Dale McCall, 1925-2011
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL – Dale McCall, the first director of the Vail Resort Association, died in Denver on Thursday, May 12, after suffering a stroke one week earlier. He was born July 4, 1925, in Kansas City, Mo.
Dale is survived by his wife Erika; son Trevor (wife Nancy); sister Maxine Bell, of Grain Valley, Mo.; son Jon McCall, of Kansas City, Mo.; son Kevin, of Reno, Nev.; ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His daughter Monte preceded him in death.
A military funeral for Dale will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at Fort Logan National Cemetery, 3698 South Sheridan Boulevard, Denver. If you plan to attend please be at the staging area by 12:45 in accordance with military tradition. Following the ceremony, Erika, Trevor and the family will host a reception at their home in Thornton, 13425 Milwaukee Court.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Dale’s name to Trout Unlimited or the American Cancer Society.
The following are excerpts from an article about Dale that was written by Caramie Schnell and appeared in the Vail Daily on June 30, 2005:
For Dale McCall, the Vail America Days Fourth of July parade is more than firemen tossing candy to the younger generation and the local dance team twirling around in front of the Battle Mountain High School float. It’s a snapshot of how far Vail has come from that first parade in 1970, which Dale himself organized.
Dale was born and raised in Kansas City, MO. World War II was in full swing when Dale graduated from high school, so he joined the Army, traveled to Europe with the Ninth Infantry Division and served in three campaigns including the Battle of the Bulge and the Remagen Bridge. After returning from the war, Dale, a longtime musician, was just in time for the “big band” era. He went into the music business, singing and playing the clarinet and the saxophone.
Dale was working later as vice president of an office furniture and design company when he met his second wife, Erika, who had recently moved to the United States from Germany.
The couple married in 1965 and moved to Colorado three years later with their son, Trevor.
“I decided I wanted to be a part of the recreation industry and this is where it was happening,” Dale said.
The Vail Resort Association was being organized at the time (now the Vail Valley Partnership) and Dale was hired as the first executive director.
“We put together the VRA; everything from information about Vail to special events, to reservations and putting packages together for travel agents and travel writers to get them acquainted with Vail.”
Along with Vail America Days, the association started Airline Week and Vail Fest, which was held in October, and Winter Fest, which took place each January.
Fellow Vail pioneer Vi Brown has known Dale since the first days of Vail.
“In the early days Dale helped bring events into Vail and he had great enthusiasm for the town,” Vi said. “Dale was Mr. Chamber of Commerce with a smile.”
After six years in the position, Dale stepped down and opened his own advertising agency, called McCall and Associates Inc., which he operated for 20 years.
Dale and his wife Erika spent nearly 35 years in Vail before they were forced to relocate because of Dale’s health.
“Living at 8,000 feet wasn’t working out for me,” Dale said.
The couple moved to Silt (and in 2007 to Thornton, Colo.), and despite not living in Vail, Dale still holds the town and the community close to his heart.
“We were part of the early pioneers,” Dale said. “There have been tremendous changes, of course. We’re very proud of Vail’s stature today and it being recognized as a year-round premier resort.”