Wilton Roger Dale

Published 12:01 am Friday, January 26, 2018

Oct. 4, 1926 – Jan. 23, 2018

NATCHEZ — Services for Wilton Roger “Billy” Dale, 91, of Natchez, who died Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, at his residence, will be 11 a.m. today at St. Mary Basilica with the Rev. David O’Connor officiating.

Burial will follow at the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

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Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until service time today at the church.

Mr. Dale was born Oct. 4, 1926, in Vidalia, the son of John Dale Jr. and Alma Roger Dale.

A 1943 graduate of Vidalia High School, he enrolled at Louisiana State University at the age of 16, where he was a member of the LSU basketball team, lettering his freshman year.  The following year, as soon as he was of age to serve in World War II, he volunteered for the U.S. Navy and was trained as a radio gunner in the Navel Air Corps.  At the end of the war, he returned to LSU to study petroleum geology. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and graduated in 1949 with a bachelor of science degree.

As a certified petroleum geologist, Mr. Dale was a partner in a family-owned oil and gas company, organized by his father, John Dale Jr., for his two sons and son-in-law. Then, in 1977, Mr. Dale and his brother formed Dale Exploration Company.

Mr. Dale was a partner in Energy Drilling Company, a trustee associate of the American Association of Petroleum Geologist, a member of the Louisiana State University Foundation, the LSU “L” Club, Beau Pre Country Club, and served on the board of directors of Britton & Koontz Bank.

Mr. Dale was an avid golfer, winning both Bellwood and Panola Woods club championships as well as winning the Duncan Park Club Championship twice. His other hobbies included hunting, fishing, snow skiing and playing the piano for his family. He was a devout member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and later St. Mary Basilica.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, John Dale III; one sister, Dorothy Dale Reeves; and his infant son, David Michael Dale.

Survivors include his wife of more than 66 years, Daisy Patterson “Pat” Brandon Dale who he married on April 4, 1951; three children, Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Dale Holleman and husband, John, and Wilton Roger ”Bill” Dale Jr. and wife, Cammie, all of Natchez, and  Patricia Brandon Dale Roberts and husband, Fred, of Healdsburg, Calif.; seven grandchildren, Elizabeth Dale Holleman Robertson and husband, Wes, of Huntsville, Ala., John  Courtney Holleman Jr. and wife, Emily, and Lindsay Brandon Holleman, all of Baton Rouge, Anna Monette Roberts of San Francisco, Sara Ashford Dale Thomas and husband, Devin, of Jersey City, N.J., Brandon Fredericks  Dale of Nashville, Tenn., and Patricia Kate Roberts of Amsterdam, Holland; six great-grandchildren, Madelyn Elizabeth Holleman, James Wilton Robertson, Eleanor Catherine Holleman, Thomas Patterson Robertson, John Courtney Holleman III and Wilton Patrick Holleman; one sister, Alma Campbell; three sisters-in-law, Kate Don Brandon Green, Mary Ann Brandon Jones and Barbara Brandon Kaiser and husband, Hayden; a number of nieces and nephews; and his friend and secretary of 38 years, Annette Mohon.

Pallbearers will be John Courtney Holleman Jr., Brandon Fredericks Dale, John Wesley Robertson, Devin Thomas, Hayden Kaiser III, Kenneth Jones Jr., Judge John Reeves, Richard Campbell III and Anthony Seals.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to St. Mary Basilica, Cathedral School or the charity of one’s choice.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at lairdfh.com.