Howard Dale Hedden was born April 19, 1927 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Howard Levi and Mary Ellen Cassity Hedden. Dale left us to join his parents and brother on November 7, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dale was preceded in death by his parents and brother and many friends. Dale is survived by his wife, Sara, five children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Dale had one brother, Glen Woodrow, who was six years older than him. Unfortunately, Dale only had his brother for a short time when Glen succumbed to pneumonia at the age of twelve.
Dale was raised in Grantsville, Utah on the family homestead. He habitually rode his tricycle over to his cousins and stayed overnight since it was a long way to go on a tricycle. His mother, when she couldn’t find him, would look for the tricycle and if it was missing know where he had gone and wouldn’t worry. Dale also had a temperamental horse who had a habit of standing on Dale’s foot and not moving, nor matter how hard Dale hit him, other than to stand harder on his foot. The horse would also stop suddenly at a mud puddle or fence and send Dale sailing over or into whatever was there. Dale enjoyed going out and shooting rabbits at the homestead. Dale would borrow his mother’s Model A Ford to go double dating with his cousin, Fred Hale. Once when Fred was driving, they ended up in a barrow pit because Fred was trying to kiss his girl instead of watching the road.
Dale talked his mother into letting him sign up for the Merchant Marines during World War II at the tender age of sixteen. He saw action in the islands of the Pacific, but fortunately his ship was very seldom in the middle of it.
Dale’s father relocated to California to work at Mare Island. After moving to California, Dale started selling Kirby vacuums in 1946. He was a great salesman even at such a young age.
Dale met and married Rita Gonzalez in 1951 and they had Cindy Ann in 1952. They later divorced.
Dale met the love of his life, Sara, in Monterey in 1956. They married July 8, 1956 and had four wonderful children. Karen Lynn, Michael Dale, Mark Stephen (Brenda) and Kathryn Mary.
Dale has seven grandchildren: Kristen and Jeremy from Cindy, Ryan Dale (Crystal) from Karen, Sean Michael from Mike, Jacqueline Elaine and Nicole Brooke (Gregg) from Mark and Darren Mitchell (Liana) from Kathy. Dale also has two great-grandchildren from Ryan. Joshua Dale and Madison Noelle.
Dale liked to go hunting, but when Karen started to raise Mallard Ducks he had to hide the ducks he brought home from her. Karen always knew when he had them and would get after him for hunting ducks. Dale finally gave up hunting them even though he still liked to train his dogs to hunt birds. Karen would help with that as long as real ducks didn’t get hurt.
Dale was an extremely talented skier and taught all his children to ski from a young age. When the snow flew, Dale got out all the ski equipment and started to get it ready to use.
Dale also loved to go fishing. But don’t even suggest going out on a boat or to a lake. The only fishing he thought was worthwhile was along rivers and streams. If you couldn’t walk along the side of running water, it wasn’t real fishing! He taught all of his children to fish. Karen was the perfect fishing partner because she would catch, clean and cook trout, but would NEVER eat them. Left more for Dale to eat. Mark could out fish Dale most of the time and they had friendly competitions.
Dale loved his Labradors. He always had one, if not two. Starting with Jet and moving on to Kirby, he never felt complete without his dogs. When he got Kelly, he decided to have her bred and ended up with four puppies. He kept Max and eventually Max produced puppies. Dale and Sara picked out Jake to keep for their own. Jake was the last Labrador Dale loved.
Dale’s children have many fond memories of their dad. They always teased him about his nose and said it was so big they could use it as an umbrella. They also told him the nostrils were big enough to use for a garage. Dale took all of this teasing in stride because he was usually the one to start it. Dale fixed up a playhouse with running water for the kids to use. He also built a tree fort with a rope swing for the kids to get down with (why climb back down? Not as much fun). Dale also rigged up a zip line with a cable stretched from the garage to a large oak tree. Mike was the first to try it out and crashed into the oak. Dale decided a mattress around the tree was a good idea.
Dale did many activities with his family, camping and fishing being the main focus. A yearly trip to Disneyland was a must as well as a yearly trip to Utah to visit with family in Grantsville.
Dale eventually moved his family to Bountiful, Utah in 1974 after spending a wonderful three months living in and traveling through Mexico.
Dale owned and operated A-1 Vacuum in Salt Lake City from 1975 to his passing. His daughter, Kathy, who now owns the business, ran it alongside her dad. Dale owned Vacuum Cleaner Center in Seaside, California during the kids’ lifetime, and after moving to Utah, had Mark and Kathy (when they were grown) take turns running that shop until he finally sold it.
After all the kids were grown and established, Dale and Sara lived in Ketchum, Idaho in their 5th wheel trailer for a few years and enjoyed their time there. After Sara finally retired, they would take their trailer to Bullhead City, Arizona for the winter then go back to Ketchum for the rest of the year. They finally moved their trailer permanently to Salt Lake City to be near their children.
Dale was a great salesman and would sell vacuums to his customers that they never regretted purchasing. He would not only sell vacuums, he repaired them and sold parts for them. He always educated his customers and made sure they were satisfied.
Family and integrity were the creed in his life and he took care of both with everything he had. He raised his children with the same values.
His wife, children and grandchildren will miss Dale. Memories are abounding at this time and may they never cease.
We love you, Dad. A graveside service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 14th at the Tooele City Cemetery.