Dale Bittle - 1963
Dale Bittle, Class of 1963 is "Kewpie of the Month, February 2001"
BIO & Picture from 40th Reunion
Bio Update & Pictures for 50th Reunion










After graduating from Hickman High School in 1963 Dale entered the United States Navy and reported to the US Naval Training Center in San Diego, California.  Upon completing training Dale was stationed aboard the USS CABILDO LSD-16 where he served as a Radarman.  During his navy service Dale served three West-Pac tours in Vietnam and was discharged from the Navy in 1966.

Shortly after returning to Columbia Dale moved to Springfield, Missouri where he started school at Southwest Missouri State University.  In July of 1967 Dale married the former Maureen Talty of Springfield.  In September of 1968 Dale begin, what turned out to be, a 28+ year career of service with the Springfield Missouri Fire Department.  Along the way Dale managed to graduate from Drury College in Springfield, Missouri with a degree in Fire Science.  Dale retired from the Springfield Fire Department in January of 1997 as the Assistant Fire Chief.

Dale and Maureen were blessed with three children, two daughters, Michelle and Shannon, and a son Shawn who has followed his father as a career firefighter in St. Louis Missouri Fire Department.  Dale has five grand children who are the focal point in his life and proudly strives to be the nightmare all parents fear.  He wants fear in the heart of his children when the grand kids say lets go to Pa Pa’s house.

Since retiring from the Fire Service Dale has moved from the city and into the National Forrest South of Springfield where he is an avid woodworker.  Dale also serves as the President of the USS CABILDO LSD-16 Association and is active in Christian County politics.


October 6, 2012

Well I can’t tell you how fast the last 50 years have zoomed by, as they say, time flies when you are having fun.  When I think back the serious part of my life began at the semester of our senior year at Hickman when I joined the United States Navy. Looking back, joining the navy was one of the two best decisions I have made in my life, the second was marrying the woman I did, what a blessing.

Immediately after our graduation I reported to the United States Naval Training Center in San Diego, California and served 3 and one half years in the navy aboard the USS Cabildo LSD-16 as a radarman. During that time frame we served three tours in Vietnam and all around the western pacific including China, Taiwan, Philippines, Korea, Japan, Guam, Hawaii and other remote areas. We were extremely lucky to stay intact and healthy throughout my years in the service.

I returned to Columbia after my discharge from the Navy and started school at Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri. While in school in Fayette I proposed to my wife to be, Maureen Talty of Springfield, Missouri and we were married in July of 1967, Shortly after our wedding we moved to Springfield, Missouri in September 1967 where I transferred to Southwest Missouri State to continue my schooling. I was a fulltime student and went on a guilt trip because I was in school and my young bride was working her tail off and I didn’t have a job so in September of 1968 I took a position with the Springfield Missouri Fire Department and the timing couldn’t have been better because we found out we were going to have a baby in March and sure enough on March 1, 1969 our daughter Michelle was born. Well it would appear that we were on a roll now because on April 3, 1972 our second daughter Shannon was born and on October 28, 1973 our son Shawn hit the ground so we finally decided enough is enough. I was still plugging along at the fire department and had been promoted so I thought if I’m going to make a career of this I better get back into school so I could continue to be promoted. I then transferred, yet again, to Drury College this time. I kept working and took a few classes a semester and finally graduated with a degree in Fire Science and Administration. You know what they say “A Blind Hog Finds an Acorn Every Now and Then. As my career in the fire department continued I was fortunate enough to keep being promoted. I finally retired, after almost thirty years of service in January of 1997 as the Assistant Fire Chief. Like most all firefighters I did many different jobs on my days off.  I built several houses, embalmed, and got my private, instrument, commercial and multiengine pilot’s license and did some charter flying so life wasn’t boring.  The day after I retired I received a job offer from a computer firm out of McLean, VA. as an application analyst which I did for about three years. I finally got tired of traveling so I took a couple of years off. After a couple of years of setting around I got bored and took a job at Lowe’s where I sold tools for six years.  I finally got to old to climb and do all the heavy lifting required so I surrendered and retired for the present time.

My wife is now retired now and we spend a lot of time with our five grand children which range in ages from fifteen to seven. I also serve on the Board of Directors of the Ozark Fire Protection District and this lets me keep my head and hands in the business.  All and all my life and the Bittle family have had a great life.  All I can say is that I have been a blessed man.


                                           Son Shawn & Dale                     Daughter Shannon & Shawn

Daughter Michelle & family - Daughter Shannon & family

                 Dale at Navy Reunion

Dale in 2010 - Dale at 50

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