Andrew Dale Svaglic III passed away Friday, December 18th 2020 of a massive heart attack. He has left behind his wife of forty-seven years, Kristine, his daughter, Libby, sons Nick and Matthew. Also, left behind are four grandchildren. Dale was the oldest child of Andrew and Virginia Svaglic and he leaves behind four sisters; Donna, Doreen, Debra, and Marie and one brother, Dennis.
Dale, the name that everyone knew him as, had a life well lived. He had a life of achievement, a loving family life and he made a difference in this world through his actions and his example. Dale loved deeply and gave freely of his time and resources. Dale was a larger than life person and his memory will live with all those who spent time with him, hearing stories, sharing moments and sharing laughs.
Dale suffered from PTSD during his adult life but lived a productive, imaginative and caring life full of accomplishment and honor. He was a leader of men and a protector of everyone. He will truly be missed by his family, co-workers, neighbors and friends.
Dale was born in Kansas City, Kansas before the end of World War II. He was Andrew and Virginias only child for the first five years of his life. He attended kindergarten in Blue Springs, Missouri. That year his sister Donna was born. Dale attended first grade at Saint John the Baptists school in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood of his grandparents. Next the family moved to their Uncle Alberts house and rented an apartment upstairs in the house which would later become his own home of forty-seven years. Dales next home was one block away at 4112 Charlotte. After the family moved to their own home, Dales parents welcomed four more babies into the family. First there was Debra, then Doreen, then Dennis and the baby of the family, Marie. Dale was the big brother and protector to all his little sisters and brother then and till the last day of his life. Dale attended Bancroft Elementary and Saint James Grade Schools from 1951 to 1959. While in grade school he became a boy scout. He loved it so much that he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout which is a very high honor indeed. Freshman and sophomore year were spent at Rockhurst High School where he excelled in Football. His junior and senior years were spent at Bishop Lillis High School. Dale lettered in football, basketball, and track. In Dales senior year he was selected to be on the Missouri All State Football Team which helped earn him a full ride scholarship to North West Missouri State in Maryville, Missouri.
Dale attended NWMS for one semester in the fall of 1963 but lusted for adventure. He joined the most challenging branch of the service, the United States Marine Corps in January of 1964. He excelled in the three months of boot camp at Camp Pendelton, California. He was recommended to be an embassy guard but he declined that opportunity and went up the chain of command insisting that he be placed into the infantry. He succeeded and was trained to be a machine gunner. His next post was in Okinawa, Japan. He was on Mount Fuji completing cold weather training when his group was ordered to go to an unknown destination. The marines were still in cold weather gear when they arrived to the sweltering heat of Da Nang Air Force Base, Vietnam. Dale was amongst the first battalion of Marines into Vietnam in January 1965. They were posted outside the base and tasked to defend Da Nang. He was a machine gunner and the head of a four man squad. The casualty rate was very high. Close to half the Marines that went in did not come home alive. He survived the year duty in Vietnam and rose to the rank of Sergeant (E-5) by 1966. Dales next tour was at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. In 1967, Dales daughter Libby was born but shortly after he was sent back to Vietnam. This time he was stationed to an outpost just south of the DMZ. During and after the Tet Offensive in January 1968 he was trapped at what was known as the Siege of Khe Sanh. The Marines lived in bunkers on a hill completely surrounded and bombarded until spring. After another years duty in Vietnam, Dale was united with his daughter in Hawaii where he was assigned to lead an honor guard. After being in combat, this kind of duty did not sit well with Dale. When he found out that if he reenlisted he would continue to be on honor guard detail he decided to leave the active duty marine service and return home. He was separated at Treasure Island, San Francisco on January 15th 1970. From there he rode a motorcycle back to Kansas City with only a knapsack and a change of clothes. Dale earned eight medals during his almost six years of active duty in the Marines. They are the following: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Letter of Recognition, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the Rifle Sharpshooter Badge.
When Dale returned to Kansas City he worked for a printing company but later helped his father run the family business, A&A Bumper. In June of 1970 Dale had a son named Nick. In January of 1971 Dale moved into an apartment at 4200 Locust. That very evening he met for the first time his future wife, Kristine Bergquist. They became friends but didnt start dating until August of that year. Just before Thanksgiving of that year Dale proposed to Kris but she wanted to finish college before thinking about marriage so Dale waited until Kristine was ready. Two weeks after she graduated in the spring of 1973 they were married and settled into married life with daughter Libby and son Nick. By the fall of 1973 they had found a home to buy. It was a house owned by his Uncle Albert at 4223 Charlotte, the home he lived in as a child briefly. They moved in and promptly adopted their first of many large dogs; a Saint Bernard named Buck. Dale had built a chopper motorcycle and had even showed it in a local car and motorcycle show but he sold it to pay for a fence to protect his wife and children. Dale was a family man through and through. In 1976 Kris and Dale welcomed a baby son named Matthew into the family.
