Friend on community champion's death: 'He was not afraid to die'

Friend on community champion's death: 'He was not afraid to die' »Play Video

YAKIMA, Wash.-- Yakima lost a longtime community champion. Dale Carpenter died after a long fight with brain tumors. He never seemed to run out of time or energy for so many local causes. Natalie Eucce joins us in the studio after speaking with his family and friends today.

It seems Dale Carpenter's volunteer work was never shy of exceeding everyone's expectations. Whether it be raising the most money or donating the most time, friends and fellow volunteers tell me Dale was always on top. We lost a tireless advocate of our community on Friday.

"He was just a tireless guy," Carpenter's friend Pete Bansmer said. "He encouraged everybody he was around. His enthusiasm was infectious."

"He was special not just to me, he was special to our community," Fellow Camp PrimeTime volunteer Ralph Berthon said. 

Dale Carpenter never forgot the times his family was helped by food banks and the Salvation Army.

"He thought he was giving back to the people that helped him out as a child," Bansmer said. 

Dale was an Army veteran who moved to Yakima in the late 70's. He quickly made it his mission to serve.

"He gave himself unselfishly in everything he did," Berthon said.

KIMA heard the word "unselfish" time and again while asking people to describe Dale. One of his hallmark fundraisers was Yakima's Tin Cup. Dale would sleep outside overnight in the winter to raise money, food, clothes, and toys for those in need.

"He says 'isn't it great, it's going to be horribly cold,'" Bansmer told KIMA. "And I thought 'what do you mean great?' and he says, 'the colder it is the more money I'll raise.'"

Dale wasn't able to continue this ritual after learning he had brain tumors. It was a four year battle but Dale always believed he'd beat it. Pete Bansmer saw him just two weeks ago.

"Even though he was slipping quickly at that time, his mind was set on new projects," Bansmer said. 

"The biggest thing for me as an individual, I got from Dale was the grace and dignity that he met his illness with," Berthon said. "He was not afraid to die, he knew what was waiting for him on the other side so to speak and he was proud of that."

Dale also volunteered with Camp Prime Time, Feed the Five-thousand, Operation Harvest, and March of Dimes among many other things. The Seattle native made Yakima his home and with the support of his wife and family, made it his mission to always give back.