Dale Anton Raben, 92 of Forks, Washington. Dale was born in Winner, South Dakota, on July 29, 1928. The first son of Leo and Laverna (Larson) Raben. He passed away peacefully, with family by his side, on Monday, August 24, 2020.
In 1937, at the age of nine, Dale, his three younger siblings, and his parents left South Dakota giving into the destruction of the dust bowl. They settled in Monroe, Wa, where he met Gib Strom and Ed Siler, young men who would be his lifelong buddies.
As a young man, Dale painted houses and barns with his father, he worked the fields and farms in the valley, he worked on Grand Coulee Dam, the Seattle Viaduct, and eventually worked in the Everett shipyard.
After graduation, Dale joined the Air Force along with his best friends Gib and Ed. They were stationed in Tripoli, Libya. He returned home after four years and began his career in the woods. He helped clear the right of way to Hurricane Ridge and the Bonneville Power line to Stevens Pass., to name just a couple of his accomplishments.
On October 1, 1955, Dale married Patricia Haglund, after meeting her at the Vasa Hall dance in Monroe the year before. Dale always enjoyed telling the story about how he met the love of his life, and how she was the sweetest and most beautiful woman he had ever met.
They would have been married 65 years this October 1st.
While raising their children, work was difficult to find without traveling away from home. He worked in Cle Elum and Roslyn, for many years. In 1966 he had an opportunity to work year-round in Forks, Washington. His logic told him the risk of moving his family a year later would be worth it, for a better way of life. He always said it was the best thing he ever did.
He loved the Forks community and everything about Forks. There was no place he would have rather been.
He continued falling trees, going into business for himself with Walt Tovey as his partner. After a near-fatal accident in 1973, he changed careers and became the owner of a shake mill and D & R Cedar was established. He sold the mill, retained the company name, and bought a larger mill near the Bogachiel River. Dale’s son Mark, worked side by side with him during that time.
Dale led by example, working hard and taking calculated risks in business. He was self-taught and took the initiative to educate himself in all aspects of life. He employed many young men throughout the years, those who made the cut, attribute their strong work ethic to him. He continued to work until he was seventy. Dale and Pat enjoyed traveling in their motor home, oftentimes taking the same trip back to Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. He loved the history of the area and loved where he came from.
Another hobby he enjoyed was being a huge supporter of Forks High School sports and a sponsor of town team basketball. He loved to watch his son and grandchildren compete. You always knew when Dale was in the crowd.
The individuals that knew him best, knew a caring generous man with a big heart. He connected to people of all ages. Dale’s passion for family and life, are the memories we will hold close forever.
Dale was a lifelong member of the Forks Elks Club.
He was honored in 2013 By the West End Business and Professional Association when he was named “Pioneer Logger of the Year” for Hickory Shirt-Heritage Days.
Dale was preceded in death by his brother Jack Raben, sister Shirley Woolery and Brother-in-law Ed Zurfluh.
Dale is survived by his wife Patricia, his sister Aloha (Sis) Zurfluh, his daughters Leslie (Ron) Diimmel and Julie (Jim) Schumacher, and his son Mark (Mary) Raben. He also leaves behind his eight grandchildren. Erika (Graham) Lasee, Holly (Neil) McGourty, Amber Diimmel, Mark (Teannah) Schumacher, Buddy (Lisa) Schumacher, Derek Schumacher, Jillian Raben and Colton Raben. He had a twinkle in his eye when his great-grandchildren visited, Ella and Kayson Lasee, Julia Schumacher, Kiera McGourty, and Dale Schumacher. He was so proud of each and every one of them.
At his request, there will be no service. In his honor, a family gathering to celebrate a life well lived will take place at his 60 acres on the Quillayute Prairie. Memorials can be made to the Forks Loggers Memorial, P. O. Box 2135, Forks Wa 98331.