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On February 17, 2024, William Stephen Dale passed away with his oldest son Michael by his side. He is survived by his loving wife, Dawn, and his three children, Michael, Mark, Mara. In addition, he leaves behind four grandchildren, Andrew, Holly, Hannah, Zachary, and four great-grandchildren, Charlotte, Olivia, Colette, and Ezra.

William and Dawn shared a loving and long life together. They certainly remained true to the traditional in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish.” Bill adored Dawn, often buying her flowers even if there was no special occasion. However, when he bought her a box of chocolates, there were usually some missing. He had a sweet tooth for sure. He spared no expense; nothing was too much. He would have moved heaven and earth to show his love, but the greatest evidence of their love is the 60 years of marriage.

Bill, as he was known, was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps where he served and fought honorably. He attained the rank of Gunnery Sergeant and served in Vietnam where he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal w/Combat “V,” Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Purple Heart w/1 Star, the Vietnam Service Medal w/5 Stars, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon. He served as a Rifleman, an Infantry Unit Leader, and Logistics Chief.

He was the toughest and most hardworking man you could ever meet. He was born on September 23, 1936 and grew up in Fayetteville, N.C., where as a young man he worked on his grandfather’s farm. He enjoyed landscaping and spent a great deal of time proudly beautifying his yard in the community of Powhatan Chimney in Hayes, Virginia, where they lived for over 25 years. Nothing was ever done half-heartedly.

He instilled in his children a strong work ethic which began as young children. He always gave them plenty of chores to do and even bought them a step stool so they could wash dishes when they were too little. When Mike and Mark were teenagers, they worked with their dad at a Shell gas station that was managed by Bill. It was a family affair which garnered a lot of good memories. Bill built a great rapport with the customers which brought a lot of regulars; some of which would ask for Bill by name. After approximately 3.5 years at the gas station, Bill and Mark worked at the local shipyard where they worked on several types of ships, including naval vessels and oil tankers. The work was demanding and the hours long, but Bill in typical fashion became known as one of the hardest workers. He picked up the trade quickly and was proficient with all types of insulation. Whatever family problems we may have had, Bill never failed to work hard and provide for and protect his family.

Sometimes relations were difficult, but he was a loving father/husband that wanted the best for all of us. Bill loved dogs, which included: Spock, Max, Dudley, Beau, Heidi, Henry, Hattie, Chesty, and Nicole. We had good times with him and our family pets. He left indelible memories in our hearts and minds and will be greatly missed. We love you and miss you, Dad.

Details regarding a memorial service are to follow soon.