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Dale Hilbert


Dale Daniel Hilbert, 88, died Sunday, April 29, 2012 in Westland, Michigan.  He was born April 30, 1923 in Defiance, Ohio.

    Dale enlisted in the Air Force in 1942 and as a Technical Sergeant on the crew of the B-24 Liberator “Back to the Sack” flew 30 heavy bombardment sorties over enemy occupied Europe, earning five Bronze Stars and the Air Medal with four Gold Leaf Clusters.  After his honorable discharge in 1945, he went to work with General Electric in Fort Wayne, Indiana until joining Morton Salt Company in 1948.

    He married Marclyn Dafforn in 1951, and they remained lifelong partners until her death in 2008. In 1969 he was appointed Agricultural Sales Manager of the North Central Region and moved with his family to Plymouth, Michigan.  He retired from the company after 38 years in 1986 when he and Marclyn moved to South Twin Lake in Howe, Indiana. He later resided in Westland, Michigan with his daughter Debra and her family.

    Dale and Marclyn raised four loving children:  Dan of Haslett, Michigan, Debra (Dean) Gherardini of Westland, Michigan, David (deceased 1998) (Mary Simkow) of Brighton, Michigan and Denna (Mike) Emenhiser of Woodburn, Indiana.  He is also survived by his sister Sally (Jack) Besavitch of Valrico, Florida, his nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

    A lifelong “collector,” he also enjoyed fishing, tinkering, and spending time with his loving family.  His patience and unique good humor were exceeded only by the generosity of his spirit.  Dale will be missed by every life he touched in his 88 years.

    Funeral Service will be Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 11:00 A.M. at Elzey-Patterson-Rodak Home For Funerals, 6810 Old Trail Road, Fort Wayne, IN with visitation 1 hour prior. Visitation is also Friday, May 4, 2012 from 2 to 4 P.M. and 6 to 8 P.M. Burial will be in Prairie Grove Cemetery.

    Donations may be made to Angela Hospice, Livonia, Michigan.

    Please visit to leave condolences.

WC 330                 Paid obituary