April 19, 1948 — January 6, 2021
It is with great sadness and very empty hearts we announce the peaceful passing of Dale Gray with his wife Sharon by his side on January 6th, 2021 at Lake Country Lodge, Lake Country, B.C.
Dale leaves to mourn his wife Sharon of 39 years, the love of his life, sisters, sisters-in-law, brothers, brothers-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews as well as many close and very dear friends.
Dale fought a long, hard and courageous battle with Cortical Basal Degenerative Disease. He always looked at the positive and never once complained about the disabilities the disease brought. He was grateful and thankful for the wonderful life he had, and the ability to touch people’s lives wherever he was and whatever he did.
Dale had an impact and special connection with Jenna, Kristyn, Konnor, Brooke, Robyn and Erin. Nieces and a nephew that looked up to their uncle Dale and took to heart what he had to say and how he felt, what success in life could be and how to get there. They all had a very special spot in his heart, and he loved them dearly.
Sharon would like to thank Dr. Wile and Dr. Martin and all the amazing staff at Lake Country Lodge for their wonderful care and compassion shown to Dale. Unable to speak or move but with the twinkle in his eyes and the smile on his lips, Dale still managed to melt the hearts of his caregivers. He became part of their family during his stay.
Sharon’s love note to Dale,
I have been so blessed in life to have had someone like you to share life with. Thank you Dale for giving me so many memories and loving me so unconditionally.
I will love you forever.
As Dale’s request, cremation will take place.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.springfieldfuneralhome.com
A farewell letter to our dearest Dale.
In the beginning, your friends and family cursed the universe in confusion – because none of this made any sense. Most of us believed that the universe “watches over” the rarest of souls who give unselfishly and make meaningful positive impacts on everyone they meet. While we continue to curse this cruel disease for what it has taken from you/us, we remained profoundly puzzled by your attitude. Through the unspeakable cruelty this disease has inflicted and all it has taken from you – remarkably, you never complained to anyone, not even once…ever. We reflect on this often … how very rare, how dignified and how inspiring… How very Dale Gray.
Instead of focusing on the “why me” and other “circular” existential questions – you chose to focus on enabling the quality of your friend and family relationships by sharing the: next laugh, next clever Trudeau “jab”, topical news conversation, movie or book; often over the next glass(es) of wine and/or single malt(s). How appropriate that your “glass half-full” approach to life, was always enabled perfectly by your glass being … well – “half-full”. Dale, where you went, so went the fun in life – the wide-eye adventure, the search of new ideas and the deep connection of great friends.
In the end you left us with your greatest gift, a reminder that being present in life is truly life’s greatest present. You reminded us to seize the moment, embrace the present, and tilt fiercely against the mundane. In doing so, you very often took the “road less travelled” but that is not to say you travelled fewer roads. Your many journeys included, but were not limited to: “5-star backpacking” through Europe with a Hilton Hotel executive, fishing in the arctic, canoeing in the Yukon, an 80’s Trans-American “road trip” in a Chevy van, private sail boats, private jetting, Harley excursions, enviable Caribbean cruises, awesome Grand Cayman vacations, weekend getaways to Barrett Jackson auctions and, Jimmy Buffet concerts. Dale, you have come closer than most of us ever will in finding the “secret sauce” of life by taking the road less travelled, more often and never forgetting that the “road is about the journey and not the destination” (as the Harley Davidson inspired sign in your office reminds us).
Dale, you have always understood the importance of “if” in “Life”. One of your many signatures was exploring the art of the possible and the biggest “what-ifs” in life. Your biggest choices were done with great purpose, planning and effect: Sharon (your beautiful and courageous wife of 39 years), your closest friends, family and adventures. Through it all, your friends and family were greatly influenced by your kind, genuine spirit, self-confidence, hard work, appreciation for perfection in every task, importance of order, love of laughter and your carpe diem-like pursuit of “sucking the marrow out of life”!
In the same way “if” was important in your “life” – it seemed equally fitting that “ale” found its way into “D-ale”. You were never far from a good time. Through it all, you have accumulated a catalogue of special memories. You have “laughed and loved much” and in doing so you have so perfectly and naturally earned the respect of worldly, “intelligent people and the affection of children”- the hallmarks of a successful life (according to Ralph Waldo Emerson). It seems clear that YOU and Emerson had it right.
Dale, you are one of the blessed who burned brighter, and reached farther than most ever will. You are one of the great ones whose wisdom remains alive through your “Dale-isms”:
– “Working hard is important – but working smart is most important”
– “Measure twice and cut once… do it right the first time”
– “Surround yourself with beauty – always”
– “When given the choice to be “right” or “kind”… choose “kind”
– Regardless of the time of day, it is 5 o’clock somewhere and…
– Never buy a Japanese motorcycle or drive a Ford car
Dale, you should know that you left a lasting mark as a husband, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and friend … farewell Dale, until we see each other “on the other side”.
The world has lost a great one.
Note: Parrot Heads, in lieu of flowers, kindly forward memorial donations to Heineken, Grey Monk and Macallan.