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Dale 88, passed away at Hospice of the Valley, Thunderbird Palliative Unit, Peoria, AZ, at 5:10 A.M. on Monday, July 26, 2021. He was born December 18, 1932 in Marion, Indiana to Leroy and Francis Johnson, who proceeded him in death.
Dale married Melba Enochs and they had 2 sons, David E. and Douglas E. Johnson. There is a family tradition to name the males in the Johnson family with the initials of D.E.J.
Dale joined the US Navy and served during the Korean War. Afterwards, he then went from active duty into the Navy Reserve and years later, switched to Air Force Reserve until he retired from military duty. Dale was a proud American who served his country for 30 years.
In 1965, Dale married Jean (Simmons) Kitchener and gladly took on the responsibility of raising her two older children, Gary (Kitch) Kitchener and Laurie (Kitchener) Lovegrove and adopting Jean’s young son, Skip as his own. Along with Dave and Doug, this blended family did life together as one in Indiana farm country.
Dale coached Little League Baseball for over 20 years and was one of the best-known people at the ballpark. He also loved to sing Karaoke anytime he was near a microphone. Dale and Jean were members of Main Street Christian Church in Russiaville, Indiana and Burlington Church of Christ in Burlington, Indiana. After all the kids were out of the nest, Dale and Jean purchased a home in Sun City where they enjoyed their status as snowbirds.
As their health declined over the last few years, their oldest son, Kitch faithfully served as their full-time live-in caregiver. Their middle son, Dave became their medical liaison to help manage and understand all the Doctor speak that goes along with specialized elder care.
Surviving Dale are his wife; Jean, sister; Jeanie (John) Ryckman, children; Kitch Kitchener, Laurie Lovegrove, Dave (Kathy), Doug (Caroline) and Skip Johnson. Grandchildren; Sara (Trent) Campbell, Kendall Kitchener, Fallon Hinkle, Lee Lovegrove, Summer Lovegrove, Dan Johnson, Derrick (Melissa) Johnson, Erica (Blake) Hanson, Damian Johnson, Jesse Johnson, Nolan Johnson and Jonah Johnson, and 13 great-grandchildren.
Proceeding Dale in death are his parents, a son-in-law, Lee Lovegrove and a granddaughter; Kelly Johnson.
Many thanks to Mayo Clinic, Banner Boswell Hospital and Hospice of the Valley for their excellent care during his final days.