Dale Lingo - August 15, 1012
Dale B. Lingo of Benkelman, Neb., passed away on Aug. 27, 2012, at the Imperial Nursing Home at the age of 96 years.
Dale was born on July 2, 1916, in Dundy County, Neb., to Byron H. Lingo and Alma Edna (Huggans) Lingo. While Dale was very young, the Lingo family moved to Kansas where they farmed. After several years, the family moved back to Nebraska to a farm near Stratton, Neb. It was hard to make a living in farming and ranching during these years. Dale has told many stories of the hard times and difficulty in raising crops during the depression years.
Dale graduated from the Stratton High School in 1934. Three years later Dale’s father was involved in a two-car, truck collision four miles east of Max, caused by blinding dust in which both his father (age 45) and younger sister, Patti (age 3) were killed. After this, Dale spent a lot of time with his uncle, Eddie Lingo. Dale soon after took a job in Cheyenne, Wyo. working for the Blanchard Brothers Construction Co. He operated large construction machinery in the building of roads.
On Dec. 24, 1941 Dale was united in marriage to Eva Alice Grams at the home of Eva’s parents, Andy and Grace Grams. The couple settled in northern Dundy County, 25 miles northwest of Benkelman and farmed for Dale’s brother-in-law, Harry Grams.
World War II had just been declared and Dale became a part of that effort. He was inducted into service for his country in the Army Air Corp on June 24, 1942, and was discharged on Oct. 7, 1945. He trained in several schools and at several bases in the States before he was sent to Thorpe Abbotts, England (95 miles north of London). He served in the 351st Bombardment Squadron of the 100th Bomb Group as a mechanic and refueling specialist on B-17 Bombers. These B-17s operated in campaigns such as Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Air Offensive Europe. Until just recently, Dale never talked much about the war. He witnessed the horror of the war by the planes not returning to base and by those that did return; the destruction of both the planes and the crews. He earned the grade of Sergeant and received several distinguishing medals during his time in the military. Dale, we salute you!
After his discharge, Dale returned to his wife on her parent’s farm. Dale took over the farming and they spent several years there raising corn, wheat, cattle and hogs. As the years went by, the couple was able to make their own home about a mile from Eva’s parents. There they lived and enjoyed life together.
As a young man, Dale learned about Christ and His promises. He was baptized into our Lord and served Him until his death. Dale was a member of the Church of Christ in Benkelman where he taught classes and was a leader in the Church. Later, he became a member of the Westside Church of Christ in Imperial where he was also a leader and one to look to for help and advice from his many years of service.
Dale continued the raising of cattle and crops on his farm, but he made time for several other enterprises. Irrigation was just beginning and Dale was one of the early pioneers. Not only did he develop irrigation of his farm, but he helped Clinton McNaught, a neighbor, drill irrigation and domestic wells for other farmers.
Along with irrigation came the need for fuel—natural gas. Dale seized the opportunity and developed a business of digging natural gas lines to farmsteads as well as irrigation wells. Dale also sought and won a seat as Dundy County Commissioner. He served on the ASCS county committee for Dundy County and was also a member of the Benkelman VFW.
Dale had no children of his own, but he took every opportunity to be with all the children of his relatives and the neighborhood. Most of the time his hobbies centered around things he could do with his “children.” He was a boy scout leader for a local troop. The scout house was an old school house located on his property.
He loved hunting and fishing and took every opportunity to go fishing or hunting with family, friends or by himself along with his dog. Dale loved model airplanes and trains. Any visiting kids would be delighted when Dale would take them to the attic where all the models were, in various degrees of assembly.
Later, Dale became interested in flying real life sized airplanes. He logged many hours in Piper Colt’s and Cherokees. As time passed, Dale became an avid member of the Imperial Gun Club in shooting of all kinds, but especially trap shooting. He earned many awards from several different trap clubs. Because of Dale’s shooting interests, he later developed a business of selling guns and supporting equipment from his shop in Benkelman. The Imperial Trap Club celebrated Dale’s birthday each year, for many years, with a trap shoot, awards and picnic. Even at age 85, Dale shot one rock short of a perfect score—24 out of 25.
Eventually, Dale sold his farm, semi-retired from farming and moved with his wife to a house in Benkelman on the north edge of town, although, he still continued to farm his wife’s parent’s land. In November of 1978, Dale’s wife, Eva Alice Lingo, passed away from cancer. This left a void in Dale’s life so he spent more time at the “farm.” Rather than travel every morning and night to Benkelman and back to the farm the next day, he decided to move in a trailer house at the farm. By now Robert and Jacquie Grams (Dale’s nephew and his wife) were living in the house.
This arrangement lasted for a couple of years, until Dale married Eva May Campbell of Benkelman after three years of companionship. The couple was married on Aug. 15, 1982, in St. Francis, Kan. They made their home in Benkelman, Neb. This marriage was filled with love and lasted 30 years until Dale’s death. Both Dale and Eva loved getting together with family and friends on holidays, birthdays and any day, special or not.
Dale and Eva moved together into the Imperial Manor at Imperial, Neb. on July 20, 2012. Dale’s health began failing him and he passed quietly on Aug. 7, 2012.
Preceding Dale in death were his parents, Byron H. and Edna Lingo; brother, Everett T. Lingo; and sister, Patricia Ann Lingo; nephews, Paul and David Henry.
Dale is survived by his wife, Eva M. (Campbell) Lingo; older sister, Venita Henry of Mesa, Ariz.; cousins, Ward Lingo and wife, Shirley, of Grand Island, Neb., Alvin Lingo and wife, Peggy, of Hereford, Ariz. and Byron Lingo and wife, Carol, of Navato, Calif.; nephews, Leroy Grams and wife, Sue, of Benkelman, Neb., Robert Grams and wife, Jacquie, of Imperial, Neb., Dennis Lingo of Brighton, Colo.; nieces, Jan (Lingo) Clark of Gold Canyon, Ariz. and Karen Lingo of Aurora, Colo.
Although Dale had no children of his own, he had some very special children in his life that he thought of as “grandchildren.” These are Scott Grams, Melisa (Grams) Salter, Steven Grams, Jamie (Grams) Oliver, Shannon (Bartlett) Jaeger, Amanda (Bartlett) Libra and Tammy (Bartlett) Aulston. Added to this list is a host of Dale’s “great grandchildren.”
Dale loved the Lord, the Church, his family and extended families, and life to its fullest. His funeral was held on Aug. 30, 2012, at the Westside Church of Christ, Imperial, Neb. and he was buried in his family plot in the Benkelman Cemetery.
Services were officiated by Minister Bill Bryan.
Casketbearers were Steven Grams, Dru Jaeger, Randy Bartlett, Kim Silvester, Don Hamm and Gene Vinson.
Honorary casketbearers were Vilas Smith, Larry Kitt, Scott Grams, Jeff Oliver, Troy Burr, Eldon Roesener and Bob Bartlett.
Military rites were provided by American Legion Post #65, Benkelman, Neb.
Liewer Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.