Dale E. Walker of Marion, formerly of Canton and Steeleville passed away May 25, 2018 surrounded by his entire family.
Born October 15, 1928 in Washington County, Illinois to Elmer and Dorothy Hemphill Walker. Attended Steeleville High School and then graduated from Sparta Township High School in 1946 (Steeleville only offered 3 years of high school education at that time). He completed 2 years of course work at Monmouth College and then transferred and graduated from the University of Missouri – Rolla School of Mines with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1950.
Dale spent his entire career in the coal mining industry. In 1950 he began work for Southwestern Illinois Coal Company in Engineering and Management at the Streamline Mine. He was involved in the design work of Captain Mine which began in 1958. In this project many new procedures and equipment were used in the layout of mining two seams of coal simultaneously using one excavator which was the biggest shovel excavator in the world. The coal was shipped using two trains, each composed of 126 100-ton cars. One of the trains was being loaded at Captain Mine while the other was being unloaded at Commonwealth Utility just south of Chicago each day. Many new innovations were required including railcars that were never uncoupled during loading and unloading and dual cab haulage trucks. Captain Mine started shipping coal in 1964. Dale was named General Manager of Captain and Streamline Mines in 1962.
Southwestern Illinois Coal Company was sold to Arch Mineral in 1972. At that time Dale became Vice President of Engineering and Operations. In 1977 he transferred to Freeman Coal as Vice President of Operations and Engineering for all surface mines until retiring December 31, 1994.
Dale was appointed by IL State Governor Richard B. Ogilvie to be a member of the State Mining Board in the Department of Mines and Minerals in May of 1970. He was then appointed by Governor Ogilvie to be a Mine Officer on the Mining Board in the Department of Mines and Minerals in July 1971. He was elected President of the Illinois Mining Institute and served for the fiscal year of fall 1974 to fall of 1975.
Dale enjoyed participating in and watching sports his whole life. He played basketball in high school and college and played golf his entire life. Dale was the first golfer to make a hole in one at the new Southwestern Lakes Golf Course on September 19, 1968. It was on the 3rd hole.
Most importantly, he was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, unmatched in his generosity. Dale and Evvie started dating in High School and after marrying in 1948 they enjoyed nearly 70 years of marriage.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his step mother, Bellva Walker, his sister, Joan and 2 brothers, James and Donald. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn , daughter Donna (Mark) Humphrey of Creal Springs, daughter Pam (David) Williams of Petersburg and son Jeff (Clara) Walker of Ava, 2 granddaughters Beth (Benji) Ramsey and Sarah (Ryan) Presson, 1 grandson Caleb Walker, 1 great-grandson Brock Walker Presson and 1 great-granddaughter Brinley Presson.
Memorials may be made to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Marion or the Ministerial Alliance in Marion.
Visitation will be at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Marion from 9:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 2. Funeral Service will follow at 11 a.m. Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home in Marion is assisting the family with final arrangements.