Leslie Staley "Les" Dale
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Leslie S. Dale - age 94 - affectionately known as 'Mr. Memphis' and dearly loved as a wonderful father - passed away June 3, 2022 in Memphis TN.
Leslie Staley Dale was born June 1, 1928 to Annie Mary and Leslie L. Dale in Goodlettsville TN, near Nashville. He graduated as Class President from Goodlettsville High School in 1946; attended UT-Knoxville in 1946 and was a walk-on freshman basketball player; earned a BS degree at Middle Tennessee State University in 1950, and a MA degree at Vanderbilt University in 1952.
Leslie briefly taught in the Davidson County school system and then served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force 1952-1956 during the Korean War. He accepted a management position with Southern Bell Telephone Company in 1956 and served in various positions within the Bell System in Memphis, Clarksville, Nashville, Oak Ridge, and Knoxville - and returned to Memphis in 1980. He served with Bell for 38 years before retiring in Memphis in 1994 as West TN Division Manager. During his career, Leslie served as Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Boards in Oak Ridge and Knoxville, and in 1991 and 1992 was Board Chairman of the Greater Memphis Chamber. He was a proud member of Rotary Club for over 60 years, and for the last 40 years has been an active and dedicated member of the Rotary Club of Memphis. He was General Chairman of the year-long 25th Anniversary Celebration of Oak Ridge TN in 1967. He was elected to Chair the United Way Campaigns in Knoxville and Memphis. Les traveled as a delegate with Memphis in May, including trips to Great Britain, France, New Zealand, Russia, and China. Leslie was President of the 1992 Liberty Bowl and was the longest-serving Memphian as an official judge in the Memphis in May World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest (40 years). He served as President of Future Memphis and was named Economic Developer of the Year for Tennessee, and later for the Southeastern United States in 1991. He was presented the first Kate Gooch Award for Community Leadership in Memphis. As a St. Jude Children's Research Hospital board member, (placed on the board by Danny Thomas) he served on a 6-person committee which determined that the hospital should not be moved to St. Louis, but remain in Memphis. From that time, he has been continually serving on the St. Jude Board, these last few years as an Emeritus member. He was named Communicator of the Year in 1990 by the Memphis Public Relations Society. The U.S. Dept of the Treasury, U.S. Savings Bonds Division named Les the 1988 Chairman of the Greater Memphis Area Campaign for U.S. Savings Bonds. Leslie was presented awards including the Robert Church Minority Business Council Award, Palmer Brown Hope Award, Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow and in 1995 received the Distinguished Alumnus Award at MTSU. Leslie has been on the boards of, or member of: Minority Business Council, the Memphis Library Foundation, Tennessee Hospital Assoc., American Hospital Assoc., Wonders Exhibits, Economic Club of Memphis, Christian Brothers University, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Heart Gala, Goodwill Industries, Memphis Symphony, Brooks Museum, the Navy League, Dickson Gallery and Gardens, various automobile clubs, Urban League, Rhodes College, LeMoyne Owen College, University of Tennessee, Church Health Center, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the USPS Council.
Leslie was preceded in death by his parents, by his dear sister Barbara Ann Sharber of Goodlettsville, and his beloved wife Kathy Jordan Dale. He is survived by his loving daughters: Stella Dale Templin (Greg), Cary NC and Susan Dale, Memphis TN; grandsons: Tyler Templin (Chrisy), Cary NC and Blake Templin (Christina), Cary NC; nieces: Leslie Wurst, Tullahoma TN; Kelly Sharber, Nashville TN; Mary Sharber, Goodlettsville TN; grand-nephews: Cory Wurst and Jackson Wilt, both of Nashville TN; stepchildren: Stephanie Douglas, Billy Albans (Rachel), Katie Ross (Jeff); step grand-children: Geordy Douglas, Hannah Douglas, Tyner Albans, Judd Albans, Sadie Albans, Christian Ross, Noah Ross, Jonah Ross; sister-in-law Wanda Bailey (Frank), and a host of devoted friends.
Leslie once caught 19 passes in one football season; drove a soapbox racer four consecutive years - 1937-1940 (See his car on display at The Edge Motor Museum, Memphis); and made a one-putt on No.18 at the 'Old Course at St. Andrews', Scotland. Les was a life-long Methodist. His mother thought he was 'precious'. He was ever thankful to God for the life given him, for the love of God, and the love of his family and friends.
A Celebration of Life / Funeral Service will be held for Les at Germantown United Methodist Church at 2:00 PM on Saturday, June 11, 2022, with visitation preceding at 1:00 PM. A graveside service will be held at Spring Hill Cemetery, 5110 Gallatin Pike, Nashville on Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 1:00 PM.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy for the family may be shared at www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/memphis-tn/leslie-dale-10778371