Ben Nolan Dale age 72, of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, died peacefully at home on Monday, April 26, 2010 after a brief illness. 

Ben was born in Shelby (Cleveland County), North Carolina. He was a son of Jack Dale and Mary Ella (Tate) Dale. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Donna Cheatham Dale who passed away in March, 2001. They had no children.

Ben served in the United States Army from 1958 to 1964. While in the army, he received specialized training in medical research. After being honorably discharged from active service, Ben began his lifelong profession as medical researcher and later as a manager of large research projects at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Ben and his late wife Donna were longtime residents of Gaithersburg, Maryland before moving to Gettysburg, PA upon their retirement in the early 1990s.

In the mid-1960's, Ben and Donna became interested in the sport of purebred dogs. One of their first dogs was a Kerry Blue Terrier that Ben trained in obedience. For a short time, they bred and showed Kerry Blue Terriers under the Brendan prefix. In 1969, Ben and Donna acquired their foundation Skye Terrier, Ch. Jo Jac's Rise and Shine. Shortly thereafter, they founded the Gleanntan Kennels Skye Terrier program and registered the Gleanntan kennel name with the American Kennel Club. 

Over a period of 30 years, Ben and Donna Dale earned a reputation for producing a family of Skye Terriers of exceptional quality. Gleanntan Skye Terriers earned many awards including All-Breed Bests in Show and National and Regional Specialty wins. Their Skyes were also top-producers in the breed.

After the untimely passing of Donna Dale in 2001, Ben invited close friends Michael Pesare and his wife Maida Connor of Aspers, PA, along with Roxan Rohrich of Medina, OH to join him in partnership to continue the program. In the 9 years following the formation of this partnership, Gleanntan Skyes continued to distinguish themselves. Just three days before Ben's passing, a Gleanntan Skye won Best of Breed at the prestigious 36th Annual Potomac Skye Terrier Club Specialty in Timonium, Maryland. 

Ben was a respected American Kennel Club judge, licensed to judge the terrier group, the hound group and many of the breeds in the sporting group. He judged throughout the United States and occasionally abroad. 

Ben was active in a number of dog clubs serving as President of the Maryland Kennel Club and as Treasurer of the National Capital Kennel Club. He also served on the Board of the Columbia Terrier Association of Maryland. He was a member of the Potomac Skye Terrier Club, a club that he and Donna helped to found in 1970. He was also a member of the Mason-Dixon Dog Judges Association.

Ben had a variety of interests outside of the sport of dogs, including travel and geography, cooking, classical music and the arts. 

Ben and Donna had the good fortune to be able to travel to many parts of the world for pleasure and also for dog show judging assignments, including England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Russia, Estonia, Finland, Japan and Denmark.

Ben's friends will fondly remember his keen intellect and his wonderful sense of humor.

Ben is survived by a brother, Bill Dale of Lenoir, North Carolina, and a sister, Daphine Crump of Hickory, North Carolina. A third sibling, Mary Leslie Dale Lingerfelt of Lincolnton, North Carolina passed away on March 31, 2010.

Donations may be made in Ben's memory to: North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation, North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine, Attn: Ben Nolan Dale Memorial Fund/Fund for Discovery, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27606, (919) 513-6660. Website: http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/ncvmf/giving_societies.html#ffd

Lots of things help
make a day just right
Like rainbows and gray Skyes
and sun shining bright
But a warm thought of you
is a special delight

From a handmade card created by Donna in 1991
Special thanks to Holly Thomson for sending the card

“Some people touch our lives in deep and wondrous ways.
With their kindness they teach us the capacity of the human spirit.
With their wisdom they help us to view life as a magical journey.
With their hearts they show us the real meaning of love…” Flavia

 

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