Dale Lee Wahl - In Memoriam

It is with great sadness, we announce the passing of our dear friend Dale Lee Wahl, who left us on June 13, 2008 after a short illness. Dale was an active member of GRHS and a member of the Board of Directors. He had been a driving force in developing research materials for GR family history research and the sharing of data with the membership. But most of all he will be remembered for his incredible generosity of his time in helping people with their research, and encouraging individuals and teams to work together. Dale will be missed...but remains with us in Spirit!

A Photo Tribute to Dale Lee Wahl

During the Town Hall Meeting held at the 2008 GRHS/AHSGR Germans from Russia International Convention the following photo montage was presented as a tribute to Dale Lee Wahl. Dale was a central force in the creation and flourishing of the Clearing House project and presided over these meetings since their start. The link to view this presentation is available here:

Dale Lee Wahl Photo Tribute

but be warned that it is very large (4MB) and it is stored in PDF format so you will need the Adobe Reader to view it.

Donate to the Dale Lee Wahl Fund

The Dale Lee Wahl fund will be used to help continue Dale's work to provide research data to be freely shared on the GRHS website for members.
If you wish, use this button to donate to the Dale Lee Wahl Fund using PayPal. You don't have to be a PayPal member to use this page as it accepts major credit cards. Enter the amount in US dollars you wish to donate in the "Unit Price" field and click on the "Update Totals" button to see the new total. To cancel your transaction click on the "Return to Germans from Russia Heritage Society" link to return to this page. When your transaction is complete you will see a GRHS confirmation page.
You may also just send a check to GRHS HQ marked "Donation to the Dale Lee Wahl fund".

Our Book of Memories of Dale Lee Wahl

If you wish to add a memory to our book please send them to the GRHS Webmaster.

Jun 14, 2008 at 17:04:03Murray Gauer
I have created this Memorial book for those of us who are struggling to deal with the tragedy of the loss of Dale Wahl::::I have known Dale for many years and its safe to say that he has been my mentor as I have gone down this wonderful journey of learning about my family and my heritage. I find it very hard to think of a world without Dale to smooth the waters when things got tough and to come up with that next little gem of knowledge that I needed. Good bye buddy! You will live on in all our memories I am sure.

Jun 14, 2008 at 17:52:09Jackie Peterson
Dale is a wonderful example of a generous, energetic, thoughtful and caring researcher and teacher. The GRHS wouldn't be what it is were it not for him. Our research relationships internationally wouldn't be anything remotely close to what they are if it weren't for Dale. He's paved the way for us to connect with all of our relatives, Lutheran or Catholic, while also respecting those in the GR cadre who are Swedish and Jewish as well. Dale often counseled me and others to be open to connections. Yes, Lutherans did marry Catholics and move to Lutheran colonies (or vice versa), get over it they still do ... keep learning. He was the first person I connected with when I started my research and learned about the GRHS. He connected me to so many good people, family, in the best, most universal sense of the word. I miss him terribly and am privledged to have known him.:: ::BTW, Dale, while you're continuing your research up there...throw us Catholic researchers a few bones will ya! :: ::Love you!

Jun 14, 2008 at 18:03:55Charlotte Knodel
Dale helped me for years and was the first to help me with the Knodel research. He snail mailed me 100::s of pages of research. He had gotten to be a very good friend. He put me in charge of the German Russian Settlement in Bethune, Colorado. Dale also had relatives there. I will really really miss e-mailing him..he was GREAT! I am very sad.

Jun 14, 2008 at 18:06:51Heather Landmesser
I have worked with Dale on several volunteer projects for GRHS including 2 books. He was always a pleasure! We got to know each other over the past 8+ years via email and I was looking forward to finally meeting him in person this summer. Alas it will not be. He was a tremendous support through my cancer and treatment. He helped me a lot with my own research and eagerly tracked down info for me or others who could help me. I will greatly miss our interaction and his support. He truly touched my life even though we've never laid eyes on each other. My heart is sad.

Jun 14, 2008 at 18:26:08Jackie Krumwiede
Unfortunatly I never had the opportunity to meet Dale; however I have heard a lot about him and admire his intense interest in GRHS, and his willingness to help people find their families. He will be missed.

Jun 14, 2008 at 18:55:38Mary-Lynne Harding
I am very sorry to hear of Dale's passing. I first 'met' Dale 20 years ago when he contacted me through GRHS regarding our common ancestry. We found we were 4th cousins in our Scheuffele lineage.::We wrote long letters over the years before email discussing our research and discoveries. In 1991 Dale came to Kamloops for a visit and we finally met in person. As the local area has a significant G/R descendant population The Kamloops Family History Society invited Dale to be a guest speaker at their May 1998 Seminar where he was well received. I will miss him and his tireless passion for GR family history.

Jun 14, 2008 at 19:18:39Valentine Wangler
Dale was a trooper. When I was president, I could always count on him to "fall in", get the work done and get others to "fall in" as well. He was a hard worker who made GRHS a better organization.

Jun 14, 2008 at 19:33:49Diane Wandler
Dale’s never ending dedication to the preservation and discovery of GR history will be remembered by the legacy of GR research that was accomplished through the forces of his work and his teams of dedicated volunteers. Many of us were privileged to know him personally and knew his deep dedication to the GR research efforts. You will be missed by many Dale, but the fruits of your work will live on and be available to many for years to come. Go in peace my friend.

