Dale E. Connelly, 78, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on May 25, 2015. Dale was born in Yakima on September 12, 1936, the oldest of 4 children to Morris and Gertrude Connelly. Dale was raised in Yakima and graduated from Naches High School in 1954. His sister Phyliss introduced him to one of her friends, Noreda Cooper, and not long after they eloped to Stevenson, WA, on November 2, 1954. Dale then entered the Air Force in 1955, serving 4 years as an aircraft mechanic. Most of Dale’s career was spent working as a diesel mechanic at Associated Grocers for 21 years. After the closing of A.G. in Yakima he owned andoperated Connelly’s Automotive until his retirement.
Dad had many interests throughout his life including waterskiing and snowmobiling, and his love for cars led him to becoming a member of the Vintiques Car Club, where he took his family to many car shows and events in the 1940 Mercury he rebuilt. Dad was able to revisit those days recently, returning with his family in his 1953 “Ford powered” Chevy pickup and his grandson, buddy, and sidekick Stephen driving the 1972 Ranchero he also rebuilt. Dad and Mom spent many weekends camping, usually with grand-daughters in tow. Later in life most of his weekends were spent at Silver Beach Resort on Rimrock Lake with his daughter, Teri, son-in-law, Steve and his fishing buddy, Stephen.
Dad’s knowledge of mechanics led several people to his door asking him to fix this or build that – several of which were high performance engines where he spent countless hours in his shop.
Many people felt Dad could fix and build anything. An entire book of Ford knowledge is gone. Throughout his life, Dad’s biggest passion was racing where he was involved in every aspect from driving alongside his brothers Dick and Stan, to crew chief and car owner. Some of the most important times in Dad’s life were spent with his son, Ron, as the driver of 3 cars they built together and ran at Yakima Speedway.
Special thanks goes out to all of the doctors who helped Dad and allowed us more time with him. Dad was the patriarch of our entire family. He was our rock and will forever in our hearts be our hero.
Dale was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Phyliss Cuyle.
Dale is lovingly survived by his wife Babe, son Ron (Julie), daughter Teri (Steve), grandchildren Tara, Kayla. Stephen, Dillon, and 2 great grandchildren: Brenden and Braxden.