Dale Francis Smith, 73, of Mellen died peacefully at his home surrounded by his loved ones on Tuesday, Aug. 31st, 2021 after a long courageous battle with cancer.
He was born on December 31, 1947, in Shell Lake, the son of Elmo and Ruth (Thoney) Smith.
Dale graduated from Shell Lake in 1965. He joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in Vietnam during the war. On December 3, 1977, he married Joanna Mary Kaseno, the mother of his three children.
Dale was a Mellen police officer and worked for the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department for several years and retired as lieutenant investigator in 2003. Dale made a profound impact in his community. He worked for the cable company, was on the Mellen city council, was a member of three fire departments (Mellen and Saxon, Wisconsin, and Novice, Texas), an emergency medical technician in Mellen, deputy coroner, a member of the VFW and the American Legion, and wore many hats at Congregational United Church of Christ in Mellen, including but not limited to building manager in 2017. Dale was also mayor of Mellen from 2001 to 2003.
Dale was a problem solver and loved helping others. He enjoyed bowling, camping, watching the Packers and Brewers, ham radio, watching his grandson Blaze play basketball, granddaughter Jerzie play volleyball, and traveling to Arizona and Texas for winters.
He is survived by his three children, Melissa (Mark) Magdziarz of Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota, Christopher (Pamela) Smith of Mellen, and Bambi Smith of Mellen; four grandchildren, Blaze, Jerzie, Avery, and Jace; seven brothers, Arthur (Diana) Smith, Bernard (Carla) Smith, John (Sally) Smith, Gary Smith, Gerald (Joanne) Smith, James (Dawn) Smith, and Robert (Kevin) Smith; two sisters, Sue (Paul) Millerman and Diana (Jim) Ksiazyk; and many nieces, nephews, relatives, friends, and partner and best friend of 27 years, Karen Parker.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A celebration of Dale’s life is planned for Saturday, Sept. 18, at noon at Congregational United Church of Christ in Mellen, with the Rev. Donald Quigley officiating. Military honors under the auspices of the Mellen VFW Post 2273 will follow the service.
A gathering of family and friends will begin at the church at 10 a.m. and will continue until the hour of service. He will be laid to rest at Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Spooner, on a future date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the National Cancer Institute.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Mountain Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ashland and Mellen.