William Dale Walls, died April 28, 2020 in Dearborn, Michigan, at the age of 92, from complications of Covid-19.
Born in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia on August 25, 1927 he was the only child of Gilbert and Cora (Darby) Walls. The Walls moved to Kingwood in the mid 1930’s where he attended Kingwood High School. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1944, serving on the USS Wharton transporting troops between the US and the Pacific theater. Subsequently he attended California University of Pennsylvania where he received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Arts, in 1949.
He and his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Lawler, eloped on April 30, 1949, while she was attending Nursing School in Baltimore, Maryland. When they both graduated, they returned to Kingwood, where he taught Industrial Arts at Kingwood High School.
The Walls left Kingwood in November 1956 along with their son, Wayne, then 4, and daughter Wanda, then 2, for Bangkok Thailand. Through USAID and the Ministry of Education in Thailand, he was instrumental in the development and expansion of Vocational Technical Schools throughout the country, serving as the Industrial Arts Advisor and as Campus Staff Coordinator for Wayne State University. This was one of the most memorable experiences of their lives, developing friendships that lasted a lifetime. Upon their return, three years later, the Walls family moved to Michigan where Dale was invited to join the faculty of Wayne State University, where he completed his Doctorate of Education.
A life-long educator, he held many positions at Wayne State including Associate Provost, Dean of Mortuary Science, Associate Dean of the School of Pharmacy, and early in his career, a tenured faculty member in the Industrial Arts Department.
Dale was an active member of First United Methodist Church of Dearborn, Michigan, serving as an usher for many years and was instrumental in creating its Memorial Garden. He was an accomplished photographer and enjoyed woodworking until his eye-sight diminished due to macular degeneration.
Family was ultimately important in his life. He and Dorothy lived on Syracuse Court in Dearborn for over 50 years. He died two days short of their 71st wedding anniversary. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, his son, Wayne and wife, Mary Schaffer, of Woodland Hills, California and his daughter, Wanda and her husband Jim Cohen of Durham, North Carolina.
He will be buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Kingwood, West Virginia at a later date. Arrangements are being completed by Howe Peterson Funeral Home, 22546 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI 48124 and Browning Funeral Home, 201 E Main St, Kingwood, WV 26537.
Dale and Dorothy created a scholarship fund for Preston County West Virginia High School graduates. Donations can be made through the United Methodist Foundation and mailed to P. O. Box 3811, Charleston, WV 25338. Checks should be payable to the United Methodist Foundation. The memo line should list "Walls" or "Dale Walls" to make sure it gets credited to the correct account.
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