Dale Allan Hodgson of Kettle Falls passed away at Providence Mount Carmel Hospital in Colville on Monday morning, October 10, 2016 at the age of 92, due to complications from the flu. Dale had lived on Mingo Mountain near his daughters, Karen and Janet, for the past eight years. He was born in Tucson, Arizona, July 14, 1924 and grew up on a dairy farm near Tucson. His childhood was spent, in his words, "milking cows, pitching hay and swimming in the irrigation canal." Dale was a lifelong Christian, growing up in the Baptist Church. He had a long-standing love of aviation, serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II and flying on a B29 for 30 bombing missions over Japan. Within days after his discharge from the Army Air Corps, Dale did two things that would affect the rest of his life. He enrolled in the University of Arizona electrical engineering school under the GI Bill. He also purchased a surplus Stearman biplane and learned to fly. Flying was a passion that would stay with him for the next 65 or so years. He married Jackie Wilson in 1949 and they made their life and raised their family together for the next 35 years. After graduation with an electrical engineering degree, Dale worked for the electrical company in Phoenix, Arizona, designing transmission systems for a few years. He then got his dream job working for the Lockheed "Skunk Works" in Burbank, California designing electrical systems for military aircraft. He worked on the U2, and the F-104 Starfighter, among many others. But was most proud of his work designing the electrical system for the SR71 Blackbird Spy Plane, still the fastest airplane that has ever flown. He raised his family in the San Fernando Valley area of California, but moved back to Tucson after retirement. No matter where he lived, Dale was always a proud Arizonan and loved hot weather. Dale loved his family and grandkids, and he loved to travel. He made many trips up to Washington in his Mooney to visit and attend his grandkid's sporting events. In his mid-eighties, his daughters prevailed upon him to move to Kettle Falls, where they could look after him better. He made his last flight up in his Mooney to the Colville Airport, where it stayed until his grandson got his pilot's license and bought the Mooney from him. Dale lived in his house up on Mingo Mountain, near Janet and Karen, until he suffered a stroke 5 ½ years ago, losing the use of his left side. After that, he lived with Janet and James for a few years and then back in his own house with caregivers and his family looking after him. Whenever you would see him and ask him how he was doing, he would always answer "Pretty good, for an old goat!" Dale leaves behind his children, son, Dan Hodgson and wife, Barb; daughters, Kathleen McIntosh, Karen Abeid and husband, Simon, Janet Fish and husband, James. He has 11 grandchildren and numerous great- grandchildren. He has many, many nieces, nephews and their families and is beloved by them all. He also has his special neighbors, Tom and Patty Ediger and family. The family would like to thank the great nurses and doctors at Mount Carmel for their kindness and care during his illness, and all caregivers who looked out for him so well over the years. A memorial service was held to honor the life of Dale Hodgson on Oct. 16 at the Vineyard in Colville. Please visit the online memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com. Danekas Funeral Chapel & Crematory has been entrusted with the arrangements.
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