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Life Story / Obituary
Dale Springfield was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and a wonderful friend to all who knew him. Active throughout his life, he made the most of each and every moment. He modeled a lifetime of showing compassion towards others and his wonderful collection of memories and natural sense of humor will remain dear to his special family and friends forevermore.
Dale’s story begins in the year 1940. Christian and Wilma (Koene) Springfield welcomed home their son, Dale Eugene, on September 2nd in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born the fourth of five children, his birth brought much happiness into their loving home.
Growing up on Spencer Avenue on the northeast side of town, Dale was always active and on the go. He attended local schools and spent a large majority of his childhood hanging around with his siblings; Lois, Gerald, Jay, and Gary. As a family, they attended Fourth Reformed Church where he remained throughout his life. During his years at Creston High, he met his sweetheart, Judy Westrate. Common during those times, for many of their dates, they would cruise the Plainfield strip and grab a burger at Fat Boys. A hard worker, Dale pumped gas at the local station during these years before graduating with the Class of 1958. After high school, he went into the snowplow business. Judy’s parent’s home was the perfect setting for their wedding ceremony on August 5, 1965. The happy couple took a romantic honeymoon to Mackinac Island. Together they raised three wonderful children; Jeff, Rob, and Amy.
His children hold many special memories of their dad. They remember riding the snowplow with him and going to his many fastpitch softball games. During those years, he played for the Western American Mailers team playing around the Greater Grand Rapids area. Dale continued driving the plow until the blizzard of 1978 when he left to start work with Carl Meekhof in masonry. Eventually, he started his own business, CIR Masonry, with Steve Long as well as a local gas station for a short time. Luckily, he was able to spend his weekends with his growing family and they treasured many memories fishing at their cottage. He also created the Sunday tradition of attending morning church service and having coffee, fixing a meat and potato dinner, football, nap, and then heading to night church. He would later make homemade pizza for the family. Church school or catechism on Wednesdays meant no playing or swimming outside. Later, the boys went on to play on the church slow pitch team with Dale. He savored time with them and enjoyed taking them hunting and fishing as well. Never one to remain idle, on many weekends, he also spent time cutting wood. Dale was even-tempered as a dad but if he was quiet, the kids knew that they had somehow made him mad. Dale would later come around after giving things much thought and contemplation. Loved by each of his children, he taught them the value of finishing what they started.
In addition to his work as a Deacon in the church, his bowling leagues at Northfield Lanes, and fishing trips for walleye in Canada, Dale loved spending time at the family cottage. In 1987, he and Judy purchased their own special place on Six Lakes. For thirty years, the family gathered there to spend time on the water. Dale loved taking everyone out for long pontoon rides as well as pulling the skiers or tubers. As their family grew, he and Judy invested in many updates and renovations to accommodate everyone. Every Saturday night while the men were out fishing, the women stayed back to make treats to enjoy by the fire. Many magical moments were spent around the fire on those warm summer nights. Later in life, Dale worked up the courage to fly on an airplane and enjoyed a trip to Jamaica with Jeff and Tawnie, a trip to Hawaii in 2009 with Rob and Traci, and they later flew with the whole family to Mexico. Anytime he was with his family, his heart was happy.
After retiring in 2002, he and Judy enjoyed spending more time with their grandchildren. They attended many of their special events including horse competitions, baseball, football, rugby and hockey games. The grandkids will forever remember his "5 minute" naps, just to rest his eyes, and Dale eating in the shell peanuts in his favorite chair, a butter dish to collect his shells, and Judy getting so mad at him for making a mess. Dale also enjoyed spending time with the family pets, Maxi and Maggie, both Dobermans. When Judy passed in 2012, Dale was crushed. She was his everything and the house and cooking became his duties. He managed some meals and started grilling even if things usually burned. His family was right there to support him and help him adjust to her absence. He never truly accepted that she was gone yet he continued to spend time with his kids and grandkids as much as he could. Sadly, he is gone. Described as a wonderful and caring person, Dale will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by all who knew and loved him.
Mr. Dale E. Springfield, age 81, of Grand Rapids, passed away unexpectedly on February 28, 2022. He was preceded in death by his wife, Judy; and siblings, Lois (Wayne) Sparks, Jay Springfield, Gerald Springfield, and Gary Springfield. Dale is survived by his children, Jeff (Tawnie) Springfield, Robert (Traci) Springfield, and Amy (Bill Tolliver) Springfield; grandchildren, Alexis Springfield, Devon (Madison) Buckner, Zachary (Rachael) Springfield, Trevor (Megan) Springfield, and Christian Howard; and great-grandchildren. Also, surviving are his sisters-in-law, Donna Springfield, Nancy Springfield, Kathy Springfield, and Marcia (Phil) Tomczak; many nieces and nephews, and lifelong friend, Doug (Shirley) Hough. The funeral service will be held at 11 AM on Friday, March 11, 2022, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE. Friends may visit with the family from 2-4 and 6-8 PM on Thursday at the funeral home. Interment in Rosedale Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services or the charity of one’s choice. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory, photo, or to sign the guestbook.