Cover photo for Dale L. Arnold's Obituary
1934 Dale Arnold 2023

Dale L. Arnold

June 30, 1934 — July 6, 2023

Niles, Michigan


Dale L. Arnold, age 89 years of Niles, Michigan; husband, dad, Poppa, brother, honorable Veteran, retired firefighter, and fan of the University of Notre Dame died peacefully at 1:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 6, 2023 with his family gathered around at his home following an extended illness.  His family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care of the hospice staff.

He was born on June 30, 1934 in Niles to Oswald O. and Elva L. (Knapp) Arnold and has lived in Niles all of his life.  He was graduated with the Niles High School Class of 1952, and was a member of the basketball team, playing all the way to State Runner-up in 1952.  He was inducted into the United States Army in 1957, served a tour of duty during peacetime attaining the rank of Specialist Fourth Class, and completed his reserve obligation in 1963 with an Honorable Discharge.  He returned to Niles and was hired by the Niles City Fire Department where he served as a firefighter for his entire career, until fully retired.

Dale was a member of the Church of Christ on Huron Street, a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Niles Lodge #1322, and a member of the Niles Fire Local 2317 of the International Association of Fire Fighters.  He enjoyed taking his turn as fire house cook, and became quite proficient at preparing large portions of good-tasting dishes including a special spaghetti recipe, scalloped potatoes, and apple pie which his family also enjoyed at home.

He continued his athletic activities after high school, pitching in the fast-pitch softball league at Plym Park, coaching his son’s grade-school basketball team, and then coaching at both FOP and Babe Ruth baseball.  He enjoyed playing golf, usually on Tuesdays, and all winter in Florida.  When not playing, he liked to watch – on television or in-person – Detroit Tigers baseball, and football and men’s basketball at the University of Notre Dame.

He and his wife enjoyed traveling throughout the United States, and spending winters in Florida.

On April 16, 1957 at the Church of Christ in Niles he married the former Freida Gwin Price with whom he celebrated a few months ago the remarkable Sixty-sixth Anniversary of their wedding.  They were sadly preceded in death by their son, Jason Dale Arnold on January 28, 2010; and by Dale’s brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Norma Arnold, and by another sister-in-law, Mary Arnold.

Surviving family includes his wife, Freida Arnold and their daughter, Lori Vandagriff of Searcy, Arkansas; daughter-in-law, Karen Arnold of Niles; grandchildren Dylan Arnold, Alexis Arnold, Sarah Vandagriff, and Staci Vandagriff; and Dale’s siblings, Dolores (& Marion) Fuller, Duane (& Karen) Arnold, and Norman Arnold, all of Niles, and several nieces and nephews.

The family of Dale Arnold will gather privately on Monday, July 10, 2023 in the Committal Chapel of Mission Hills Memorial Gardens, 61453 M-51 outside of Niles for services led by Payton Hoskins, pastor of the Church of Christ, and David Thompson, retired of the Church of Christ, and Micah Brinkley, Director of Children’s Homes, Inc.  Also participating will be an Honor Guard of the Niles City Fire Department, and the Veteran’s Flag Presentation and “Taps” by the United States Army Honor Guard.

The services will be available online on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page at .

Contributions in memory of Dale may be made to the Church of Christ, 1515 Huron Street, Niles, Michigan, 49120,; or to the Children’s Homes, Inc., 5515 Walcott Road, Paragould, Arkansas, 72450,   Arrangements were completed at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles.  Online memories may be left at:

Dale’s life exceeded the Biblical ‘threescore and ten, or if by reason of strength, fourscore’, and he used those years well: encouraging the strength of youth, and staying strong himself; serving and protecting through military service and firefighting; serving his fellow firefighters and his family in the kitchen; all testimony to fulfilling the command to Love God and love people.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dale L. Arnold, please visit our flower store.


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