Dale L. Hartman, 89, of Winterset, died Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, at the Madison County Memorial Hospital surrounded by his loving family.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, Nov. 18, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Winterset. Entombment followed at the Winterset Cemetery, with military honors presented by VFW Post #8142 and American Legion Post #184, both of Winterset. Memorials may be directed to VFW Post #8142, St. Joseph Catholic Church, or to his family for a future consideration.
Dale was born on Jan. 5, 1930, at Commerce, Iowa; one of four children born to Arthur W. and Opal A. (Cooper) Hartman. On every birthday when it was time to blow out the candles, Dale’s Mom would say, “the wind blew out the lamp just after he was born”.
He attended grade school at Valley Junction, Iowa, until the 8th grade, when the family moved to a house three miles south of Winterset. He attended country school until attending the Winterset High School. At the beginning of high school, Dale would ride his bike the three miles to and from school, no matter the weather. Several times his eyes almost froze shut from the cold rain and snow. Before too long, the family moved to town and lived with Waldo Wilkinson. Waldo had polio and was confined to a wheelchair. It was Dale’s job to push Waldo all over town, wherever Waldo wanted to go, and no matter the weather. During his senior year, his teacher, Miss Tucker, asked Dale if would like to be editor of the Husky paper. He accepted and found out he was very good at it, and he loved doing it. Dale graduated from Winterset High School in 1948.
Dale never got the chance to go out for sports in school, but Winterset had a boxing club and he was active in boxing in Golden Glove Tournaments in Des Moines. Dale was a very good boxer and one of his highlights was the opportunity to box the “Old Champion” for the championship. It was supposed to be a setup for the “Old Champion”. During the first round, Dale was hit hard and fell to the mat. The hit was so hard that Dale didn’t remember anything about the boxing match until it was all over. It turned out that Dale got up and preceded to out box the “Old Champion” the remainder of the match. Unfortunately for Dale, the match was rigged and the judges let the “Old Champion” win. The following day, the newspaper reported that the “Old Champion won, but the kid beat you”.
After graduating from high school, Dale worked for a short time at the United Dairy in Winterset and then for Ells Easter at Easter’s Grocery Store. Ells wanted him to run the store but Dale decided to work for Penn Dixie Cement Company at the Winterset Quarry. He didn’t work there too long until the U.S. Army called and Dale served from 1950 to 1952, with 10 months spent on the front lines in Korea. During his time in the service, Dale married Margret John. To this union were born two children, Andy and Jamie Rae. They later divorced and Dale met Katherine Bindel. As it turned out, Katherine needed a home and Dale needed someone to care for his children. So, on Sept. 4, 1956, they got married at Creston, Iowa. Their marriage has lasted 63 years. Along the way, they adopted Teddy Dale Hartman and Jamie passed away as a young woman. Dale returned to Penn Dixie after the service and worked with that organization for 47 years. He started out as a laborer, became plant manager, served as Union president for several years, and then moved up to management.
Dale donated his spare time to several activities over the years. When the Little League was formed in Winterset, Dale umpired. He and Hube Wilkinson then coached teams for several years. Dale was also a Boy Scout leader with Ron Stuart for several years. He would go to Camp Mitigwa each summer with the scouts for a week at a time. After his marriage to Kate, Dale joined the Catholic Church and became involved with the Knights of Columbus, served as a special minister, and ushered for over 20 years. He and Kate also tended to flower gardening at Care Center South Nursing Home for over 10 years. They planted gardens around the care center and saw to it that the residents in the 24 rooms had beautiful flower baskets.
Shortly after returning from the service, Dale joined the VFW. He belonged to this organization for over 66 years and spent much time doing community service with this fine group. Some of the activities that Dale helped the VFW with was making ice cream at the Madison County Fair. They would make and serve over 50 gallons each year. He was an All-State Commander for two years, served on the Color Guard at the Girls’ State Basketball Tournament for many years, and helped start the Parade of Flags at the Winterset Cemetery for Memorial Day. The group started with 10 flags and today over 550 flags are placed along the cemetery roads on that holiday. One of Dale’s proudest achievements was helping form and serving on the Honor Guard for the VFW. A veteran named Russell Akin returned home with a brain tumor and asked if the VFW would do a funeral for him when he died. The group didn’t have the unit formed but said they would try. They acquired khaki shirts and guns, and with practice, formed their Honor Guard. In May of 1965, the Honor Guard did their first service. They have continued since. Dale served as Chaplin for many years, folded flags at gravesites, and presented flags to Veterans’ families.
In 1995, Dale retired and he and Kate worked part time for Fiserv Data Processing making bank statements for 19 years. He fully retired in 2014.
Dale and Kate loved to travel. Their first trip was to Colorado in 1959. They went back there several times and traveled to many other places in the United States, including two trips to Disney World. He also had the opportunity to travel to Europe with Father Chris Hartshorn two times. Dale was also an avid Hawkeye fan and enjoyed going to games in Iowa City for over 29 years.
Dale fought hard to hold onto this life, clear to the end. Kate was holding on to him when he passed. He crossed over easily and peacefully. Preceding him in death were his parents, Arthur and Opal; step father, Otis Huddleson; daughter, Jamie Rae; sisters, Viola May Younker and MaryLou Johnson; and nephew, Clint Younker.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 63 years, Kate; sons, Andy and Teddy (BilliJo); granddaughter, Jessica Lynn; brother, Steven (Rebecca); and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Arrangements are being handled by Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home, Winterset Chapel . Online condolences may be left at www.caldwellparrish.com.