Dale continued to work with his father at A&A Bumper for a few years until Dale changed course and got a job selling guns and hunting equipment at CR Specialty. Guns were always an interest of his and his knowledge was vast. He enjoyed his time at CR; spending many weekends hunting and competing in shooting competitions. Dale bagged a trophy Elk in Colorado one year and had the head displayed in their den for many years. In 1983, Dale won the Precision Pistol Competition Missouri State Championship. The competition consisted of timed shoots from multiple positions with alternating hands; he was the best.
During the seventies and eighties Dale settled into family life. He was an attentive father and provided many opportunities for the family to enjoy the great outdoors. Every year there would be vacations in Colorado, trips to Texas and twice we had an adventure to Lake Powell in Arizona. On Kris and Dales 5th and 10th anniversarys Dale took Kris to Hawaii for a second and third honeymoon. Weekly movies, basketball games in the backyard, and evening meals with the family were a staple in Dales family life.
Dales father, Andrew Svaglic Jr., died in 1987 and Dale returned to the family business when the family needed him. Dale still had the urge for adventure and bought himself a Harley Davidson motorcycle. He made a few cross country trips on that motorcycle. He had many fun experiences; he and a close friend explored Missouri and Arkansas. He also drove to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota twice. He had a wonderful time people watching. Dale would never trailer his motorcycle up there; he always rode the whole way.
He was a hard worker and devoted seven days a week to his job but on two occasions he took time off for unique adventures. The first was a trip to Wyoming where he was able to ride horses and live the cowboy lifestyle. Shooting guns, camping out and exploring the countryside astride a horse. The next trip he made was a long and dusty cattle drive. Dale decided that was not the life for him. You could only go as fast as the slowest cow and eat dust all day long.
In the 1996 Dales first grandchild was born. Izabel was the apple of Dales eye and he heaped attention and gifts on her. She lived very close and Izabel called him her Papa. In 2014 a little grandson was born named Jett followed in 2015 by a baby granddaughter named Lauren. The more grandchildren he had the happier he became. In 2017 baby Will was born. Children are wonderful but grandchildren are the greatest of blessings and Dale enjoyed every moment with them and savored every memory by looking at their photos and talking about them. There could never be enough photos taken of his grandchildren. He always wanted to see more.
After Dales retirement he was able to spend more time camping and competing in different shoots around the country. At a national competition in Illinois he ranked at the top in his age category.
Dale joined a few organizations and enjoyed learning a lot about history along the way. He joined SASS (Single Action Shooting Society); NCOWS (the National Congress of Old West Shootists); he became a Mason and a subset of the Masons named Hyrums Rangers. He quite enjoyed the camaraderie of like minded men in these organizations. They enjoyed history and target shooting. Later he enjoyed an earlier period in history called the Mountain Man era. They shot black powder guns, wore different clothes and used different equipment. Garnett, Kansas was the place he loved the most and he spent many happy days living as they did in the old west and enjoying time around the campfire.
Dale cheated death many times in his life. Two tours in Vietnam without being seriously hurt was a blessing. In the 1990s Dale got a staph infection that got into his blood. He was on IV antibiotics for six weeks and slowly got better. In 2012 lung cancer was found and he had one lobe of his lung removed. In 2013 Dale closed the family business after 50 years in business but he was 69 and ready to retire. Over the next few years he fought two types of skin cancer and had his heart valve replaced. This past summer Dale had a heat stroke that he came back from but in the process was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. After a summer of immunotherapy the doctor said he looked great and was managing it well. Out of the blue a heart attack took him the day after his little grandsons birthday. He was good until that fateful moment when he wasnt.
This year, due to the pandemic, Dale did what he loved the best. He bought things for others; buying gifts for everyone was one of his greatest pleasures. His entire adult life he gave; helping neighbors and friends, sliding money into peoples pockets, always picking up the tab before anyone else. In addition, he gave his attention and wisdom to all, young and old.
Dale will be missed by many and the impact he made on this world will ripple through time for generations. His life made a difference.
Monday, January 4th at high noon, as the cowboys say, everyone is welcome to Dales grave side honors and burial service that will take place at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas. Please wear a mask. Dale was adamant about wearing masks to protect ourselves and others. Dale was always the ultimate caregiver and protector.
Graveside Service Mt. Calvary Cemetery
Monday, January 04, 2021
38 & StateKansas City, Kansas 66102