Douglas S. Dales, Jr., formerly of Schenectady, New York, died on February 1, 2019, at his home on Amelia Island, Florida, a few weeks after losing his wife of sixty years.
Born to Douglas S. Dales, Sr., and Thelma Culver Dales on January 15, 1934, Doug attended public schools in Schenectady and Rutherford, New Jersey, before matriculating at the University of Michigan. His academic career was briefly interrupted by military service during the Korean War, where he served as a mechanic with the United States Army, Second Armored Division, working on tanks and armored personnel carriers. Private First Class Dales was honorably discharged and returned to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration (1960) and, later, a Bachelor of Laws (1962). He was a die-hard Wolverine Fan to the end, drawing his last breath accoutered in Maize and Blue.
While at Michigan, Doug met the former RaeDene Ruth Bauer, a nursing student at the time. It was hard to resist Doug’s wit, kindness and his piercing blue eyes and the couple was married in 1958 in Alexandria Bay, New York. Following graduation, Doug was appointed as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York, working in the civil division under Louis J. Lefkowitz and Ruth Kessler Toch. His capable representation on behalf of New York State landed his name in scores of reported, and countless unreported, decisions of state and federal courts. After earning a reputation as a worthy and honorable litigator among the bench and bar, he joined the counsel’s office of the State University of New York where he concluded his career in the law advising university presidents within the SUNY system, principally with respect to hospital administration.
Doug was passionate about his family, about the outdoors, and about dogs. He and his family shared fond memories of camping trips on Raquette Lake, with treks to Silver Beach, South Inlet, Buttermilk Falls, Inlet, the Raquette Lake General Store, and the abandoned Marion River Railway. His sons cherished, and his wife tolerated, the annual rainy fortnight in the Adirondack Mountains, where he could see patches of blue sky and rays of sunshine when no one else could. He instilled in his sons an unshakable love of nature and the outdoors and dogs.
Later in life, the mighty St. Lawrence River and its Thousand Islands lured him into retirement. He and RaeDene spent perhaps their happiest hours puttering around the cottage on Dingman Point, sitting on the dock in the morning with coffee, or watching a late afternoon thunderstorm come across the river from Gananoque, Ontario, to illuminate Boldt Castle.
Even at the very end of his life, nothing lit him up like a dog, even the small breeds too commonly underfoot in the Sunshine State. Cupid, Schatzi, Mutlee, Isabel and Baby Kracken all brought him unmitigated joy throughout his life. Doug is survived by his three sons, Doug of Schenectady, NY; Ward (Jorge Baldizón) Dales of North Greenbush, NY; Scott (Joanna) Dales of Kalamazoo, MI. He also leaves behind six grandchildren, Aaron (New York, NY), Sean (Clifton Park, NY) and Jordan Dales (Rexford, NY); Charlie, Jack and Will Dales of Kalamazoo, MI.
Doug’s family gratefully acknowledges the friendship of his faithful caregiver, Trenton Hodges, and the loving, gracious, and professional staff at The Retreat at Osprey Village.
In lieu of flowers, friends may consider making a memorial contribution to the Save the River organization of the 1,000 Islands, or the Albany (NY) High School Theatre Ensemble.
The family will privately celebrate the lives of Doug and RaeDene this summer on the banks of the Saint Lawrence.