Dale Clayton Cockerill of Ahwatukee, Arizona, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on April 21, 2019, at the age of 84. Dale is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Sharron Cockerill, his three daughters, Kimberly Parham of Ahwatukee, Arizona, Kris Foster of Acworth, Georgia, Karen Russell and son in law AJ Russell, of Winchester, Massachusetts. He leaves nine grandchildren, Carrie Hasson, Sera Fina, Sally Pitman, Megan Foster, Jennie Foster, Andrew Vencalek, Kayla Russell, Jake Russell, Chloe Russell, eight great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his sister, Joan Miesinger. Dale was born to parents Clayton and Miriam Cockerill on April 29, 1934, in Omaha, Nebraska. Dale worked throughout high school at his dad's filling station. He graduated from Central High School in 1951 at the age of 17. Dale attended the University of Omaha from 1951-1955 where he received a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. He enrolled in the Air Force ROTC and was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Upon graduation he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force.
Dale met Sharron in 1953 at a JV football game between North High School and Tech High. It was love at first sight. They didn't meet again until seven months later at a drive through. Dale proposed to Sharron at Memorial Park in Omaha in March 1956. They married a month later before Dale had to report to duty in San Antonio, Texas. Sharron was the love of his life and they enjoyed over 63 years together. Dale shared that the secret to their successful marriage was "Love, Trust, Respect, Best Friends, and Longevity. Dale's career as a pilot in the Air Force took them to many locations across the US. They welcomed their first daughter, Kim, in 1957 during an assignment in Greenville, Mississippi. Dale's last assignment as a fighter pilot was at Halloman Air Force Base where he made many life long friends. He separated from the Air Force as a Lieutenant in May 1959. He drove overnight to Omaha to witness the birth of his second child, Kris, on April 30, 1959. Dale's career and family took him to Denver and Phoenix where he began his sales career. They welcomed their third daughter, Karen, in 1966 at the Scottsdale Hospital. His success in sales led to his career as a Real Estate broker. He began by owning his own residential company, Gateway Realty, In Hastings, Nebraska. He transitioned into commercial real estate in 1979, which led to a successful career across multiple states before retiring. Dale was a lifelong Nebraska football fan and continued this passion throughout his life. He was deeply religious and practiced God's teachings. He always believed in forgiveness and second chances. His faith guided his life and brought him peace as he battled his critical health issues. Dale's love and guidance for his family was unparalleled and all those that knew him adored him. He never met a stranger and was kind and warm to all that crossed his path. He always had a positive attitude, amazing sense of humor, and celebrated family, faith, and nature. Dale will be greatly missed by all those fortunate to know him. He has left a lasting legacy of faith, love and hope. A Celebration of Dale's life will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 2:00 pm, with a viewing one hour prior, at Mountain View Lutheran Church, 11002 South 48th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85044. Interment will take place at Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery, Omaha, Nebraska. Richardson Funeral Home, Tempe, Arizona is compassionately serving the family.