Kenneth Dale Barkell was born Sept. 16, 1923, in Silver Star. His parents were Kenneth T. Barkell and Luella Thayer Barkell. He moved to Neihart with his family, where he attended school. Upon graduation he worked as a miner and then joined the Navy. After basic training he was assigned to the US Enterprise for the duration of the war. He was particularly proud of the part he played in the war effort and proud that he served on the most decorated ship in the war.
Upon returning to Montana he moved to Silver Star and met and married Betty Mae High of Twin Bridges. Moving to Dillon, Dale worked as a bartender. After the birth of a son, Vernon, the family moved to Silver Star where Dale helped his parents manage Barkell Hot Springs. After the Hot Springs was sold, Dale worked as a tungstan miner for the next 14 years. When the mine closed he worked at the Montana Children’s Center until it closed and then finished his working career at Galen State Hospital.
After retirement, Dale and Betty had a fine time traveling, visiting friends and relatives and, most importantly, showering love and much affection on their three grandchildren.
After Betty’s passing in 2007, Dale continued to live in Silver Star, going to Senior Citizen’s luncheon, making sure Walmart was doing a brisk business, and traveling to Salem, Oregon, to visit his son, daughter-in law, and the grandkids. Vernon took him on several trips — to the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., to a U.S. Enterprise reunion in Oklahoma, and recently, to Mt. Rushmore. He spent his last month at the Home Park Assisted Living Center, where he received wonderful care and found new friends to share his stories and jokes.
Vern and Dannette were able to see Dale on the day before he passed. He had a couple of beers at the Lost Cabin Bar and a French Dip sandwich at the Wagon Wheel Cafe. He died peacefully in his sleep that evening only a few months short of his 89th birthday. If one’s life can be judged by the friendships made; Dale had a truly blessed and full life.
Dale is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Vernon Dale Barkell and Dannette Evans Barkell, his grandson, Clark Barkell, and Clark’s wife Ruth Barkell, grandaughters Lauren Barkell and Leah Barkell. He and Betty considered Inez Keith as one of their own. Margie Barkell (Hal) Powers is his remaining sibling.
He is preceded in death by brothers and sisters Lucille (Earl) Faller, Tom (Gloria) Barkell, Keith (Jeanette) Barkell, Andrea (Andy) Sivumaki, Dick (Margie) Barkell, and Jim (Kathy) Barkell. He left many nieces and nephews. He was particularly close to Vern’s childhood friends, Tad and Marilyn Harkins Dale.
Donations may be made to Twin Bridges School District Activity Fund (marked in honor of Dale and Betty Barkell) or a charity of choice.
A memorial service will be held Wed., July 18, 2012, 11:30 a.m., at The Church of the Valley United Methodist Church with reception to follow. There will be a private family internment.
Express condolences at www.mtstandard.com/obits.