Dale Birdsley Sr.


(June 13, 2001)

Funeral services were conducted Saturday at the LDS Church in Cowley for Dale Birdsley Sr., 76, who died Wednesday, June 13 in Lovell after a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born April 21, 1925, in Maxwell, Nebr., to Asa Earl and Alice Ethel Birdsley. He was raised in the Crystal Creek and Kane area near Lovell.

He worked in the Big Horn Mountains in his early years and then entered the U.S. Army in 1943. He fought in World War II with the 137th Infantry Division and was wounded by artillery shrapnel on Nov. 24, 1944, in France. He was discharged on Dec. 4, 1945, receiving the Purple Heart and earning the European Theatre Ribbon with two bronze stars, the World War II Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Theatre Ribbon, Lapel Button and Combat Infantry Badge.

He married Velda Lee Johnson on March 20, 1947, in Red Lodge, Mont. They were blessed with eight children: Gale Wright of Lovell, Sharon Olson (Jeff) of Cowley, Mary Ann Grall (Bill) of Lovell, Dale Birdsley Jr. (Janette) of Riverton, Richard Birdsley of Cheyenne, Connie Boyce (Mel) of Gillette, Roger Birdsley (Becky) of Cowley and Georgia Leichner (Doug) of Powell. He had 33 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.

He is also survived by three sisters, Alice (Bill) Durham of Cody, Pearl (Bud) Sayers of Washington and Beulah (Harmon) Franks of Worland.

He farmed for a time and later was in construction, from which he retired as a heavy equipment operator.

His favorite pastime was spending time in the mountains he loved and being with his family. Many grandchildren have memories of staying in his trailer while was working away from home.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years; his parents; four sisters, three brothers and one granddaughter, Tracy Dale.

Burial was in the Lovell Cemetery next to his wife.