Jun 14, 2008 at 19:51:40Theophil J.( Bud) Schaffer
About20 years ago I received a letter from Dale asking for some information. He then advised me that we are related. The help he gave to everyone will be a great loss, We will miss you my friend.

Jun 14, 2008 at 19:54:32Leonard Kuhn
If it wouldent be for dale I never would have been a member of the GRHSand he will be forever remembert by the Josefstal Billersfeld and Fischersdorf

Jun 14, 2008 at 19:59:13Reuben Drefs
I volunteered to coordinate the St. Petersburg Bessarabian extraction project back in 1996. Dale ws helpful in setting up the formats and suggesting the Excel program. At the time I didn't know about Excel. Dale helped us get the project going and then stood aside as the various extractors sent their stuff to me and we were able to complete an important research database.

Jun 14, 2008 at 20:03:58Dennis Schott
We sure will miss Dale.But like he once told me life gos on , so laugh when you can and allways have a song in your Heart.God will take care and we need to rember thats one reason our grand parents came to america.Lets all smile and be happy we were able to enjoy Dales company. Thanks , From the Schott Family

Jun 14, 2008 at 20:08:09Jim Klein
I will always remember Dale's generousity in sharing with me data on Hoffnungstal families. Thank you, Dale.

Jun 14, 2008 at 20:21:10Joann(Erker) Baroh
So many times I said "I will see him next time at the meetings or he could tell me how to do that next time".....another lesson in life for me! Never put off sharing with "special" people because we are all on the same path....God Bless his family and friends in this time of sorrow and loss....

Jun 14, 2008 at 20:25:13Jack Schafer
Dale was certainly the consummate researcher and inspiration for many of us to continue our research with greater tenacity and depth than thought possible. I would have enjoyed meeting him personally, instead I have many courteous and thoughtful emails directing me to find more. Thank you Dale!

Jun 14, 2008 at 21:04:39Alfred Opp
I follow all friends of Mr.Dale L.Wahl to mourn his passing.We lost a great friend in him.In his honour we shall always remember him.God bless his family.

Jun 14, 2008 at 21:45:54Lori Doerr
I am absolutely speechless. I was just about to email Dale on a project he was helping me with.::::From the day I began my genealogy searching, even just a casual question to Dale brought pages of research and help from him. ::::I so enjoyed working with him and he was the first person I always went to with a question. I will miss him a lot.

Jun 14, 2008 at 22:06:12Ingrid Reule
I am shocked when I was informed Dale passed away. I knew Dale since 1995. He encouraged me to become a member of the GRHS and participate the convention. He also encouraged me to publish my results on the GRHS website under Ingrid`s Korner. Dale gave me good advices. I lost a good friend. I think to express better in German language.::Die Nachricht Dales Heimgang hat mich tief betroffen gemacht. Mit diesen Zeilen soll meine herzliche Teilnahme und tiefes Mitgefühl zum Ausdruck gebracht werden. Mag die Familie Kraft und Trost finden in diesem großen Leid.::Ingrid Reule from Germany::

Jun 14, 2008 at 22:07:25Herb Teske
So sorry to hear this. Dale was a great person; helped me a great deal in my family search.

Jun 14, 2008 at 22:12:48Irma Gfeller
This is indeed a sad day for us all. Do you have an address where we can send condolences to his family? Many of us remember with fondness the meetings that he attended in Odessa WA. and all the information that we all gleaned from his voluminous research. He will be missed by us all!

Jun 14, 2008 at 22:14:02Arthur E. Flegel
Please accept my most sincere condolences at this unexpected passing of Dale Lee Wahl, a most valued member of the GRHS.

Jun 14, 2008 at 22:16:05Evelyn Horst
Dale was the one that encouraged me to join ghrs and told me when he returned he would help me getting started on the site with a new family history. Sure will miss his help. ::I did not know him that well. He was so helpful when I did the Weishaar family history, I did that ::a few years ago. My sympathy you all of you.

Jun 14, 2008 at 22:19:20Lorraine Kniert
It is a big loss to our Bremerton area, he was so ::behind helping us all in our family history.::Dale had many admirers of all he has done in researching our Germans from Russia for us all. He opened the gate for us, and urged us on.

Jun 14, 2008 at 22:22:26Aubrey
He is going to be tremendously missed by all. His enthusiasm was unlimited, and he will be impossible to replace....

Jun 14, 2008 at 22:29:58Gayla Ohlhauser Gray
Dale was the first person I contacted at GRHS and he immediately took me under his wing. He taught me all about my German-Russian heritage and then encouragaed me to give back to GRHS by taking on numerous GRHS projects. I learned so much from Dale! His sharing, caring and team approach to everything he did will live on in each of us. Dale will be missed dearly by all of us, but he will always be with me in spirit.

Jun 15, 2008 at 00:23:51Volker Haufler
I am very concerned about his passing. Since I joined GRHS in 2006, he always had been a great e-mail friend by helping and advising about genealogical questions. I'll miss him, and my thoughts are with his family.

