October 31, 1944 ~ January 6, 2023
Dale Avery Armstrong passed away peacefully at the age of 78 years in Edmonton, Alberta, on Friday, January 6, 2023, surrounded by family. Dale was a devoted husband, father, grandparent and great-grandparent. Throughout his life, he impacted many people and he had a big and joyous presence that will be greatly missed.
Dale was born in 1944 in Mercoal, Alberta, on Halloween. Because he was a premature baby who required incubation, but was delivered at home, his parents improvised and surrounded him with hot water-filled whiskey bottles to keep him warm — something he liked to joke was the reason he had such a wild spirit.
Dale was part of a big family and grew up learning how to provide for them by fishing and hunting — activities he would continue to enjoy into adulthood. In 1956, Dale’s family relocated to Hinton, AB, so his father could work at the mill. It was there that Dale eventually met his wife Shirley, who he married when he was just 19. Together they had three children, Carrie, Kelly and Shawn. Dale and Shirley had a lifelong partnership filled with laughter, love and care. They were about one year away from celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary when he passed.
Dale worked several jobs in Hinton — at the mine, mill and cement plant — and provided his family with a comfortable and enjoyable life. He passed on his love of the outdoors to his children, taking them camping almost every weekend and showing them how to fish. He also always filled their home with music, whether it was playing country and western records or singing while strumming on his acoustic guitar.
In 1987, he started his own company, Shur-Line Painting, and took on contracts painting lines in parking lots and on roads. He and Shirley relocated to Edmonton, Alberta to run the business until he retired. After his retirement, the two were able to travel around in their camper, taking regular trips to British Columbia and through the USA. In recent years, Dale became a great-grandfather and spent much of his time with his large family (including his beloved dog, Bear).
Dale was extremely resilient throughout his life and approached every situation with positivity and tenacity. In 2013 he underwent a double lung transplant. The surgery was risky, and that risk was compounded by his age — he was in his late 60s — but Dale greatly exceeded his doctors’ expectations. He not only had a successful transplant, but woke up from the procedure and was almost immediately sitting up and walking. He took full advantage of the new lungs — traveling, singing, golfing and going for long walks.
One of Dale’s greatest abilities was the way he made every person he came across feel seen, acknowledged and important. Dale was deeply beloved not only by his family and friends, but also by the doctors and nurses who cared for him. He always kept a positive attitude and was known for his jokes and good humour. His delivery and contagious laugh would almost always get other people laughing, too. He was interested in everyone he met and he loved to spread kindness and help people. He would go out of his way to brighten anyone’s day if he thought they needed it.
After his lung transplant, he would often visit the hospital just to chat with the nurses and to play music on his guitar for the patients. If he was driving and he saw someone having car trouble or who looked like they needed some help, he would always stop just to see if they needed a hand. He made the effort to connect with people — fostering long-lasting relationships or sometimes just briefly touching the lives of strangers with acts of kindness.
On the night that Dale was born, there was a rare full blue moon in the sky. And he left this earth shortly before a full wolf moon appeared. Shirley recalls the day she first met Dale, it was also during sunset, and some of the first words he said to her were: “the moon will be out soon.” Anytime we look at the moon, and anticipate its beauty, we will think of Dale and the beauty of his life.
Husband to, Shirley; father to, Carrie, Kelly and Shawn (predeceased); grandfather to, Brett, Carly, Cara, Cavelle, Dylan and River; great-grandfather to, Ryder, Enzo and Onyx; Son of, Paul and Myra (nee Stanley) Armstrong (both predeceased); brother to, Donald, Dennis, Darlene, Delbert, Reginald (all predeceased) and Maxine.
As per Dale’s wishes, he will be laid to rest alongside his son Shawn in Hinton.
A small memorial service will be held sometime this spring.