Dale Vestal, 77
Dale Francis Vestal, age 77 of New Hampton, died Friday, May 15, 2020, at his home surrounded by his wife with assistance from St. Croix Hospice.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date with interment in the New Hampton City Cemetery. Military honors will be conducted by the New Hampton American Legion Post No. 38. Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home and Crematory of New Hampton has been entrusted with arrangements.
Dale Francis Vestal was born on August 3, 1942, in Marble Rock, IA, the son of Evander and Florence Lucille (Freeman) Vestal. When Dale was 6, the family moved to New Hampton, and he was a member of New Hampton High School’s Class of 1960.
Dale proudly served his country in the U.S. Army, and he was stationed in what was then West Germany, before receiving his honorable discharge.
When he returned home, he went to work for Chamberlain Industries, and in 1994, he took a job with DCI Industries before retiring at the age of 62.
Dale met Brenda Cerwinske one night at a bar, and though she was 27 years younger than him, the two hit it off. Brenda will tell you that she found her “soulmate” that night in 1987, and on August 10, 1991, the two were married at Zion Lutheran Church in Alta Vista.
They said it would never last; they were wrong.
The couple loved to take their annual trips to South Dakota where they would attend two musical festivals — Deadwood Jam and the Wild Bill Hickok Music Festival. They loved taking their “rides” every day; they may not have known where they were headed but they always had a good time.
Dale liked his beer, liked his friends, and liked hanging out at Butch’s, and when he was younger, he was a member of the New Hampton Fire Department for 15 years.
When he was diagnosed with cancer in September 2012, he fought one hell of a battle, rarely if ever, complaining as he went through chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments.
Late last month, he came home, and in the bed Hospice had set up for him, he had to have his “Linus blankets” — his cell phone, the bed remote and a fly swatter — and the sense of humor he and his wife shared can be summed up with this nugget: When Dale was cremated, so was that fly swatter.
He was a husband, he was a father of three, a grandpa of 11 and a great-grandpa of seven. He loved them all, as he did his dog, Wyatt; the two were peas in a pod and went everywhere together before Wyatt passed away around the time Dale was diagnosed.
Dale fought the good fight, and he did so with his soulmate and with a sense of humor that lifted up those who knew him even when he was in the fight of his life. He will be missed.
Survivors include his wife of 28 years, Brenda; two sons, Mark Vestal of North Carolina, and Craig Vestal of Tulsa, Oklahoma; one daughter, Jenny Vestal of Cedar Rapids; 11 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren; one sister, Lois Betzer of New Hampton; father and mother-in-law, Punk and Jean Cerwinske of Alta Vista; sisters-in-law, Lori (Darrell) Hanson of New Hampton, and Tammy (Jorge) Rivera of Charles City; and brothers-in-law, Keith (Marsha) Cerwinske of Mason City, Kent (Teresa) Cerwinske of Klemme, and Tom Harriet of Cedar Rapids.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, Bernadine Jorge, Phyllis Carr, Lynn Vestal, and Marlys Harriet; and a grandson, Vincent Vestal.