Jun 15, 2008 at 02:28:01Sundae Orwick
Dear Family and Friends of Dale Lee Wahl, ::::I send my deepest condolences to his family. It seems almost impossible to avoid feeling an enormous sense of loss. I have had the greatest privilege of meeting and working with Dale. He will be remembered as a person of many talents and an invaluable asset to GRHS. His contributions to this organization are to numerous to attest to here. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him and called him friend.::::If Dale were here, I am sure he would urge us not to mourn his passing but to celebrate his life. He would remind us that there is still much work to be done and that we now have the responsibility and the opportunity to do our part. ::::Rest in peace my friend, knowing that from the beginning to the end, it was a “job well done.”::

Jun 15, 2008 at 03:13:58Brian
Im very sad to hear of Dales passing. He was a fantastic, generous individual who helped me out greatly. We never met but when I contacted him about my family's history he went out of his way to help me and we even discovered that we are distantly related. He was a very great guy and I very much regret never being able to thank him in person for everything hes done for me and my family.

Jun 15, 2008 at 05:04:06Joanne Hertz Townsend
I was such a novice 18 mos ago and Dale was so kind about helping me get my quest begun. I only wish I had had the chance to meet him. My sincerest condolences to the family! Joanne

Jun 15, 2008 at 08:05:34Kenneth Messmer
Sadly, another of the giants has left us. I always enjoyed Dale's updates on new acquisitions and his tireless efforts to make new resources available. Although our research areas did not often cross, its seems everywhere I looked records were extracted and made available through Dale's efforts. My condolences to his family.

Jun 15, 2008 at 08:52:18Marty McMahon
Dale as a driving force in GRHS will be missed. He got me started with research in 2000 and working with the Clearing House projects, as well as the Odessa Library. We didn't always see things the same way, but I have always respected this dedication to GRHS and our GR ancestry. The Organization will sorely miss him.

Jun 15, 2008 at 09:08:52Velma Jesser
What a shock! Dale was always there and always helped. I've worked with Dale on several G-R projects; he was always patient, understanding, and kind. He taught me intricacies of Old German Script and helped my family find missing data, as well as a relative who literally got lost in the bureaucracy of a Seattle-area nursing home. I could always count on Dale, a major loss to the G-R community. From New Mexico, we say "Vaya con Dios, Dale."

Jun 15, 2008 at 09:37:31Ray Heinle
Dale's work on the St. Pete records is what got me started in family history research. Later I had the pleasure of working with him in translating some of the census data and the "new" St. Pete records. I really looked forward to talking to him again at the upcoming convention. Dale's passing leaves a big hole in both my heart and in the whole GRHS program. It is now incumbent upon us to keep this effort going. I will miss you, Dale.::Ray::::

Jun 15, 2008 at 09:43:39Wilhelm Kemendics
Dear Team !::::I am very sorry to hear about the passing of Dale Wahl. He was sort of a leader and "fatherfigure" in my research. As far as possible by e-mail - he was also a dear friend of mine !!

Jun 15, 2008 at 09:47:07Steve Wohl
A really great guy. I always kidded him that he spelled his name wrong.

Jun 15, 2008 at 09:53:28Marlene Walth
Please convey my condolences to the family of Dale. Dale was a "round-about" relative, related to my husband by the Schuffele connection, who as you said was very generous in sharing his research with me.

Jun 15, 2008 at 09:56:18Gloria
Thank you for letting us know about Dale. You are right, Dale::will be missed by many people.

Jun 15, 2008 at 09:57:32Gordon Rudolph
When I first began researching the Hochstatter and Sayler Germans From Russia genealogy, Dale was very helpful. I recall him with great fondness.

Jun 15, 2008 at 10:01:58Mary Emer
I will miss Dale, so very much. He had been such an inspiration for me personally.::::He had the patience to unknowingly lead me through the most awful time in my life. My husband was first very ill and then died. ::Dale gave me a "job" helping with his gathering and cataloging of information... That "job" helped me immeasurably to hold onto my perspective while caring for Leon. I could "escape" for a while each day or so without leaving the house and without neglecting his need for my constant presence. I am forever grateful.

Jun 15, 2008 at 10:14:31Carolyn Schott
From the first email I ever got from Dale that said “Schott? I’ve got a book on Hoffnungstal you should see. Meet me in Spanaway,” he got me hooked on GR research. I was ever amazed that a simple inquiry like “I’m looking for the xyz family” led to a 5-page reply with documented sources. He was incredibly generous with his time in helping me and many others.::::He has been a driving force in working with archives and making research data available to GRHS members….his work is a key reason that GRHS is a thriving organization….he has been an incredible encourager…he is the ultimate team builder bringing people together to work on projects and thinking of something bigger than their own needs, that of sharing the data widely so all can be helped with their research…he has been a gift to GRHS in always working for the good of the organization, not taking credit for the good work he did…. ::::He had a knack for helping me find just the right level of volunteer activity that worked for my schedule and worked for my skills. And yet he was always ready to “push” a bit with another new set of projects when he thought I was ready. His attitude of “by helping others, you help ALL of us be more successful” was contagious and I’ve gotten way more involved in GRHS than I ever dreamed I would when I first started my ancestor search.::::Dale, I was looking forward to the next convention and closing down the hospitality room with you again in the wee hours. You always talked about how you were “chasing those dead people…” so now you can look some of those pesky hard-to-find ancestors in the eye and say “So where WERE you born anyway? Why couldn’t I find you?”::::Dale – we will continue your work….rest easy….

