Dale was born August 13, 1937, in Parsons, Kansas, to Cecil Elisha and Tressie Sophona (Shira) Lavender. He grew up in the Altamont area, where he attended school and was a 1955 graduate of Labette County Community High School. He then attended Kansas State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry from Pittsburg State University.
Dale and Ruth Marie Adams were married September 8, 1963, in Altamont. They made their family home in rural Altamont, where they farmed and raised livestock.
Dale had a love for sports and kids and devoted 45 years of his life to driving a school bus for USD 506. He also spent many years officiating ball games for the kids he loved. Dale was heartbroken when he was no longer physically able to drive a bus, but he continued to stay connected with “his” kids by attending their ball games and taking them out for pizza. Dale especially enjoyed attending his children and grandchildren’s activities and always had time to visit with family, friends and co-workers.
Dale was a member of the First Baptist Church in Altamont, where he had served as both a trustee and a deacon. He also supported the Shekinah youth group at his church with his love, prayers and financial assistance. When he was no longer physically able to help with local mission work, he still found ways to help the workers by providing meals and treats. He served as a board member for many years for the Labette County Farm Bureau Association, as well as serving on many other committees in the community.
Dale is survived by his wife, Ruth Lavender, of the home; one daughter, Tammy Hilderbrand, and husband Keith, rural Altamont, KS; one son, Roger Lavender, and wife Cynda, rural Altamont, KS; three grandchildren, Joshua Hilderbrand, Lori Zielinski, and Kristopher Hawley; and two great-grandchildren, Mikayla and Jadyn Zielinski.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, August 4, 2011, at the First Baptist Church in Altamont. Burial will be in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Altamont. Friends may call at their convenience at the Bath-Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Altamont after 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
Memorials are suggested to the Dale Lavender Scholarship fund to be established for LCHS students. These may be left at or mailed to Bath-Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 325, Altamont, KS 67330.
Online condolences may be left at www.forbeshoffman.com.