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Patriot Guard stepping in as pallbearers at WWII veteran’s funeral

Published: May. 15, 2022 at 10:30 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Betty Huschka shows FOX10 News her late husband -- Dale’s model ships. He not only collected but built over the years.

“Each one is so different -- so unique,” said Betty.

When the couple moved into Atria Senior Living a year ago -- the staff made sure he had a place to display them.

“So they accommodated him immediately... The lady was so friendly and helpful -- had her husband build this shelf and said that was the best place to put the ships,” explained Betty.

The 97-year-old World War II veteran passed away May 6th. Betty says he loved his time serving in the Navy.

“He enjoyed it -- oh yes! He was proud,” said Betty.

She recalls the stories he’d often share.

“Diving off the side of the ship. Imagine out in the Pacific. And then one time he decided to swim underneath the ship and come up on the other side,” recalled Betty.

Then there was that stop in Hawaii.

“Oh that was fun... They had a luau you know -- and did all that,” said Betty.

It was on the ships that Dale took up sketching -- and much later discovered his love of painting. He eventually took a leisure learning course at the University of South Alabama.

“There were two or three professors that he really liked. Told him to go out and walk around the campus and sketch something that really appealed to him. And that’s when he did this painting,” said Betty.

His favorites were landscapes, but he did an occasional portrait -- even one is of his parents.

The couple were married for 48 years. He clearly loved her and they both loved FOX10 News -- as evident by an exchange recorded while he was still in the hospital.

Betty: “Hey Dale -- what station do we get FOX News on? -- Okay... I know you know. Love you.”

Dale: “FOXNews is on Channel 10. Yeah -- we’re doing okay... You just hang in there -- we’ll be along one day. (laughs).”

Dale passed away two days later. The message still leaves her with a smile.

“Yeah ... he said don’t worry. Lee: Yeah -- that’s sweet though. Betty: It is... And what you don’t get is at the end of that sentence -- he kind of blinks his eye -- with a smile. There’s a little blink there. That I really cherished.”

With little family and most of their friends passed away -- the Patriot Guard is stepping up to serve as pallbearers as Mr. Dale’s graveside service on Wednesday.

“Betty: It seems like it’s a great compliment. Lee: What do you think Dale would think? -- Betty: Oh, he’d be tickled to death I’m sure. Because he was a very proud person. And he enjoyed everything he did.”

Dale Huschka worked most of his career at Scott Paper Company -- where he set up their computer system.

Again -- he’s set to be laid to rest on Wednesday at Pine Crest Cemetery.

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