Jun 15, 2008 at 10:27:56Dennis, from Canada
I never met him, but will always remember how he helped direct me in the right direction regarding my family history. He had such a good knowledge of the south Russian villages, their growth and history,and the movements of families among them.

Jun 15, 2008 at 10:28:01Alvina Ballinger
Dale Wahl was the heart and soul of our organization. He was a brilliant and amazing man with multiple talents and always ready to help anyone in their research. I stood in awe of him. Many times I had questions and he was so patient and responded almost immediately. He was always "chasing his folks," and now I expect he is with them discovering all those things that he was searching for so diligently. Dale was one in a million who so unselfishly spent his money and time unearthing archives and helping one and all with their research. He served as President of our local Puget Sound Chapter and gave many exciting presentations of what our membership could expect coming to in the future. We will miss him!

Jun 15, 2008 at 11:59:57Viktor Pflaum
Dale Lee Wahl was a well known name for Russian Germans in Germany and in Russia as well. And even though we did not know him personally, we will remember him forever. Rest in peace! Ruhe in Frieden!::Viktor Pflaum from Germany

Jun 15, 2008 at 12:02:22Ellen Barnhill
Yes, Dale Wahl was a giant in GR research. Was it 1994 or so, that I found Dale? He was so quick with so many contacts for my Bauder research! Was everyone else also related to Dale in some way? The Puget Sound Chapter was so blessed to have his monthly reports and willingness to share his immense level of research. He always looked forward to new skills and resources for us all. My head would almost explode trying to process all of the information that he had at his fingertips. Just a few weeks ago, he was replying to a new researcher in our GDO group - he was always ready to help the newest as well as experienced researcher. I just don't know how to express to his family how much I valued his mentorship and friendliness.

Jun 15, 2008 at 12:54:58Ralph Wiseman
Dale and I had alot in common. Retired military and other same likes. I worked with Dale alot behind the scenes and ne never failed the thank me. When we found out we were 4th cousins wa always joked that we never liked that side of the family! Good by cousin, you will be missed.

Jun 15, 2008 at 14:00:49Kaye Salverda
It was so sad to hear the news of Dale Wahl's death. I had never met him, but felt as though I had, through his knowledge and generosity.::::His input to my research was invaluable. I gained that knowledge from things he had written and comments he had made. Several times he was responsible for giving me a gentle push in the right direction. I will be forever grateful and can only imagine how he will be missed by all of us.

Jun 15, 2008 at 14:23:36David Holzworth
Guide, mentor and inspiration, Dale introduced me (like so many others) to the techniques and happy pursuits of tracking down my German from Russia ancestors. His generosity with his time, his own research and inexhaustible enthusiasm were an overwhelming force of nature. Along with many others who also fell willing victim to his genial genealogy trap will remember him fondly and miss him much.

Jun 15, 2008 at 14:54:26Elaine Morrison
I'd like to focus on jost one of the several areas in which Dale and I worked together. Dale not only could visualize new directions for GRHS research but he had a way of making us want to help work on still another project.::Even though he knew very little German, and far less Russian, he knew the benefits in translating the church and civil records written many years ago in the "old country." Because of his vision, we and future generations now have access this gold mine of information.::How many of us are now able to read German and Cyrillic script because Dale knew that we could do it?::Thank you dale for your faith in us. We have lost a great leader, and we will miss you greatly.

Jun 15, 2008 at 16:55:03Katherine
I met him for the first time at annual GRHS meeting in Portland and again in Bismarck last year. I appreciated his energy and dedication to our ancestoral research and his work with HOP.

Jun 15, 2008 at 18:57:55Bob Ell
It will take some time for this to settle in for me because of what we as a community have lost. Dale was perhaps the most influential member of GRHS in the establishment of the RIGS , the online presence of GRHS, and GRHS records retrieval from the old Russian archives plus much more.::::I began my association with Dale in the early days of the internet and he helped me make contact with key people within GRHS when we ::established distribution lists for what today have become the Regional Interest Groups. Whenever there was a challenge, Dale was always there ::to smooth out the wrinkles and to establish ongoing positive relationships. ::::This man dedicated his life for our culture and for the rebuilding of the history of our people that was so horribly crushed in the first half of the 20th century. Great men like Dale appear rarely. We have certainly been blessed to have him in our midst and to learn from him. ::::Sleep well my friend. You deserve your rest.::::

Jun 15, 2008 at 19:03:37Sunni Simmons-Leggate
Dale has always been a wealth of information and encouragement for me. He was my fourth cousin once removed as well. I never got a chance to mewet him face to face, but I felt like I knew him anyway. My thought and prayers are with his immediate family tonight. He will be missed by all of us.

Jun 15, 2008 at 19:23:49Meta (Magstadt)Brady
Many,many thanks to a great "giant" in GR who dedicated his life in helping many of us with our research of our German's from Russian ancestre and sharing the many stories of the hardships and other stories.::

Jun 15, 2008 at 19:31:27Karla Weispfenning Simmons
Dale not only helped me research my family, but in the process we found out that we were distant cousins. I'm truly sorry that I never had the opportunity to meet this important man, but know he will be sorely missed by all who ever had contact with him.

Jun 15, 2008 at 20:11:32deutsche stammhalter chapter
Dale was a great contributor to our chapter , he has helped us in many ways, all the help he gave us will be at a great loss. he will be missed by all of us, we lost a great friend he will be missed by all of us.we give his family our sincere sympathy.

