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Vilas Dale Roe


Vilas Dale Roe, age 73, passed away on May 22, 2021 at Suncoast Hospice of complications resulting from Parkinson’s Disease. His son and daughter were with him, holding his hand as he took his last breath. He lived in Belleair, Florida after relocating from Madison, Wisconsin in 2010. Dale was born on August 18, 1947 in Antigo, WI, the son of Vilas Harrison Roe and Vivian Tackett Roe. His father died when Dale was only two years old, and when his mother worked Dale lived with his grandparents, Samuel and Ethel Roe in White Lake, WI. Dale had a close relationship with his uncle and aunt, Ray and Pat Roe and their six children, who included Dale in family events throughout his life.

Dale graduated from Antigo High School in 1965 and attended the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point before transferring to University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse, where he completed his BS degree in Recreation in 1970. He was a respected athlete, competing in both cross country and track for Antigo High School, Stevens Point and LaCrosse, being named Most Valuable Player at both universities and competing in national championships. His running nickname “Carp,” was demonstrated as his competitor number, which was often trimmed and decorated into the appearance of a fish. His “Carp Kick” left an impression on his followers as he was known for his burst of energy to bypass all competitors in the final stretch of a race.

Dale was married to Debra Crook September 15, 1973. They divorced in 1993, but remained friends over the years. In 1974 they established the first Madison Marathon and successfully managed the event for eight years. Dale calibrated the course for accuracy, and the couple developed a color-coded label process to tabulate race results in an efficient manner. Dale competed in numerous road races throughout his running career, generally finishing in the top group of competitors and often winning his age category. He was a member of the Kegonsa Running Club for many years, which was the impetus for his move to Madison in 1972. Dale competed in the first Drake Relays Marathon in DesMoines, Iowa in the early 70’s and competed in their annual marathon for over 30 years. He directed 5K and 10K races for local charities while living in Madison, and he established the annual Country Possum Chase in White Lake where he had his Aunt Pat and local women bake fresh country pies for age category winners, recruiting his children to give out “pie tickets” in the finish circle. He loved to have big bonfires in the woods at White Lake, hosted by Ray and Pat Roe and later Steve and Diane Gress, and he liked fireworks, the bigger the better. He competed in marathons as well as 5K, 10K, and 20K races over the span of more than 40 years before he was unable to compete due to Parkinson’s Disease. He enjoyed competitive running more that anything, although Florida beaches, Disney World, and 60’s rock and roll music were also high on his list. He was very fond of local festivals and carnivals, and faithfully attended the Wisconsin State Fair every summer.

Dale was a Us Postal Carrier from 1978 until his retirement in 2009. In earlier years, he enjoyed walking his route on the shores of Monona Bay, one of the most scenic routes in Madison, where he would take his lunch break at a picnic table along the shore, all before beginning his evening workouts where he would run a 10 mile loop around Lake Monona.

Dale was an active member of Lake City Church for more than 40 years until his move to Florida. He was in the Brothers and Sisters in Christ (BASIC) Christian Singles group for many years, and one of the five main leaders of BASIC for the first number of years. Dale loved to do the bonfires and fireworks at Farmer Dick’s. He organized numerous excursions, picnics and trips to various festivals in Milwaukee (Irish Fest, German Fest, Mexican Fest) as well as the Wisconsin State Fair every year. He was a consistent and active participant in the BASIC weekly Bible study, where he was eager to better understand God’s word and asked many probing questions.

Dale married Ramona (Mona) Rhoades Small on November 15, 2008. By that time in his life Dale had cut back to only running five miles a night, five nights a week after completing his mail route, but was still winning races in his age group. Dale and Mona both retired in 2009, and relocated from Madison, WI to Belleair, FL in in 2010. Dale’s dream was to run 5K’s year round, but that dream was dashed when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and the debilitating effect it had on his body. He was still able to spend many hours on the Florida beaches that he loved until just the past few months.

The first thing Dale and Mona did upon moving to Florida was to search for a church home. They were fortunate to be led to Indian Rocks Church and the many supportive ministries that blessing included. Dale especially loved Country Church on Saturday evenings. The worship music reminded him of the little Four Corners Church in White Lake, WI that he attended as a child.

Dale fought the good fight against Parkinson’s. He did everything he could to delay the devastating effects of the disease. He joined a Parkinson’s Support Group, underwent deep brain stimulation surgery, walked every day, rode his stationary bicycle and participated in various PD programs, especially Rock Steady Boxing. We will be forever indebted to Cypress Palms and his Parkinson’s and boxing coach Leah Einboden for her love and support for Dale these many years, as well as all his boxing classmates who are still in there fighting. Date will be missed by all.

Dale loved to eat in his running days, and had a good appetite. He always ate a pizza the night before a race, and insisted that when he died, there would be tacos served at his funeral, so tacos it will be!

Dale was preceded in death by his parents, Vilas and Vivian Roe, uncle and aunt, Ray and Pat Roe, father-in-law, Warren Crook, and many other aunts, uncles and cousins who were special to him. Dale is survived by his wife, Ramona, his children, Corky Samuel Roe (Valerie Lund), Misti Erin Roe (Rick Postl), granddaughters, Arya Bernice Roe, Eiley Samanna Roe, Zia Bjork Roe, his former wife, Debra Roe, mother-in-law, Bernice Herder, sisters-in-law Rita Tucker (Calvin Tucker) and Debra Harding (David

Harding), step children Amy Small and Noelle Burch (Chris Burch), step grand children, Denali Smith and Chelon Smith.

Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 pm on June 1, 2021 in the chapel at Indian Rocks Baptist Church, 126685 Ulmerton Rd, Largo, FL 33774 (indianrocks.org). A lunch will be served in Fellowship Hall following the service. Arrangements will be handled by Veterans Funeral Care. The family is grateful to Indian Rocks Baptist Church for the support they provided. Dale requested memorials be directed to Indian Rocks Baptist Church.

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  • Sheri Nible says:

    Amy and Family.

    I’m so very sorry to learn of your step-Dad’s passing. Just know you and your family are in the thoughts and prayers of your FPAC family.

    May your Faith and the many memories you have comfort you now and in the tough days ahead.

    Thinking of you with virtual hugs.

  • Melissa Drummond says:

    Amy – so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Cora Pearl Keller says:

    sorry to hear about Dale. he is home now and thinking of you and praying as well.

  • Tasha says:

    Amy, I am so sorry for your loss. I pray for peace for you and your family.

  • Annie says:

    Dear Amy and Family,

    My thoughts are with you. Please take care during this time. My condolences.

    Annie

  • John Gartland says:

    My condolences to you, Ramona and children. Dale was a great human being who I knew for a long time. We were roommates and teammates at La Crosse in the late 60’s. As stated above, he was an excellent competitor on those UW-L teams. We continued our friendship in the 70’s in Madison. I felt privileged to have been part of the organizing committee for the first several Madison Marathons that he superbly directed. He was always supportive of my own distance running as I transitioned into becoming a marathoner. Not mentioned in his obituary is his being the first ever cross country coach at Edgewood High School. He did this for nothing or next to nothing – he truly loved our sport. I feel blessed that Mike and Pat Mulrooney invited me on a Zoom conference call with Dale several months ago. It was a wonderful hour of reminiscing. Please Rest In Peace, Carp. We’ll all miss you.

  • Jmes Johnson says:

    Running was his passion. However, he loved God and Mona more. He was dedicated to his family.

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