Hugh L. “Dale” Shawhan, II passed away in Kalispell, Montana on February 19, 2022.
Dale wrote the following obituary of his life in 2020:
He was born on February 8, 1937, to Ernest and Viola (Sis) Shawhan in Great Falls, Montana. In the early years, Dale lived with his parents in Great Falls, Libby, Kalispell and back to Great Falls after World War II broke out, where Dale’s father worked for the Army Air Force as a civilian mechanical inspector. In 1946, the family moved to Kalispell where Dale attended elementary, junior high and senior high school. In his senior year at Flathead Country High School, Dale met and fell in love with his soul mate, a freshman by the name of Carol Linrude. They dated during his senior year and upon his graduation in 1955, Dale joined the Navy. He received his basic training at the United States Naval Training Center in San Diego, California. After graduating from basic training, Dale received additional training in Norman, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida. After finishing his training in Aviation Storekeeper School in Jacksonville, he was transferred to Fleet All Weather Training Unit, Pacific (FAWTUPAC) at North Island in San Diego, California. Dale returned home on leave every chance he had to see his family and his soul mate, Carol. While on Guam and after several years of waiting for a commitment from Dale, Carol became engaged to another and was married in the spring of 1959.
After discharge, in August 1959, Dale returned home to Kalispell and worked as an Engineering Aid for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation at Hungry Horse Dam. After one year in this position, he was laid off as part of an overall 10% cut back in civil service positions in September 1960. Seeing employment opportunities nearly non-existent in the Flathead Valley and with winter coming on, Dale moved to Southern California and went to work for Equitable Life Assurance Society as an insurance underwriter-trainee. After 18 months he decided that sales were not his forte. He then applied to the California Division of Highways for an engineering draftsman position and was hired immediately. He worked for the Division of Highways (later reorganized into the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) until retiring after nearly 40 years in 2001. During Dale’s career at Caltrans, he held several positions in the engineering administration and planning areas. He finally retired as a Senior Transportation Planner from the Caltrans New Technology and Research Division.
After arriving in Southern California, Dale met Patricia Wilder, a divorcee with four daughters from her previous marriage. They were married in late 1962 and in August 1965, their daughter Patricia Kathryn was born. Shortly thereafter, Dale adopted Patricia’s four daughters and raised them as his own. The family moved to Northern California after the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, which did extensive damage to the family’s home in la Crescenta California and upset all the children. The family settled in Carmichael (a suburb of Sacramento) and he lived there until 2008 when Dale and Patricia separated and later divorced.
In early 2009, Dale found his soul mate again after 50 years. Carol was widowed at that time so they decided that this gift of love lost and found was too wonderful to waste any more time by not being together. In august 2009 dale moved back to his hometown of Kalispell and he and Carol shared their remaining years together traveling around the country visiting family and friends with an occasional shipboard cruise such places as Alaska and Hawaii.
Dale is survived by his soul mate, Carol, his daughter Patricia (Patti) and son-in-law Jeff Friend, granddaughters Jessica Lyn Lacourse and Amber Kelsey Lacourse. He is also survived by his four adopted daughters, sister Wilma and husband Paul Kelley, a niece, Sheri Shannon and nephew Dan Kelley and their families. Dale is preceded in death by his parents Ernie Shawhan, Sis Hellen and stepfather Wallace Hellen.
A Special thanks to all the staff at Brendan House. Services will be held at a later date under the direction of Buffalo Hill Funeral Home.