Joseph W. Dale, Jr.
Colonel, United States Army
Retired U.S Army Colonel Joseph W. Dale Jr. of Baton Rouge died January 9, 2002. The New Orleans native was 81.
Larry Dallam, a friend of Dale’s from their families’ attendance at Trinity Episcopal Church, remembered him in glowing terms.
“He just is dedicated to his church, his country, his family and all things bright and beautiful,” Dallam said.
Dallam said Dale brought his military demeanor to civilian life with good effect.
“If I were to form a committee or be on a committee,” Dallam said fondly, “I would want Joe on it, because once he gets involved with something, he pushes and ramrods it like you’d expect a colonel to.” Dale returned to LSU in 1969 as Commandant of Cadets, commander of the school’s ROTC contingent, for three years. He also served as the university’s director of campus safety and as an employee benefits administrator.
Dale served in World War II and the Korean War and earned, among other commendations, the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
“Joe is probably the most patriotic military person I have ever known,” Dallam said.
Without Dale’s efforts the LSU War Memorial, dedicated by former President George Bush in 1998, would never have happened, Dallam said.
John Capdevielle, a classmate of Dale’s before they both received their officer’s commissions in 1942, said Dale enjoyed making international trips with the Rotary Club, including to South America, Europe and Australia.
Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Johnson, an LSU professor of military science, called Dale “a really fine gentleman” and added, “I thought a great deal of him.”
“I always used to compliment him on how he dressed,” he said. “He was always very dapper.”
Johnson said Dale had served as aide-de-camp to Gens. Dwight Eisenhower and Matthew B. Ridgway. Ridgway replaced Eisenhower as commander of Allied forces in Europe in 1952, and later served as Army Chief of Staff.
Charlie Roberts, president of the LSU Alumni Association, said Dale “always had a smile on his face, very kind to everyone.” Dale served as a docent at the Lod Cook Alumni Center.
“He was very neat and impressive in his dress and articulate in his speech; just a very impressive man,” Roberts said. “Of course, being a military man he was always punctual, prompt and well-prepared for the occasion. He will be missed.”
Dale’s civic and charitable work included serving as past president of the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, past president of the American Legion Post 58 and senior warden at Trinity Episcopal Church.
Posted: 1 July 2002 Updated: 4 March 2003 Updated: 10 July 2007