Dale E. Lange, 94, Smyrna, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, with family at his side at Decatur County Memorial Hospital. Only son of Charles F. and Emma (Tappmeyer) Lange, he was born at the same hospital August 15, 1923 and was the first child born there by Cesarean section where both mother and child lived.
He graduated from New Point High School in 1942 where he was senior class president. He married Evelyn Marie Tatem on September 27, 1947. She preceded him in death on March 27, 2005.
He took Basic training at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, but was deferred from active service in WWII.
Dale farmed in Saltcreek Township his entire life, raising Boars, Bulls, and Beans on Langeland Farms. He won the State Fair livestock judging championship in 1940, and various cattle awards including the coveted McCracken Cup in 1940 and 1942. He served on the Decatur County Fair Board in the late 40s and was instrumental in helping to move the fair grounds to its present location. He was Asst. Superintendent of the State Fair Swine Barn in the early 60s. He was active in leadership of the Decatur County Beef Cattle, Pork Producers, and Sheep Breeders Associations, and the Saltcreek Township and Decatur County Farm Bureau.
Dale was the first secretary/treasurer of the Southeastern Indiana Feeder Auction in 1953. His service to agriculture was recognized in 1987 by the Decatur County Extension Certificate of Distinction and in 2002 with admission to the Decatur County Agriculture Hall of Fame.
A lifelong Lutheran, Dale was an active member of St. Paul Smyrna Lutheran church. He took an active leadership role in his home congregation and in the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the ULCA, LCA, and ELCA. He chaired the local Christian Rural Overseas Program (CROP) drive for several years and was the first inductee to the CROP Pioneer Hall of Fame in 1986.
Active in 4-H in his own youth, Dale and Evelyn helped launch and served as leaders of the Smyrna Guys and Gals 4-H Club where their daughters participated actively. Dale was a district president of Southeast Indiana Rural Youth, and Dale and Evelyn were active members of the Rural Couples Club.
He was an avid sports fan all his life, loved playing basketball and baseball in high school, cheered all his grandchildren, the Purdue Boilermakers, and Chicago Cubs, and lived to see the Cubs win the World Series Championship in 2016.
Survivors include daughters Linda (Tom Corona) Lange, Mary Ann (Michael) Theobald, Patty (Gary) Lange Fischer, and Anita (Randy) Hagen; grandchildren Megan Theobald (Matt) Jarvis, Matthew Theobald (Sarah Chandler), Nathan (Jess) Reding, Gabe Reding, Nick (Susanna) Reding, Pete (Breonna) Reding, and Ross Hagen; and 11 great grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will be from 1-5 pm Sunday, October 15 at Gilliland-Howe funeral home and one hour prior to services Monday. Funeral services begin at 11 am on Monday, October 16 at St. Paul Smyrna Lutheran Church with worship leader Doug Brougher officiating. Burial will follow at St. Paul Smyrna Lutheran Cemetery.
Memorials may be given to St. Paul Smyrna Lutheran Church or Smyrna Lutheran Cemetery Association, in care of the funeral home; or a charity of donors choice. Online condolence may be made to the family at www.gilliland-howe.com.
Published on October 12, 2017