It is with much sadness that I have to report the passing of Dale Welch (1938-2018).
Many of you might have known Dale as either a VCDL Board of Directors/Executive member for many years or as an activist for open carry. Dale was a moderator and a regular contributor on the Virginia section of the Opencarry.org (OCDO) as Grapeshot. He was also at almost all the various breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that the fellowship of OCDO held in the Richmond area.
Dale was a fierce defender of liberty and I learned a lot from him over the years. And Dale was always keeping a watchful eye on VCDL to make sure we didn't run off the rails with any of the various decisions that a Board of Directors has to make on a regular basis.
Even when he was no longer on the Board, I would hear from him with ideas and guidance for VCDL. He was a strong defender and promoter of VCDL right up to the end.
Dale's strongly independent streak led to him spitting in the eye of the Grim Reaper quite a few times, with Grim backing down.
Dale was a smoker and simply refused to be cowed into submission by anyone and that included Grim. That was just not Dale's style.
In his younger days, Dale was a jail guard and, I'm told, had a booming voice. Treatment for oral cancer at some point before I knew him changed that and made it much harder for him to speak clearly. But he plowed forward undeterred. Dale 1, Grim 0.
I visited him at a Richmond hospital some years ago, while he was fighting another, but different, form of cancer. Dale shared his exploits with hospital security about smoking too near the building whenever he would sneak out to catch some, er, fresh air. Ah, I shook my head in disbelief, but that was Dale. While I would have been mortified to be lying in that hospital bed being treated for such a serious and deadly disease, he didn't seem to be phased by it. Dale 2, Grim 0.
As Grim finally scored the one and only win he ever needs to end the game, I have no idea what the final score was, but I have no doubt that Grim knew he had been up against one very tough customer.
I remember one hilarious time when we were having a Board of Directors meeting at Bruce Jackson's home and Dennis O'Connor put out Bruce's address as "1313 Mockingbird Lane."
Dale was very late getting to the meeting and frustrated that his GPS kept directing him to somewhere in South Carolina!
Dale had missed the comedic-reference trivia: 1313 Mockingbird Lane was the address of the mansion where the Munster family lived in the 1960's television comedy "The Munsters." Dennis - shame on you! ;-)
You will be missed, Dale. Rest in Peace. (However, if you want to stay in the fight, give the Brady's a good talking to about the stupidity of gun control! ;-) )
The 2019 Lobby Day session will be dedicated to Dale's memory.
SERVICE AND REMEMBRANCE INFORMATION
A service will be held on Sunday, October 28, at 3 p.m. at:
Powhatan Moose Lodge
4140 Old Buckingham Road
Powhatan, VA 23139
A celebration of Dale's life is being held on Saturday, November 17th, at 4 p.m. at:
9927 Mayland Drive
Richmond, VA 23233
(corner of Gaskins and Mayland)
VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
(VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.
VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org