Obituary of Dale Maynard Radford
Age 82, passed away peacefully on October 16, 2023. In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place. Dale will be laid to rest at Great Lakes National Cemetery during a private family burial. Expressions of sympathy may be placed on Dale’s tribute page at martinfuneralhome.com.
Dale Maynard Radford was born on June 24, 1941, in Flint, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Dewey and Julia (Byrd) Radford. He graduated from Mt. Morris High School in the class of 1959. Dale worked for many years as a Millwright for General Motors, ultimately retiring from AC Spark Plug/Delphi in the Plant Layout and Design department. He found many ways to lend a helping hand and service his community. He was a lifelong blood donor through the American Red Cross. He also would volunteer as an ambulance driver, as well as a firefighter through Thetford Township.
He was a lifetime founding member of Clio Cast & Crew Community Theater which included the CHS Auditorium, Clio Area Amphitheater, and CCC Theater. He served on the CCC Executive Board. He built sets and performed with Buckham Alley Theater in Flint, Michigan, and (directed as well) Fenton Village Players. He began his theater involvement as an actor, then later as a set designer and builder, and later as a director. He was a creative designer and would make miniature sets out of foam core boards. He played a lead role in his very first play, Any Wednesday. His neighbor, Doreen Gawthrop, was the lead playing opposite him. Betty Steagald directed the play and liked to tell the story of how this new guy Dale, showed up for tryouts in his bright orange fireman’s jumpsuit. Needless to say, he stood out and got the part. He designed and constructed the flying harnesses and cables for Peter Pan, Wendy, Michael, and John.
He was a gentle soul who dearly loved animals, especially dogs. He liked dirt bikes, snowmobiling, new cars, hunting, fishing, dancing, and telling an endless amount of stories and jokes that proved to be funny even if you’d already heard them before. He was a jack of all trades. He liked working with wood. He added a two-car garage and a deck on his home by himself, amongst many other projects. He enjoyed playing on slow-pitch softball teams, singing in a men’s barbershop choir, hosting a fabulous roaring 20’s dinner party as well as several murder mystery dinner parties with friends at his home. He was a Navy veteran. When he was in line with the new recruits at the Navy base in Memphis, Tennessee. he was happily surprised to discover that his former high school classmate and lifelong friend, Jack Arnold, and also his cousin, Gale Hadfield, were both there and hollered out greetings to him. Once he left the Navy, he went to visit family in Florida where he acquired a spider monkey from a pet shop. The pet monkey which he named Sammy would become his driving companion all the way back to his Grandparent’s farmhouse on E. Wilson Rd. in Clio, Michigan. His story was that the little monkey liked to sit on the steering wheel of the car and would get upset when he turned the wheel causing him to fall off.
He lived in Clio for many years and later moved to Mott Park in Flint, Michigan where he enjoyed gardening and landscaping around his home. He also took upon himself the project of beautifying and maintaining flower beds on the grassy island across the street from his home in Mott Park at the corner of Marquette and Paducah Street.
He developed and maintained many friendships throughout his full and rich life. You could say he had a certain charisma and charm and easily made friends. The world was made better because he was in it. He was well-loved and will be missed by many. Last but not least, his favorite food that he was known to enjoy as often as possible was ice cream. To be announced at a later date, there will be an ice cream sundae social in Dale’s honor where theater friends and his family members can gather, share stories, and celebrate his life.
Left to cherish Dale’s memory are his daughter: Kelly and husband, Lee Crandall of Houghton Lake, and his two grandchildren; Bella White of Houghton Lake, and Keegan White, who is currently stationed in Norfolk, Virginia for his work in the Navy. Dale is also survived by two brothers: Ken and wife, Ruth Ann Radford, and Dean Radford, his sister: Dawn Ann Church, his two half-sisters: Sharon Radford and Sheila Radford of Florida, his former wives: Theresa Meyer of Clio and Judy Lake of Tumwater, Washington, his special nieces and nephews: Kenny and Sherry Radford, Julie and Tom Nichol, and Stephanie Radford, as well as many other beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins. Dale will be remembered fondly by his special buddies: Ron Fournier, Dave Kent, Dick Wilsie, Vic Tatum, Sharon Hunt, Karen Craner, and Jack Arnold.
Dale is preceded in death by his parents: Maynard and Julia Radford.
Dale’s obituary was lovingly written by his family.