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Dale L. Lunsford 1933 - 2012
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Dale L. Lunsford 1933 - 2012

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Dale L. Lunsford, 79, of Rapid City, S.D. passed away on Sept. 7 at the Rapid City Regional Hospital. Born Sept. 6, 1933 in Penalosa, he was the son of Ronald and Velma (Waters) Lunsford. He graduated from Fort Hays State University and began teaching high school and coaching athletics. This career was put on hold for two years to serve in the United States Army. After discharge from the military, he resumed teaching in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dale and Virginia Oech were married on June 2, 1962 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They moved northwest to Anacortes, Wash. and on to Alaska. During the next few years he spent summers at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D. and the University of Wyoming in Laramie where he earned his Master’s in Educational Administration and Educational Specialist degrees. He served as Superintendent of Schools throughout Alaska in Skagway, Adak, Metlakatla, and Bristol Bay Borough. Dale was Alaska’s representative in a national school administrators’ trip to Germany in 1976. He also served on the Alaska School Activities Association from 1964-1981. After retirement from teaching in Alaska, Dale and Virginia embarked on a second career of farming. After ten years with the Southeast Minnesota Lamb Producers’ Association, Dale retired for a second time and Dale and Virginia volunteered as host couple at the Heifer Project International Ranch in Perryville, Ark. The Northland beckoned them back and they spent a season in the frigid north above the Arctic Circle at Bettles Field, Alaska. They then traveled south to Ketchikan, Alaska to thaw out in their new temperate rainforest island home where Dale volunteered and then worked for over a decade at the Ketchikan General Hospital. In each of the communities in which he lived, Dale was a supportive volunteer, office holder with many service organizations and was actively involved in his Church. For the past six years and after retiring for the final time, Dale lived a life of leisure among dear friends at West Hills Village in Rapid City, S.D.
Dale is survived by his wife Virginia, daughter Dr. Kari Lunsford of Starkville, Miss. and son Chris Lunsford of Juneau, Alaska who has made possible his hunting and fishing tales of recent years.Dale is also survived by his brother Larry Dean (Jeanine) Lunsford of Great Bend; nieces Candi Lunsford of Great Bend, Cindy (Kris) Mandsager of Garden City, Dr. Clarice (Dave) Konshok of Park Rapids, Minn., and Teresa Kulas of Arvada, Colo. He was predeceased by his parents.
Private family services will be held and burial will be held today at Black Hills National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to West Hills Foundation, South Maple United Methodist Church or charity of your choice. Family and friends may sign Dale’s online guest book at

Funeral arrangements provided by
Kirk Funeral Home **
1051 E. Minnesota St.
P.O. Box 2846
Rapid City, S.D.  57701
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Sept. 11, 2012