Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Passing of Dale Colby

We received word this morning that former 4th Ward Commissioner Dale Colby passed away last evening after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Dale had just recently ended his term as commissioner in December 2009.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time, but will be posted here as soon as they come available. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dale's family at this time.

UPDATE: 12:55 PM -- Preliminary information is that visitation will occur at Laughlin’s Memorial Chapel on Washington Road Thursday from 6-8pm and Friday from 2-4pm and 6-8pm with a service at Sunset Hills Presbyterian Church on Saturday at 11 am.

Read more: Mt. Lebanon veteran became integral part of community (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

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Blogger Dave Franklin said...

So that's why things seemed a bit darker today . . . .

In the midst of all of the school wrangling, this news puts a lot of things in perspective. Dale was truly one of the unique and special people in Mt. Lebanon. In addition to being a Commissioner for quite some time, Dale was one of the founding members of the Mt. Lebanon Soccer Association, and was active in all aspects of Lebo soccer for the last 35 years. In large part, everyone who has played, currently plays or will play soccer in Mt. Lebanon has Dale to thank for it. In late 2009, the Soccer Association, as part of its annual meeting, made a special presentation to Dale. It was a special night, seeing him with all of his old buddies. And although he didn't say much, the smile never left his face. I'm so glad we had that opportunity to say "Thank you."

Dale's random calls to "get together for coffee" were always refreshing. I knew I wouldn't get much in at these sessions, but I never turned down the opportunity. Dale would bend my ear about the budget, the Community Endowment (another of his creations), the Positive Coaching Alliance or some other initiative that was unselfishly focused on improving our lives in this community, and especially the lives of our children.

However, it wasn't until Dale got sick that I was able to see the true level of his greatness. Dale unfortunately suffered from ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease, an awful neuromuscular disease for which there is no cure. Anyone facing a battle with this disease would have every reason to give up and be mad at the world. However, if Dale was mad or giving up, he certainly didn't show it. He never lost his smile or his desire to be involved.

I've recently learned that despite the debilitating effects of ALS, the parts of the brain that allow us to think, remember, and learn are not affected by the disease. Now it all makes sense to me. Although slowed a bit and quiet, Dale was still doing all of those things right up until the end . . . and doing them for the betterment of all of us. Make no mistake about it, Dale was a tireless volunteer and advocate for our community.

Dale was someone you wished you could be more like . . . respectful, unselfish, non-judgmental and involved. Most importantly, he was a wonderful Dad and husband.

Anyone who knew Dale is the better for it.

January 20, 2010 12:53 PM  
Anonymous David Huston said...

I just saw Dale three days ago.
I told him it was good to see him.
He had a strong handshake and bright eyes.
What a terrible loss for our community and his family.

January 20, 2010 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Liz Huston said...

I second what my hsband said. Dale was a wonderful person and he will be missed.

One random Dale memory is when anyone asked him how he was doing, he always responded, "Almost as good as you."

My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family right now. It will be strange in church without him.

January 20, 2010 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Karen Wolowski said...

Dale Colby was what made Mt. Lebanon great. He was the ultimate champion of the kids and the community. A loss for all of us.

January 21, 2010 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Jim Stuber said...

I knew Dale as a soccer coach, referee, board member, and as a consummate financial professional. A finer person has never graced the streets, playing fields and community rooms of our town. My deepest condolences to Jody, Bryce, Brienne and the rest of the family. Dale will be missed by all of us.

January 21, 2010 12:33 PM  
Blogger Joe Polk said...

As a volunteer firefighter, I did (and would like to again) thank Dale for his support of Mt. Lebanon's public safety agencies during his tenure as commissioner.

His vote to construct a new public safety building and his continual support of the fire and police departments will benefit the residents of Mt. Lebanon for many, many years to come.

January 22, 2010 8:53 AM  

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