Jun 15, 2008 at 20:21:37Ralph Schlinker
My contact with Dale was invaluable for my family research. Not long after he knew something of what I was looking for, I received a large package of information and a letter in early 1996. It began "Dear Ralph, After starting to run your family down I ended up finding much more for you than I thought I had! I think this is about the all time second biggest package I ever threw in the mail like this..." What a package it was, which, along with his words of encouragement, got me going down the right path. I will be forever thankful for what Dale did to help me. May he rest in peace!

Jun 15, 2008 at 20:31:16Otto H. Litke
The news of Dales passing has saddened me to the core. Dale was always there for me when I needed help. From his incredible wealth of knowlege, he was, always, able to answer my quiries promptly and efficiently.::I miss him already.:: ::Otto H. Litke::Kelowna BC Canada

Jun 15, 2008 at 20:32:38Erika Bekermeier
I was shocked and saddened to hear of Dale's death. He helped me on several occasions when I was stuck with my research - always with a generous spirit - as if I was the only person who may want information. I will miss him.

Jun 15, 2008 at 20:41:39Mary Lynn
I know Dale was involved with getting a batch of Baden Colony records for the Kutschurganers. He helped everyone and he was always happy to do what he could.::What a LOSS to our GRHS community with the death of Dale.::He was the backbone of so many projects to help us all. My sympathy & prayers to all who knew him, yourself included.::Sad Mary Lynn & family

Jun 15, 2008 at 20:43:36Joanne Townsend
I had some contact with Dale, who in a few e-mails was such a::great help and inspiration to me. I would like to express my::condolences to::his family but don't quite know how to to this. I also don't::wish to interfere with the family at this time, but if you'd be so kind::to let them know how much i thought of him, I would be most::grateful!::

Jun 15, 2008 at 21:57:25Alice Knodel Waltrip
I met Dale over twenty years ago at a genealogy workshop in Puyallup, Washington. We soon found out that we were related through the Knodel and Rieker lines. Dale did so much to further the Germans from Russia research. He will be greatly missed by all. I am sad that he left this world too soon. I will miss e-mailing him. I will miss talking to him.

Jun 16, 2008 at 03:22:56Florence Krueger
Prayers and sympathy.He was a generous researcher.

Jun 16, 2008 at 06:32:48Annette Cook
Dale Wahl is one of a few names that I recall from my earliest days of involvement in GRHS and my own family research. He is one of the reasons I attended annual conventions. And when I see his name at the head of a website, I know it's something special. I will miss him and prayerfully send my sympathy and regards to his family.

Jun 16, 2008 at 06:54:31Myra J. Weisenburger
Dale always willing to take time for me, even when I asked dumb questions. I will miss him.

Jun 16, 2008 at 09:01:54Lynn Noland
So sad to hear of Dale's passing. We had only recently met, but discovered we were 7th cousins. He has been my inspiration to search further on family ties. I will sure miss him.

Jun 16, 2008 at 10:00:48Valerie Renner Ingram
Dale was such a very special, generous, logical man...and a dear close friend. From the very first message I ever posted as a shy new researcher, he contacted me and helped me start my search for my missing siblings. He was always there to encourage me and to point me in another direction. It was through Dale that I began volunteering as Village Coordinator, and then as the Chair of the Clearing House Katholic Projects. My involvement in GRHS just continued to grow from there...always with his guidance and support. He was great to bounce ideas around with, and he could cook up a template for any project in minutes flat! I was thoroughly amazed at the talent that man had at a keyboard! With his gentle heart and strong broad shoulders he "held my hand" through the death of my mother, and the leukemia my young granddaughter was battling. When things were too rough, he would take over my responsibilies on a project until I could pick myself up and get back into the saddle. Dale was an awesome partner to work with on many of the projects we did together...always open to new ideas. He gave so much, so freely to anyone that needed him. I know as I continue on with my research and the many projects we were working on, he will be forever looking over my shoulder to make sure I'm "doing it right". Thank you Dale, for being my mentor, and my very dear friend.

Jun 16, 2008 at 10:43:15Lucy Simpson
Dale is now “up there” starting a G-R group and obtaining names, designing templates, starting newsletters, encouraging the use of Excel and telling everyone to SHARE THEIR INFORMATION. The reason I learned Excel was to use the disks he copied for me at one of the first conventions he attended in Bismarck many, many years ago before we had St. Pete records. Later, when I received the CD’s he sent, I had to learn how to unlock those files in Excel, so I have to give him credit for making me learn Excel. He was the MASTER RECORD KEEPER Thank you Dale from all of us. Mother Teresa said, “Each of us is only a drop of water in the bucket, but without that drop, the water is less,” and our organization will feel that loss.

Jun 16, 2008 at 16:27:32Earnie and Dianna Moran
We were so sorry to hear of Dale's passing. I first came in contact with Dale in the 1970's while doing some family history on my Stickel Family Tree. Dale was a tremendous help to me. I had an old family wedding picture from my Grandmother Stickel's trunk, I knew who the man was and Dale identified the woman as his Wahl Great Aunt. Small world ! To Dale, Thanks for all the great family campouts at Odessa,Wa. We will never forget you and we will miss you.

