Dale Mathis

Feb. 27, 1927 – Feb. 1, 2021

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Dale Mathis, beloved husband and father, departed this earth Feb. 1, 2021, to join our mother, Del Daehling Mathis, his brother, Ray Mathis, and his sister, Eileen Kennedy in Heaven.

Dale was born Feb. 27, 1927, to Elmer Mathis and Elsie J. (Brown) Mathis in Greenwood. 

He served as a paratrooper in World War II from 1943 to 1945, where he saw combat. He was a First Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne and a Pathfinder, an elite group of the 82nd Airborne who were the first paratroopers to be dropped on Normandy to mark drop zones and landing zones for the airborne fighting companies which came after them.

After the war, Dale worked at Otis Elevator in the 1940s and Elgin Watch Company from 1946 to 1955. It was while working at Elgin that he developed his love for timepieces, which he collected and repaired throughout his life.

He married Del on Oct. 24, 1956, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Staplehurst. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2006. 

After he met Del, he attended the United States Border Patrol Academy. Dale had an almost 30-year career as a Border Patrol Agent, first in Texas, then New Mexico, then in Washington State and, finally, Alpine, Texas where he chose to live for 53 years. While in Alpine, he served on the City Council and as the Municipal Judge from 1982 to 1991. 

Dale was well-known and respected in Alpine, where, in one way or another, he touched the lives of almost everyone in town. In his later years, he drank coffee at the bank in Alpine with three generations of friends who got together daily to talk about politics and town news. After his morning coffee, he made the rounds at the thrift stores, touching base with his fellow Alpinians and picking up treasures. He also enjoyed getting together with friends most afternoons to enjoy a cool beverage at his favorite watering hole.

He was self-made, tough as nails, a dearly-loved husband, father and grandfather and truly a member of The Greatest Generation. He will be deeply missed. 

Dale is preceded in death by his wife, Del, to whom he was married for 55 years; his parents; his parents-in-law, Henry and Ella Daehling; his brother, Ray Mathis; his sister and brother-in-law, Eileen and Al Kennedy; and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Daryl and Vivian Daehling. He is survived by his children, Diana Mathis, Dena Mathis and her husband Guy Clemens, Derek Mathis and his wife Suzy Mathis; grandchildren, Blake Mathis, Blair Mathis, Jaden Clemens and Brylee Mathis; great-grandson Duke LaCaille; sister-in-law, Marilyn Mathis; brother and sister-in-law, Del and Sherry Daehling; many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins, and an army of people who called him a friend.

An 82nd Airborne Rose, Ribbon and Wings funeral service with and burial officiated by Pastor Shawn Kitzing will be at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Staplehurst at 2 p.m. Feb. 13. The service will be livestreamed via the church's Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/ourredeemerstaplehurst/. Condolences may be left for the family at zabkafuneralhome.com.

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