Committal Service & Interment:
11/4/2010 11:15 AM, Fort Logan National Cemetery, Staging Area C
Dale Allen Deter, Sr.
October 20, 1947 :: Denver, Colorado
October 25, 2010 :: Aurora, Colorado
DALE A. DETER, SR.
Age 63, born Oct. 20, 1947 in Denver, CO. Passed on Oct. 25, 2010 after a short, but devastating battle with cancer while at Denver Hospice. Preceded in death by parents, Roberta L. and Martin J. Deter and, also, sister Lois. Survived by son, Dale A. Deter, Jr. Thornton, CO and brothers Chuck (Gretchen) of Gering NE and Bob (Donna) of Littleton, CO. Also survived by numerous neices and nephews.
Dale grew up in Denver and attended Denver Public Schools and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1966. Involved in athletics while growing up, he was a stellar athlete in football and baseball and earned honors while attending Lincoln. After father died in 1964, Dale became ‘man of the house’ as older brothers and sister were developing ‘houses’ of their own. Upon graduation from Lincoln, Dale’s interests were aimed at the field of auto mechanics and stock car racing! He soon became involved in building and racing stock cars at Englewood Speedway, mostly ‘Figure 8’ races. For a number of years, he rose in the driver rankings and enjoyed a great deal of success at Englewood as well as at tracks in other states.
He interupted his racing quest by enlisting in the U.S. Army after the Vietnam conflict began. He served for 3 years from 1967 to 1970. During his service, he was awarded a Bronze Star, a Vietnam Cross for Gallantry, and a number of campaign medals and ribbons. Along with duty in Vietnam, he was stationed at various places including Ft. Bliss in Texas, Ft. Huzchuca, AZ, Ft. Knox, KY, and was at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO when he received an honorable discharge. Upon returning home in Denver, he resumed his stock car interests while employed as a transmission mechanic. During this time, he met and married Pat Smith Koop and became step-father to her sons, Gerry and Jeff while living in Sheridan and Denver. Soon after, Dale, Jr. was born in 1977. The first marriage to Pat failed but, they decided to try again by re-marrying but this union also failed. Dale continued to work as a mechanic and assumed shared parenting responsiblilities for Dale Jr throughout his school years and after he graduated from Alameda HS. In the interim, Dale Sr.s interest in racing ebbed due to the expense of ‘running’ a race car and the closing of Englewood Speedway. He tested the racing scene at Erie, CO but soon decided that lacking a sponsor and the increased costs of managing a racing interest, he hung his safety helmet up. He was also tiring of his role as a mechanic in the late 80’s and decided on a career change. He opted to pursue a career in commercial driving and went to school and received his commercial license in 91. He did not want to be an ‘over-the-road’ driver and had a difficult time finding steady employment for a while. Then, in 1994, he was hired by Jefferson County Public Schools as a bus driver and was so employed until his death. As mentioned earlier, Dale was a stellar athlete, a ‘natural’, and he directed this talent to the game of golf. For the most part, he was self-taught with some caddying experience helping him to develop his game. He became very passionate for the game and became an accomplished golfer and could be found on a course most weekends in warm weather when not driving the bus. While describing Dale, fellow drivers and co-workers, golfing buddies, and friends form childhood and beyond, one theme was prevalent….”He was a simple man!”! Dale was quite comfortable with creature comforts, never concerned with riches or extravagence. He was admired by all he worked with, played with, and shared with! One example of this was towards the end, nurses and staff in the oncology unit at St. Joseph’s hospital were magnetized by Dale’s smile and wit and prompted one of the nurses (Mary) to call and offer condolences to the family having only known Dale for a short time and hearing of his passing. Nurses and others presented Dale with balloons and songs on his birthday which brightened his day and his response brightened theirs. That was a common occurance and image of Dale and the memory that is etched in most who interacted with him. Dale was a favorite uncle of numerous nieces an nephews who always displayed an affection and love for each other. Dale was a regular at all holiday, birthday, and other special celebrations at homes of family members. It will be inscribed on his stone, “He will be missed by all who knew him”. So appropiate!
Graveside services will be held at Ft. Logan National Cemetary (Sheridan & Hampden) on Thursday, November 4th, Staging Area ‘C’ at 11:00 A.M. A reception will follow at the Verl Huffman VFW Post in Sheridan, 2680 W. Hampden where family and friends can share memories of Dale.In lieu of flowers, donations in Dale’s name may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, or to Help Hospitalized Veterans.