Dale E. Pullium, 75, of Poland, passed away peacefully on Friday, August 9, 2019 with loved ones at his side. He lost his battle with cancer.
He was born in Youngstown, Ohio on October 18, 1943 to the late Paul and Esther (Double) Pullium and was raised in Struthers.
Dale "Dink" graduated from Struthers High School in 1961 and joined the Air Force. He served from 1962 to 1966. After basic training and flight maintenance school, he was assigned to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia to the Ranch Hand unit and was deployed to Vietnam in 1963. The mission of Operation Ranch Hand was to spray the herbicide Agent Orange in the forests and deltas to remove dense vegetation and attack enemy strongholds. He was a crew member on a C123K nicknamed "Patches" and flew over 20 combat missions and several humanitarian missions. He later was chosen to participate in a 20-year Air Force Health Study (also referred to as the Ranch Hand Study) to assess adverse health effects that could be related to Agent Orange exposure.
He attended Kent State University and taught at Alliance High School Vocational School as an Auto Shop instructor, a job he truly loved. Among other places, he worked at Barrett Cadillac and Sweeney Buick GMC. Dale was member of Amvets Post 44 and VFW Post 3538.
Dale and his wife belonged to the Classic Cruisers Car Club and spent many years showing the 1972 Monte Carlo he restored. Dale was an avid NASCAR fan and in his younger days could be seen drag racing at Sharon Speedway. He enjoyed the many years spent tailgating and attending YSU football games. He loved repairing cars, working in his garage and was an all around Mr. Fix It. He spent summers outdoors with his garden, flowers and beautiful lawn. His quick wit and trivia knowledge will be missed.
Dale looked forward to yearly family vacations at Geneva-on-the-Lake and yearly Ranch Hand Reunions at Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He especially enjoyed the reunions in Dayton, Ohio with their plane, "Patches" (patched up from shrapnel holes from ground fire), on display at the National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB.
Everybody means the world to someone. Dale meant the world to his grandchildren and they meant the world to him. His favorite role was "Grandpa" and he took great pride in their school, band and sports activities. He was their favorite chauffeur and biggest fan.
He will be deeply missed by his wife of 47 years, Christine (Szpiech) Pullium; daughter, Carri Pullium; and cherished grandchildren, Celina and Caden Dennis. He is also survived by his brother, Paul and sister-in-law, Lorraine of New Castle; sister-in-law, Judy Szpiech; and seven nephews, one niece and their beautiful families.
Besides his parents and father and mother-In-law, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Christy and brother, Cecil.
Friends and family will be received Tuesday, August 13 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Davidson-Becker Funeral Home in Struthers.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, August 14 at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Family Church in Poland with Msgr. William Connell officiating. Entombment will be at Lake Park Cemetery where Dale will be honored for his military service.
Thank you to our family and life long friends for their support and visits and to the Cleveland Clinic, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Greenbriar Healthcare for their compassionate care. A heartfelt thank you to Heritage Manor for their outstanding staff, nurses and aides, you became our second family. Thank you also to the Youngstown Veterans Association. A special thank you to Moses Murphy, Veterans Service Commission, for helping Dale obtain his service medals earned, but not received until recently; Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross.
Dale was very patriotic and loved his country. He was always proud to be a Ranch Hand and proud to be an Air Force veteran. In lieu of flowers, if you wish, you can donate to a veterans organization of your choice.