Dale Herreid of Libby, Montana passed away peacefully in the loving care of his son on February 9, 2020 at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center just seventeen days after the love of his life, Marlene Herreid, made her journey to heaven. Even in death their love knew no boundaries.
Dale was born in Polson, Montana to Ernest and Wilma Herreid on December 27, 1937, the youngest of four children. Upon graduation from Polson High School in 1957, Dale proudly served his country by joining the US Army. While stationed in New Jersey, he ran track for his unit’s track team.
Dale married his true love, Marlene McAlear, on December 23, 1960. They resided in Libby for a short time, later moving to Ontario, Oregon where Dale completed his plumbing apprenticeship. During their time in Oregon, they welcomed two children, Dean in 1965 and Loralee in 1967.
The family later returned to Libby where Dale worked on Libby Dam. When the dam was completed, work in the area slowed. Dale traveled wherever the union had work and would return on the weekends to spend time with his family and study to become a Master Journeyman Plumber. Upon obtaining his Master’s license, he and Marlene chose to become a larger part of their community by opening Libby Plumbing. This was a turning point in their lives and roots were set deep in Libby. Dale found joy in helping his customers and had a soft spot for those with small funds and large problems. It wasn’t unusual for Dale to receive a late night call for a plumbing emergency and he’d race off in his blue and yellow van. These calls were often paid for with homemade cookies or bread the next day. Dale will be remembered by locals for his business logo, with the likeness of his head poking out of a toilet and his motto, “A Flush Beats a Full House”.
Dale was very active in his children’s lives, attending school events, Boy Scout Leader and coaching his son’s Little League baseball team. When the kids were young, he would flood their backyard in the winter to create a skating rink for local children to enjoy. Marlene would serve hot cocoa and cookies and they both loved to supervise the fun. When this tradition outgrew their backyard, Dale petitioned the City of Libby and was allowed to create the ice rink at the Libby City Ball Field. With the assistance of the Libby Volunteer Fire Department a new tradition was started.
Dale later built a house on Upper Thompson Lake for all to enjoy. He loved the challenge of teaching young and old how to water ski. It was not unusual to have over ten children lined up on the dock waiting for their turn to ski or accept Dale’s challenge to stay on the inner tube while he danced them around the lake. Dale enjoyed fishing, something he could do with those he loved while spending time at the lake.
Dale was also active in the Libby Kiwanis and Fisher River Fire Department, where he became an EMT at the age of 67 and a devoted member of the fire department.
Dale was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Wilma; sister, Dorrene Darlington; sister-in-law, Gail Herreid and brothers-in-law, Gene Rieben, Dwayne McAlear, Larry McAlear and Richard McAlear. He is survived by his son, Dean (Vikki) Herreid of Libby, MT; daughter, Loralee Laramie, Spokane Valley, WA; three grandsons, whom he was very proud of, Bridger Herreid, Richland, WA; Tygan Herreid, Boise, ID; Tanner Laramie, Spokane Valley, WA; brother, Lionel Herreid, Polson, MT; sister, Shirley Rieben, Redlands, CA; sisters-in-law, Juli McAlear, Dillon, MT; Shirley McAlear, Nampa, ID: and 21 nieces and nephews.
Service and remembrance for Dale will be at 11:00 am Saturday, February 22, 2020 at the United Methodist Church, 713 Main Avenue. A celebration of life and interment of ashes will be in August at the Lakeview Cemetery, Polson, MT. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.
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