Dale Apel
Dale Apel

Obituary of Dale Apel

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John Dale Apel (Dale) passed away on November 15, 2022, in Lindsborg, Kansas, at the age of 93. Born in Wichita, KS, he grew up on rural farms in Chautauqua and Elk Counties and graduated from Sedan High School after significant involvement in 4-H and Future Farmers of America. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Kansas State Agricultural College (later Kansas State University), and later achieved a Master of Arts degree in Communications and Social Psychology from American University in Washington, D.C., and a PhD in Adult Education from the University of Chicago. Dale began his more than 45-year career with the 4-H Foundation and the Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service, 4-H and Youth Development Department, during his Kansas State College summers when he served as an Emergency Assistant 4-H Agent. His interest continued when he was selected as one of four Kansan delegates to the National 4-H Camp in Washington, D.C. Shortly after graduating from K-State, Dale worked as editor of the South Dakota Bureau Farming and as a lobbyist for the South Dakota Farm Bureau. His 4-H Extension service was briefly interrupted when Dale served two years in the Korean war effort between 1951-1953. He served as a cryptographer in Taegu, Korea, with the U.S. Military Advisory Group to the Republic of Korea Army. In 1953, Dale returned to Kansas and continued his service to the 4-H Foundation and KSU’s 4-H Extension. He worked as an agent in Morris and Saline Counties before briefly serving as the editor for the Kansas 4-H Journal in Manhattan. He built his adult life in Manhattan, serving 4-H as a specialist and most of his career as the Associate State Leader. His 4-H responsibilities included staff (volunteer and professional) development and program development, and was focused on building 4-H member retention initiatives. His advanced studies at American University and the University of Chicago led him to believe strongly in the importance of “self-set” goals as the key for 4-H member retention, as well as the basis for anyone’s career and life self-fulfillment. Dale married 4-H Extension colleague Mary Dean Holle in 1961. They settled in Manhattan and raised three children, John William, Dean Marsh, and Ellen Ann. Dale and Mary Dean divorced in 1990. Dale was the co-founder of Kansas Evergreens, Inc. What began as a “Christmas tree farm” evolved to offer wholesale pine trees and household plant sales to major retailers in Colorado, New Mexico, and Kansas. From 1961 to the mid-1980’s, the entire family was involved in raising trees and plants. Apel Road near St. George marks the place where Christmas trees were once grown. Upon retirement, Dale relocated to Overland Park, Kansas. He pursued a great number of personal interests including voraciously reading books of all kinds, and matting and framing pictures and prints. Dale became engrossed in genealogy and worked to develop a written history of his mother’s family, the Encells. He also worked for several years in tax return preparation. Dale developed a specific interest in the theatre and met his second wife, Shirley Tucker, while ushering for a dinner theatre. They married in March 2002, at Village Presbyterian Church and settled into her home in Overland Park. They shared a passion for day-trading, small dogs, their church, and the Kansas City Chiefs, but Dale never quite adopted Shirley’s passion for fishing. Shortly after Shirley’s death in 2021, Dale moved to Lindsborg, KS, to be closer to family. While in Lindsborg he enjoyed being near Saline County (one of his first areas of responsibility as a 4-H County Agent), being surrounded by Swedish culture, and pursuing a discipline of daily visits to the gym. Dale is preceded in death by his parents John George Apel, Jr. and Eleanor Dryden Encell Apel, first wife Mary Dean Holle Apel, wife Shirley Tucker Apel, brother (Paul) Encell Apel and sister-in-law Deloris Hoskins Apel. He is survived by his children John and Regina Apel (Soldier, KS), Dean and Ann-Christin Apel (Lindsborg, KS), Ellen Apel (Minneapolis, MN), and his six grandchildren Yeremiah Apel (Vännäs, Sweden), Yohannes and wife Cecilia Apel (Lund, Sweden), Maria Apel (Lund, Sweden), Lukas Apel (Hays, KS), Frederik Apel (Soldier, KS), and Phillip Apel (Soldier, KS). A memorial service and time of fellowship will be held in the chapel at Meadowlark Hills in Manhattan, KS, at 2 p.m., Sunday, December 18. A short graveside ceremony will be held the preceding day at 11 a.m., Saturday, December 17 at the Grace Lawn Cemetery in Howard, KS. Instead of flowers, the family encourages memorial contributions be directed to the Kansas 4-H Foundation, Dale Apel Leader-in-training campership fund, 1680 Charles Pl, Ste 100, Manhattan, KS 66502. Gifts will support the Leader-in-training program, a teen leadership development experience held at Rock Springs.

Memorial Service

2:00 pm
Sunday, December 18, 2022
Meadowlark Hills
Chapel, 2121 Meadowlark Rd
Manhattan, Kansas, United States
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Dale Apel

In Loving Memory

Dale Apel

1929 - 2022

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