Chief Master Sergeant Dale Frank Richardson, born November 14, 1947 in Chewelah WA, passed away on June 30, 2021 at age 73 after a journey with cancer contracted as a result of Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam. A decorated veteran, he died surrounded by his wife and children at his home in Tavares, FL.
At age 18, Dale enlisted in the Air Force for two tours of duty in the Vietnam War where he flew 266 combat missions as a flight mechanic on C-47 aircraft. After serving in the war, Dale returned to the US to continue what would be 22 years of honorable service in the United States Air Force. He was particularly instrumental in the Air Force’s KC-10 program. After retiring from the Air Force in 1988, Dale's experience served him well in his second career as a Pilot Instructor and Flight Operations Manager on DC-10 aircraft at Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Following Northwest’s merger with Delta, Dale declined a move to Atlanta and retired after 22 years with the airline.
While serving in the Air Force at Offutt AFB in Omaha NE, Dale met and fell in love with Linda Johannes, who he married a year later in 1972. They had two children, Jesse and Laurie. In 2010, they built their retirement home on the Apple River near the town of Amery WI, where he enjoyed visiting with family and his grandchildren. He and Linda then became snowbirds, splitting their time between Amery WI and the warm weather and community of Tavares FL.
Dale enjoyed bass fishing, golfing, and tinkering around in his garage/workshop. He felt particularly fulfilled by performing final military honors at veterans’ funerals and leading the parade at several of the annual small-town celebrations in his community. He also devoted countless hours to the Amery aquatic weed harvester program as Operations Manager and harvester operator, improving the quality of the Apple River for the Amery community. He was the type of man who “never met a piece of steel he didn’t like,” built his own fishing rods, and would drop everything to help family, friends, and community.
Dale is preceded in death by his parents, Theodore “Frank” Richardson and Helen Barrett, and his brothers, Don Richardson and Larry Richardson. He is survived by his wife Linda Richardson of Tavares FL, his sister Jan Pearson of Kamiah ID, his brother Doug Barrett of Marysville WA, his children Jesse Richardson and Laurie Sweep of Amery WI, and his grandchildren, Frances Ardelle Richardson and Sylvia Dale Richardson.
There will be a celebration of Dale's life in Amery, Wisconsin at a time and location to be announced. All who knew Dale will be welcome.