said that together she and Anderson worked on the garden for about a year, "To me this peaceful space is Dale...I only knew him for a year but he made a lasting impression on me I will always treasure his memory."

Another touching moment came when long-time friend Dale Kraemer met Lota Burger line cook Johnathan Begay. Begay was one of the two young men who offered aid and comfort to Anderson during his final moments on earth. Tears filled Kraemer's eyes, "I just want to thank-you for your knidness that day, you were right to help him, no one wants to be alone at a time like that" he said, giving Begay a hug.

Daughter Amanda shared a letter she had written to her dad for Father's Day, in it she spoke about Dale's chameleon-like ability to blend in to any social setting and of his unerring respect for people's opinion's she wrote, "His most favorite thing's were his grandkids and he knew that chocolate malts could cure all diseases." She said that her dad had told on many occasions, "For a decade told us, 'I am so grateful to live in this beautiful little town surrounded by all these great people." Judging by Saturday's send off the town of Aztec is just as grateful to have known Dale Anderson.


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