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Dale Owen Zielstra

September 25, 2018
Emmetsburg News

Dale Owen Zielstra, son

of Abraham F. and Evelyn

(Chase) Zielstra, was born

May 16, 1922, on a farm

west of Ruthven, Iowa.

Dale was third of twelve

children, ten of whom were

born at home.

In 1940 Dale graduated

from Lake Township Consolidated

High School in

Dickens, along with his favorite

sister, Ione. Dale

said, "Ione had more to do

with me graduating and finishing

school than any other

family member, which

makes her my favorite

member of the family." He

had been held back a school

year because of asthma.

Soon Dale left his beloved

Iowa because of severe

asthma.Dale was inducted

into the Army Air Force on

August 4, 1943, and began

active duty on August 24,

1943. Dale was assigned to

the 570th bomb squadron in

the 390th bomb group as an

airplane and engine mechanic.

Dale served in European

Theater as an

airplane armorer gunner in

the waist turret on Boeing

bombers. On March 7,

1946, after receiving an

honorable discharge, Dale

returned to civilian life.

Eventually Dale made Albuquerque,

NM, his home.

Dale married the love of his

life, Manuela (Nellie)

Barela from San Marcial, a

town on the Rio Grande in

Central New Mexico. Dale's

precious wife Nellie died on

November 29, 1996. Dale a

broken man, lived for his

morning 4-mile walk to

visit his beloved Nellie's

gravesite. He also took a

second 4-mile afternoon

walk and jog until almost 90

years old, rarely missing a

single day.

Dale worked for Creamland

Dairies, the Milk of

New Mexico. Dale missed

only one and one half days

in 42 years of work. A huge

billboard in Albuquerque

named Dale as the #1 Milkman

at Creamland for 41

years. Dale Finch, vice

president over the Dean

Dairy Company throughout

America, said of Dale Z.:

"your loyalty and dedication

to the company

(Creamland) is without

question the very highest

that can be achieved by an

employee. Many people

have contributed to the success

of Creamland but none

have contributed more than


Dale Finch also said of

Dale Z.: "he was a teacher

of few words, his trainings,

what he instilled in others

went on long after Dale Z.

had retired." Mr. Finch

added how Creamland is a

better place because of Dale

Z. Many stories about Dale

Z. and his work at Creamland

continue to circulate in

Albuquerque. Dale Z. retired

in May 16, 1987.

In many, many aspects of

Dale's life, Dale like cream

rose to the very top.

After retiring, Dale spent

long hours reading the

newspaper and watching

television news programs.

He made a point of remembering

opposing points of

view. He also knew a lot of

New Mexico history. Dale

was sharp mentally even

when he became a homehospice

patient at the age of

96, Dale could still accurately

remember many

news events.

Dale however, was no

couch potato. Dale took

pride in being a healthy, fit

man till the age of 96. Dale

was taught the love of farming

from his parents.

Dale often commented

about the admiration he had

for his parents, as hard

workers on the farm. Dale

often said his father Abraham

was the best man he

knew! As a youngster Dale

and his siblings were deeply

involved with 4-H Club,

even competing in raising

and selling their own


Neighbors noticed the

beautiful manicured lawns,

bushes, and vegetable gardens

Dale tended. Dale took

Urban gardening to a high

level, winning 21 ribbons at

the New Mexico State Fair

in 2017 at age 95!

Dale passed away peacefully

st his home, where he

had lived since 1948, with

people that loved him very

much at his side, on September

3, 2018 at 1:10 in

the morning. Dale never

wanted to live in a nursing

home, and he did not.

Dale is survived by four of

his siblings, Raymond (and

wife Pam) of San Diego,

CA.; Floyd of Arizona;

Carol Andersen of Worthington,

MN; Linda

Poshusta (husband

Leonard) of Mazeppa, MN.;

and by many other relatives

and many friends.

Dale was preceded in

death by his parents Abraham

(1976) and Evelyn

(1986), a brother Wayne

(1931), a brother Vernon

(1966), a sister Doris Lillian

Zielstra Schaeffer (1982), a

sister Ellen May Zielstra

Wall (1997), a brother

Harold (1998), a sister Margaret

Zielstra Dutra (2002),

a sister Ione Vivian Zielstra

Harrison (2017).

Graveside service will be

October 6, 2018, at 11:30

AM at Mount Calvary

Catholic Cemetery, 1900

Edith NE, Albuquerque,

NM. Reception will follow.

Dale's ashes will placed

next to his Sweetheart Nellie's

ashes to await the voice

of our Savior Jesus Christ,

son of the living God.

The memories of Dale

will include: Undying love

for his wife Nellie, bright

blue sparkly eyes full of

life, huge large leathery

hands, few wrinkles on his

porcelain skinned face, very

smart, newspapers, sharp

wit, long late-night discussions,

loved to talk,

chicharones, salsa, burritos

with New Mexico green

chile, all corn, all flowers,

sugar, love of Iowa and

strawberry milk shakes. I

will love you forever, my

old gringo, your cuate.

Thank you to all the many

people who helped make

Dale's end of life comfortable.



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