Rural 04

Dale John Demo

September 4, 1945 ~ May 31, 2022 (age 76)


Dale J. Demo, 76, of Pillager, passed away at his home, with his beloved dogs by his side, on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

A Celebration of Dale's Life will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, June 18, 2022, at Nelson - Doran Funeral Home in Brainerd.  An interment at Wildwood Cemetery in Pillager will take place after the service.  Family and friends are invited to gather at the funeral home following the graveside services for a luncheon.

Dale John Demo was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 4, 1945.  He was baptized at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Afton, Minnesota on September 29, 1991.

Dale and his family moved to Benson, Minnesota in 1946.  When he was 5 years old, they moved to Motley, Minnesota and when he was in third grade, they moved to the farm outside of Staples, Minnesota.

Dale was among four other brothers who served their country.  One of his brothers, Billy Demo, was wounded at the Chosen Reservoir in North Korea on November 29, 1950 and died on December 3rd.  Dale served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War from April 1966 to January 1970 aboard the repair ship USS Hector (AR-7) out of Long Beach, California.  During his tour of duty, he traveled all over the South Pacific providing repair services to bombed and damaged ships in the Seventh Fleet.  While deployed to Vietnam, he worked on the first supercarrier, the USS Forrestal (CV-59) after a rocket misfire on the flight deck that caused one of the largest at sea naval disaster in U.S. History.  On the flight deck that day was Lieutenant Commander (later Senator) John McCain.

After the Navy, Dale attended Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota and obtained an Air-Condition Mechanic Certificate.  He then got his Minnesota State License for Air-Conditioning and worked for many years at Honeywell in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  He was married to Vicky VanHorn for around 10 years.

Dale continued to live in the Twin Cities metropolitan area until retiring from Honeywell at age 58.  He then moved up to Pillager, Minnesota where he spent the next several years working on improving his property and hunting and spear fishing with his brother Roger.

Dale loved fishing, especially on the Crow Wing River, which was across the road where he grew up outside of Motley.  His family also had land on the Crow Wing River on the farm near Staples, so he spent many summer days wading out and standing on a rock to fish.  He also loved hunting and had a couple trophy deer mounts hanging in his living room. 

Dale also loved dogs!  He owned many dogs throughout his life and decorated his home with numerous dog figurines and statues.  He adopted four dogs from the Heartland Animal Rescue Team (HART) in Brainerd, Minnesota during his retirement years.  He visited the animal shelter many times a year and donated frequently to help them find good homes for rescued and surrendered dogs.  Dale’s two dogs, Hunter and Emma, were returned to the shelter for adoption after his passing.  His words… “My fate is certain, but not my dogs.”

Preceding Dale in death were his parents, James Bernard and Alice Nina (Buroker) Demo; brothers DeWayne, Merlin, Roland (Bill), Jim and Roger Demo; sisters Rosemary St. George and Dorothy Thedin.

Dale passed away at his home in Pillager, Minnesota on May 31, 2022, after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Dale is survived by one brother, Chuck Demo of Coon Rapids, Minnesota; his twin sister, Cheryl Richert of Afton, Minnesota; and many nieces and nephews.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dale John Demo, please visit our floral store.

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