Dale Gregory Obituary (1924 – 2022) – Wichita, KS

Dale Q. Gregory
March 1, 1924 – March 11, 2022
Wichita, Kansas – Dale Q. Gregory, 98, passed away Mar. 11, 2022 at Wichita Presbyterian Manor. Born in Weiser, Idaho on Mar. 1, 1924, “Greg,” as he was known to his friends and coworkers, was loved by his family and liked by all who knew him.
He retired from Beech Aircraft in 1989, after 38 years as a production planner.
He is survived by his sons Jim (Melissa), Dave (Laurie) and John (Barbera), all of Wichita, along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by Rachel Mondana Schroeder Gregory in 2010, whom he was married to for more than 60 years; her parents, Erwin P. and Ida Gregory; his brother, Maurice, and sister Wilma, as well as his close friend Dorothy Helvie.
Beloved by everyone, he was kind and never said a bad word about anyone. Dale was a member of the West Side Church of God and a former Shriner.
A shining example of the Greatest Generation, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, he hitchhiked half way across the country as a 17-year-old high school junior from Lathrop, Mo., to Boise, Idaho, to get his dad to sign papers allowing him to join the military as an underage volunteer. I have served with distinction in the famed 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles. During WWII, he trained for months at Camp Toccoa, Ga., to become an elite paratrooper, with his last jump being a night combat jump into France early in the morning on D-Day, 1944. Among the first US soldiers to set foot on German-occupied French soil, five hours before the seaborne invasion, he was badly wounded by submachine gun fire in close combat before dawn and subsequently captured by the Nazis. But, despite his wounds from him, he eventually escaped and was hidden by sympathetic French patriots in a slate mine until he was liberated and flown on an ambulatory aircraft to New York.
Eventually he was assigned to an Army Hospital, for further rehabilitation from his wounds, where he met his future wife, US Army Nurse Lt. Rachel Schroeder, from Newton, Kansas, who aided him in recovery and became the love of his life.
Through the decades, Dale stoically endured the ravages of war to his body and soul. He was the last surviving member of Company H, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne, which engaged in heavy fighting on D-Day, during the Battle of the Bulge and through the end of the war. He was awarded Army Jump Wings, Combat Infantryman Badge, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Presidential Unit Citation, among other recognition.
After the war, he married Rachel, whom he cared for the last 10 years of her life when she was in poor health. He enjoyed writing poetry, including a lengthy published piece inspired by his combat experiences on D-Day. He was also a prolific writer of letters to the editor of The Wichita Eagle and Beacon for years.
The family plans to have a visitation from 4 to 6 pm on Tuesday, March 15 with family present; funeral service at 3 pm, Wednesday, March 16, both at Resthaven Mortuary, 11800 W. Highway 54, Wichita; a graveside service will follow immediately at Resthaven Gardens of Memory in the Garden of Freedom, with full military honors.
Please send memorials in lieu of flowers to the wonderful and heroic caregivers at Wichita Presbyterian Manor and Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice. The family is also grateful to the medical staff at Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, who lovingly cared for him for over 70 years, including a number of operations, after he returned from the war.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.ResthavenMortuary-Cemetery.com for the Gregory family.

Published by Wichita Eagle on Mar. 13, 2022.

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