Jun 16, 2008 at 18:50:12Jan Ammann
Dale was a huge part of GRHS and his passing will leave a "hole" in the group effort. It is because of people like Dale that all of us who share a passion for genealogy were able to read about the historical side of the Germans in Russia....to locate family and just be aware of "that particular time in history".::My sympathy and prayers go out to his family.

Jun 16, 2008 at 19:50:51June McDonald
It was a great shock to hear of Dale's sudden death. He was so helpful in my research, always emailing right back with abundant help. My sincere sympathy to his family.

Jun 17, 2008 at 08:00:17Sabine Schindler
I am very sad! The GRHS and his family have lost a wonderful man and a generous researcher. My deepest sympathy. Rest in Peace.

Jun 17, 2008 at 08:54:13Ingo Isert
We got the annoncement about the passing of Dale Lee Wahl. We learned to know Dale as an active family researcher and we had also a cooperation in publishing the census data of bessarabian villages from mid 19th century. With this work, Dale remains with us in memory.::::Ingo Rüdiger Isert::Bundesvorsitzender::Bessarabiendeutscher Verein e.V.

Jun 17, 2008 at 09:14:11Diane Martin
Dale's passion in life regarding family history was passed onto anyone that had contact with him. You knew if he could help other people find their roots he was happy. I worked with Dale on a book and found out through email that he wanted to know you as well as help you find your family. He will be missed.

Jun 17, 2008 at 09:23:57Merv Weiss
Not often am I at a loss for words, but I will miss Dale personally, and I will miss him as an integral part of what GRHS represents. It is a huge credit to his great organizational abilities that we will be able to carry on his work. He will long be remembered as a key person in GRHS history.

Jun 17, 2008 at 12:19:06Judy A. Remmick-Hubert
My goodness. What a shock to hear about Dale Wahl's passing.::::I remember one of the first contacts I had with him when he was just beginning to learn about our families. He was so always curious and delighted with even the smallest amount of information. And, as time passed, he just took wing and flew to the greatest of heights in the collections of our German-Russian heritage.::::He will be greatly missed by all.::::Judy A. Remmick-Hubert::remmick@aol.com::Borodino / Bess. Coordinator

Jun 17, 2008 at 12:56:30Rene Urdahl
Wow, I just was catching up with my e-mails and saw that tragic news about Dale. What a wonderful and kind hearted man he was. He has helped many many many times over the years with my ENGEL research in Freudental. He always kept me from getting discouraged and encouraged me to keep patient with more news to come. I will miss him. I can only imagine what you that knew him very closely are going through. My thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.::::Sincerely::Rene'

Jun 17, 2008 at 13:41:07Bob Zimbelman
When we::first got into::genealogy, we got Dale's name. He had a lot of info on Zimbelman's::and helped::us out to get started and to go further. I believe he passed away on the same day as Tim Russert, both::will be sorely missed.

Jun 17, 2008 at 13:52:28Ila Fichtner-Johnson
I enjoyed working with Dale as we were village coordinators for several of the same villages. When I started doing my research on my Fiechtner lines he was a great help and as many others have said in letting me know where to look and to share what ever information he had for my families. It is with great sadness I write this at the passing of a man who worked so hard for those of us who are descendants of Germans from Russia.

Jun 17, 2008 at 17:50:05Marilyn Christman
Dale was my first contact with the GRHS. I wish I could of gotten to visit with him more. He will be missed so much. My sympathy to all of his family and friends. God be with you all.

Jun 17, 2008 at 20:56:57Rich Aspenleiter
I respected and trusted Dale immensely. He was a great and loyal friend who coached us well on how or where to go regarding “chasing those dead relatives”, but he also welcomed anyone going to him for advice regarding an issue, or just to lend an ear for a minute or two – he was a patient listener. Some of us looked up at Dale like a big brother. ::Dale was the second GRHS person I made contact with when I started my research about 11 years ago. He provided me with sources that he knew would help me find who I was looking for. He recruited many people into the GRHS fold. He signed up new members left and right and recruited them further to volunteer in all areas of GRHS which eventually led to the creation of this wonderful family of GRs.::Dale was excellent at getting people to put there differences aside and getting people to work together on projects to benefit GRHS. He was without a doubt dedicated to the existence of GRHS. Many of the people that Dale hooked me up with would become my friends, cousins, and one in particular would eventually become my best friend and soul mate. See what he was capable of.::Dale always had great ideas and was responsible for the existence of many different facets of GRHS such as the RIGs, the Clearing House, etc.::I’ve heard it said that we will go on, and I trust that we will, but I also believe that Dale will be impossible to replace by any one individual or group of people. He was GRHS 24/7.::

Jun 18, 2008 at 08:03:43Cheryl Kessel Kolesien
I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Dale.I was looking forward to meeting him at the GRHS conference in Casper, WY.

