|Otto L. Dale, 82|
|Written by TRF Times|
Denver, Colo. - Otto L. Dale, 83, of Denver, Colo., and formerly of Thief River Falls, died from complications of a stroke on Thursday, April 21, 2005 at the Select Specialty Hospital in south Denver, Colo.
Otto L. Dale was born on October 4, 1922 in Brinsmade, N.D., one of four sons of the Rev. Stephen A.N. Dale and Louise Foss Dale. At the time of his birth, his father was serving a parish in Montana.
Otto graduated from high school in St. James, in June 1940. In September of 1940, he enrolled at St. Olaf College in Northfield. In September 1942, Otto enlisted in the United States Navy as an apprentice seaman. On April 26, 1945, he was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve. He was discharged from the Navy in January 1946.
During the summer of 1942, in St. James, Otto was introduced to Janette C. Rustad of Kindred, N.D., a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhaead. On May 19, 1945, Otto and Janette were married in the chapel at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., where Otto had been attending Midshipman’s School prior to receiving his commission.
In 1945, Otto enrolled at the University of Tampa, Fla., to continue work on his bachelor’s degree. Otto was an undergraduate at the University and Janette was the dean of women. In September 1946, Otto enrolled at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, to prepare for the ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. He graduated in 1949 and was ordained as a Lutheran pastor in June that same year.
Shortly after his ordination, Otto began his ministry in his first parish at American Lutheran Church in Milbank, S.D. In 1951, Otto became the pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Minneota. He served as pastor of Hope until December 1954, when he became pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls. In 1959, Otto was asked by the Home Mission Department of the ELC to start a church in Sarasota, Fla. He organized Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Sarasota during the summer and fall of 1959 and served that parish until the summer of 1961, when he was called to be the pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls.
During these years, Otto and Janette became the parents of seven children, Stephen in 1947, Gregory in 1949, Joan in 1951, Evonne in 1953, Bradley in 1956, Catherine in 1957 and Rolf in 1961. He and Janette have nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
While he was pastor at Bethlehem in Fergus Falls, Otto and Janette began to organize trips to Israel and to Europe. Otto made seven trips to Israel and Janette made nine trips, helping to make it possible for several hundred people to visit the Holy Land. Otto served as pastor at Bethlehem in Fergus Falls for 15 years, until the summer of 1976, when he became an agent for Lutheran Brotherhood in Alexandria. During the five years he worked for Lutheran Brotherhood, Otto continued to serve the church by substituting for pastors who needed to be gone or by assisting churches that were without a pastor. Indeed, Otto would say that he had done more preaching during the five years he was out of the parish, than he had when he had been a full-time pastor.
In 1980, Otto began assisting Glenwood Lutheran Church in Glenwood. In 1981, Otto was called to be the senior pastor at Glenwood Lutheran and he served that parish until his retirement in 1987 after almost forty years in the ministry.
Following his retirement in July of 1987, Otto and Janette moved to Westminster, Colo., to live near most of their children and grandchildren who had previously relocated to Colorado. During the early years of his retirement, Otto served as the interim pastor at several churches in Colorado and Nebraska. Later, he continued to serve as a substitute preacher on Sunday mornings at a number of churches in the Denver area.
In December 2003, Otto and Janette moved to University Place, Washington, where their daughter Evonne, resides with her family. They made several trips back to Colorado to visit with their other children, five of whom continued to reside in the greater Denver area.
Otto and Janette were on a visit to Colorado when Otto was stricken with a stroke on Easter Sunday. He died from complications of another stroke he suffered a week and a half after Easter Sunday, on April 21, 2005 at the Select Specialty Hospital in South Denver, Colo.
He is survived by his wife, Janette, seven children; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. A00003B2005MY11