Dale F. Rothe, 9/2/35 – 6/7/09
Dale was loved by many people, most of whom considered him to be one of their best friends. He was a caring person to all who met him, a mentor to everyone who needed help, a role model to all who knew him, and a positive, encouraging person who treated everyone with respect. Dale fought a spirited battle to stay with his family and friends. He kept his faith in God, his spirit, and his sense of humor to the very end, and was an inspiration to anyone who knew his story. He loved fishing (particularly with his son and grandchildren), bowling, golfing, spending time with his family and friends, and was a devoted local historian of American Indian culture. To say we will all miss him is an incredible understatement, but we’re all better off to have had some time with him.
Gramps taught me from an early age that if somebody gives you something out of gratitude you are to send them a thank you note. So this is my thank you letter to my Gramps (Dale Rothe)…
Where do I begin to thank you?
Thank you for being an unforgettable, lovable, incredible grandfather.
Thank you for bringing Mom and I into your home and caring for us when I was just a little boy. You had to be more than a grandfather to me at times. I remember seeing a uniquely real and vulnerable side of my Gramps in those days.
I know you are proud of me. You are proud of all your grandchildren. You faithfully attended soccer matches, baseball games, special events and told us through more than words how proud you were of us. I remember when my sister was born with Spina Bifida our family had to live away from home for weeks-on-end and we stayed in the Ronald McDonald Home. For the next 17 years, you volunteered there by giving magnificent speeches. Gramps we are so proud to be your grandchildren.
Thank you for teaching me about finances and investments. I will miss you helping me with my taxes!
Thank you for valuing the importance of family. Why even Aunt Estelle loved you!? We have a large legacy to fulfill as the one who would unite all us kinfolk.
Thank you for being real. You taught by your character what it is to be a genuine, caring, loving, and unprejudiced.
Thank you for your passion for various cultures (particularly a love for Africa) and your compassion for the oppressed (i.e. Native Americans). Gramps, you are more generous than anyone I know. You saved your change for my Christmas gift, now Sarah and I have committed to save our change for a Native American mission.
Thank you for my first visit to the casino. I was 18 years old, we were just going to play a few slots. Unknowingly, the State of Wisconsin days before raised the legal age to 21. Needless to say we got busted. I was escorted out, while I let you finish your slots!? As you put it, “It is my way of supporting the Indians!”
Thank you for taking the time to teach me how to play cribbage, bowl, and even take a swing at fantasy baseball (go Barney’s Baby Boppers). Thank you for those fishing trips, and outings to the golf course to hit some balls. Thanks for being an all around fun guy (your birthdays were like month-long events).
Thank you for your hysterical repertoire of corny jokes, wittiness and that wonderful golden-capped smile.
Thank you for the hope and faith you showed these past few months as your body suffered cancer. You had a peace in the face of death and confidence that you would soon be with Jesus. You were courageous and brave, and gave an excellent example for us all to follow. You are now at rest and now in the awesome presence of your Savior.
Thank you Gramps. I love you. I will miss you.