Jun 18, 2008 at 16:02:50Elli Wise
In Dale we had a man with a brilliant mind, a caring heart - a tender spirited, very patient and a very unselfishly sharing person.:::He was a mentor, a teacher, a friend!:::He always encouraged anyone who was researching their heritage and he provided so much information the best he could. He dedicated his life to GRHS, its members and future members. He left no means untouched to provide information and many times supplied stacks of copies of records. Many of those he helped would join GRHS. It was so very important to him for anyone to join and have the resources available to help them in their research. If someone could not afford a membership, Dale silently would provide – a student, a family man with difficulty making ends meet or an elderly person with limited income. Dale did not ask questions. He just silently gave a year’s membership and he renewed it as long as it was needed… What a wonderful heart!!! Dale and I worked together for many years and during that time he taught me so much about freely sharing and how to put data together for people who were searching for clues. Now I will make it my priority to carry on for Dale and I hope to be able to continue his legacy - although it will never measure up….He will always be the GREATEST!!:::One thing Dale and I have in common is – that each “thank you – each smile – is our reward.” He never cared to be paid with money or to receive plaques to put on the wall. He cared for people to be happy with our dedication and to join us in our efforts to make others happy – thus bringing himself pleasure!:::On several occasions as we worked on files together he would say: “You know, our ancestors up there in heaven are sitting in their rocking chairs smiling down on us.” Now – Dale is right up there amongst them sitting in a rocking chair and he too is now smiling down at us. Although Dale is gone now – in spirit he still is with us… and always will be. He always believed in team work and as teams we can carry on the work he desired. We won’t be able to walk in his foot steps but we certainly can try to come close!:::Dale prepared the field and NOW he is watching us to come and play. He sowed the seed and its harvest will multiply. With these harvests his dreams will be fulfilled!!!:::In loving memory, Elli:::I miss you – Dale - so very much!!

Jun 18, 2008 at 20:10:08Don Hochstatter
I haven't been a part of GRHS all thought long, but Dale's name is well known to me already. I was almost giddy when he contacted me a few months ago asking for some info that I had on some Ottmar's. Wow I have some thing my hero wants what a privledge to give a little back from the huge amount that I have taken. He encouraged me to take on the coordinator position for a couple of Counties in Eastern Washington State that I keep records on. I was flattered it will have to wait another few years until I get my kids out of the house but then I intend to respond to Dale's urging

Jun 19, 2008 at 08:02:30Lew & Dona Marquardt
Thanks for alerting us to the death of Dale Wahl. It was quite a shock for us as he was always extremely helpful and cordial to us and, we're sure, to many others as well. GRHS has lost another of its giants and Dale and his work will sorely be missed by many, both now and in the years to come.::::We were not very close to Dale though we did know him fairly well and often spoke at Conventions either before or after him. But what always surprised us was that he would share almost everything he had, e-mailing leads or clues he had found or mentions of our ancestors whenever he had found something new--and he always found a lot! And he always surprised us.::::We also believe Dale spent a great deal of his own money to do the work he did and again he shared it all most generously. In fact I believe that Dale has personally helped bridge the gap between GRHS and AHSGR more than many others though he probably wouldn't even admit it, himself. He collected and collated his data and wanted all of us to see what he could find about our people. He did a marvelous job in our opinion and we am going to miss him greatly. We are sorry to learn of his death.

Jun 19, 2008 at 22:12:54Connie and Rich Meyer
It was very sad to learn of Dale's death. He was so helpful and knowledgeable, and many of us genealogy workers will miss him greatly. Our condolences to his family; may God bless you all at this difficult time.

Jun 20, 2008 at 13:58:34David Kilwien
I met Dale just about 10 years ago. That is when the world of GR genealogy started for me. After a year or so of volunteering I came to earn his trust and he exposed me to his vast understanding of our great heritage. His genius was to encourage involvement by including everyone in the process with the understanding that we share our research. :: When you travel with someone and share a room as many times as we have you get to learn a lot about a man, in this case a great man. Thanks for the ride my friend the pleasure was all mine……Rest in peace Buddy……::

Jun 20, 2008 at 16:10:09Debbie Kilwien
First, I would like to extend my most sincere sympathy to the Wahl family and the GRHS family. Its “special people” like Dale Wahl that makes being married into GRHS a “good” thing. I’ve seen few men with a heart as Dales’ so loving, kind, caring, and sincere. As busy as Dale was (I usually seen him at meetings or convention) he always had time to stop and say hi and how is your day today? Dale, I thank you for the friendship you extend to me and for the time and patience you spent mentoring my husband to help him grow as a GRHS researcher and volunteer. Our evening gab fests won’t be the same without your stories. God Bless!

Jun 20, 2008 at 19:59:36Duane Stabler
I too wish to extend sympathy to the Wahl family. ::Dale and I go way back to the early days of Pixel along with Roger Ehrich and others involved with seeking ways of sharing information on the new forum, the world wide web. Back then, Dale had the vision, along with others, and it has evolved to where we are today. As other have stated, Dale has shared much over the years but we all know he was involved with various GRHS projects and we might find ourselves saying thank you to Dale for years to come. ::::What Dale would want us to do is pull ourselves up from this setback and use the tools we have to forge forward. Lets not disappoint Dale by not doing what Dale would want. His voice might be silent but his vision can live on for many more years. We should use the foundation that Dale (and others) have built to further our heritage.

Jun 21, 2008 at 09:35:03Patticia Fawcett
I came upon Dale Wahl when I was searching family for my husband. Someone told me his name and e-mail address. I had a reply from him in less than a day and he was so willing to help search for me. I will be forever grateful the information he helped me straighten out.::I contacted him a short time ago but did not hear back from him. He had told me earlier he knew the name of a lady searching Weber and would share it with me. That did not happen maybe he was ill then already. He encouraged me to join GRHS and I was hoping to meet him when the convention gets back in SD. I am sorry that will not happen.::I hope you are hearing me Dale. Thanks so much for all your help.::Patty

Jun 21, 2008 at 12:00:13Carol Kosanke Peterson
Dale paid for my first year membership as I was unemployed at the time. I appreciated help he gave me as well. I will miss him!!

Jun 23, 2008 at 13:52:04Leona Day
The commencement of my correspondence with Dale just took place this spring and his help was invaluable. My heartfelt condolences to his family, and indeed the entire Russian German community. He will be sorely missed.

Jun 24, 2008 at 17:25:06Betty Lang
I met Dale a long time ago at a GRHS Convention and found him such a genial and knowledgeable person regarding our German Russia Heritage. He was most helpful in encouraging me to submit some of my research projects through him to the Internet. We need more of his kind of enthusiasm.!

Jun 25, 2008 at 12:21:24Lois Klarenbach
Since I am a relatively new member to SGGEE I really appreciate all the efforts that Dale contributed to research. Now we are all able to use his material to enhance our search. I personally send my respects and gratitude to Dale's family.::Lois Klarenbach::Leduc, Alberta Canada::::

Jun 25, 2008 at 12:34:03Karla Walters
I believe I knew the Wahls through the Family History Library in Puyallup, WA. If I am in error, please excuse me, but I think Dale was a wonderful researcher who aided me immensely in finding my way through the St. Petersburg films. I am sorry to hear that pancreatic cancer took his life, because my own husband was diagnosed with this disease just over two years ago, and I know how devastating this diagnosis can be for a family. My deepest sympathies to Dale's family.

Jun 25, 2008 at 13:03:49Allyn Brosz
First, my deepest sympathies to Dale's family on their loss. I hope you will be comforted by your many memories of him.::::If you ever met Dale Wahl, you know he wasn't shy about family history research. He had a strong clear vision for the results that he wanted to see posted on the website, and he worked energetically, enthusiastically, and tirelessly to make it happen. ::Every time I saw him at a GRHS convention, he managed to pull something new out of his briefcase to share with me.::::Dale and I often chuckled over his "mastery" of the German language. And he kept insisting that the Brosi family from Hoffnungstal was somehow connected to my clan. I haven't connected them yet, but who knows? Now that he's joined the great crowd of ancestors dearly departed, maybe he'll have time to find the missing link!

Jun 28, 2008 at 21:37:57Bryan Brost
I was glad and grateful to have met Dale through my search for family and heritage roots. I wish his family my shared sorrow in his passing, yet with the knowledge that we are much more than meets the eye. I think he touched a great many people in his walk through this life. Let him shine on in our hearts! Peace...Bryan :-)

Jun 29, 2008 at 23:19:27Kay (Grueneich) Carey
Thanks to Dale's inspiring work, I found several lineages with my family's name in the Odessa Digital Library & 2 lines here in the USA. He was kind enough to send enlarged copies of the family records of the emigrating generation to get me started on the family lines beyond family hearsay.::**** ::Just think about all the new relatives he's now meeting in heaven!::Thanks, Dale

Jun 30, 2008 at 23:37:38Wanda Huber Hopkins
Dale was a wonderful, special man whom I admired greatly and I'm proud to say he also was my friend. Things definately won't be the same without him. Yes, he indeed gave so much of himself to so many and left all who knew him with special memories. Dale didn't give out compliments lightly. When he said them, he meant them. I'll always treasure my memory of "Lady, I am very proud of you." He encouraged team work among us for as like a "team" pulling a wagon, we must work together to make progress. He was always reaching for and finding more good things to help us as individuals and us as the Society. Dale once said, "Our challenges and opportunities come to us by the basketful.... It all adds greatly to our efforts and with the folks we have involved it is just going to keep getting better and better." Dale, we'll continue to get more folks involved and work on that basketful of challenges and opportunites. I too was looking forward to this convention - and to the fun times in the hospitality room. Oh Dale, will we miss your soft husky voice and chuckles. 'Til we all meet again, I'll BTR. :-) Wanda

Jul 5, 2008 at 16:44:56Rose Dalton
so thank Dale Lee Wahl for sharing all the information about my dad Christian Waldbauer. Vi Ziepfl sent me the news about Mr. Walh's passing. My sincere sympathy to all his family and freinds....Rose Waldbauer Dalton..Bensenville, Illinois

Jul 13, 2008 at 22:33:16Jerry Frank/SGGEE
Dale was the key point person in the extraction of the St. Petersburg records [for Volhynia]. It was he that encouraged Marcia Momose to create the group of::volunteers to extract the Volhynia portion of these records. And this group of volunteers were a catalyst in the formation of SGGEE a few years later. His latest volunteer projects included the extraction of info from the EWZ records which benefit us (available at the Odessa3 website).

Jan 5, 2009 at 05:33:16 Dr. Hans Rudolf Wahl

I´m very sad about the passing by of Mr. Dale Lee Wahl. I want to condolence his family on this way with the hope, that it will reach them. I don´t know if it was God´s will or simply a bad random but I found unfortunately some month too late that I had Mr. Wahl as a farer relative in America. I would have been very happy to contact him in matters of family research. That will be now impossible. From my fathers side I derive from the same Wahl-family in Hoffnungstal/ Bessarabia as Mr. Wahl. Our forefathers Gottlieb Wahl (1799 – 1867) and Johannes Wahl (1807 – 1882) were brothers. With my very best wishes for the future.

GRHS Home Page