Dale N. Anderson, 95, of Topeka passed away at the House at Midland Care on Sunday, January 19, 2020 surrounded by his attentive and loving family.
He was born in Atlantic, Iowa, on January 6, 1925 the son of Virt L. and Lucille (Gilbert) Anderson.
Dale was a kid of the depression of the 30’s. Money was short and discretional buying limited but he enjoyed life with friends and family. American broadcasting created an adventure in his life even as a child. Dale listened to a Cincinnati radio station on his table model radio in Atlantic. Family time included listening to the big console “Philco” radio in the living room. Dale enjoyed listening to Little Orphan Annie, Terry and the Pirates, Jack Armstrong the All-American Boy and Jimmy Allen Flying Ace. Ronald “Dutch” Regan was the Iowa University football game play-by-play commentator, which made for exciting entertainment.
School activities played a huge role in Dale’s young life. He was involved in sports, music, theater, and a variety of clubs. Like most of Dale’s buddies, there was also the after-school job. Dale had a paper route delivering the Atlantic News Telegraph after school. He was also a pressman for the paper for a number of years.
The Sunday that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor stunned the world. The following day while sitting in his school’s auditorium during an all school assembly, Dale listened to President Roosevelt’s radio broadcast declaring war against Japan. Dale was a high school sophomore.
Following his graduation from Atlantic High in May 1943, Dale joined the United States Army Air Corps. He served until 1946 as a cryptographer specialist with the 316th Troop Carrier Squadron. Dale’s squadron served in the South Pacific Theater and he returned from Okinawa in March of 1946.
Dale had attended an army specialized training program at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. That experience reinforced Dale’s appreciation and interest in the role of radio, newsreel and newspaper in covering World War ll.
In September 1946, Dale entered the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He majored in communication and speech graduating in 1950. The commencement speaker was Dr. Norman Cousins. Dale completed his Master’s Degree in June 1952. During his time at UNL he was a lab instructor and also an intern at KOIL, the then radio affiliate of ABC in Omaha. He was a staffer at KSIB in Creston, Iowa as well. In addition, Dale was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity where he served as Magister. He was also one of three drum majors at University of Nebraska.
Dale met and married a lovely intelligent coed from Minnesota, Evelyn Court. They met when Evelyn was in a class taught by Dale. Yes, she got an A. Both Dale and Evelyn remained loyal Cornhusker fans for their entire lives.
The newlyweds moved to San Francisco College (now University) in 1952. During Dale’s time in San Francisco he was introduced to the concept of “public” television. They were not long in San Francisco though. The couple moved to Lansing, Michigan where Dale taught and completed his doctorate at Michigan State University. While at MSU, Dale and Evelyn were the resident senior advisors to the students living at Brian Hall. Dale completed his course work in 1957.
They returned to California where Dale joined the faculty of Humboldt State College (now University) where he and others established the first FCC licensed educational FM radio station, KHSC, in the California State College system. A highlight of Humboldt for Dale was when, as Chair of the Lecture/Concert Series he had a two hour one-on-one conversation with Ron (Dutch) Reagan who visited the campus to speak on behalf of Barry Goldwater.
In September 1967, Dale became the General Manager of KTWU TV at Washburn University in Topeka and also held the academic rank of professor. Public broadcasting was in its infancy as was KTWU TV. The station broadcasted in black and white. Its broadcasting was sporadic and concentrated on providing educational programs to the public schools such as Spanish language courses. At that time there was no Corporate Public Broadcasting, no PBS, no NPR, and no electronic interconnection between similar stations throughout America and there was no Sesame Street.
Dale was proud to be affiliated with KTWU and Washburn University. He marveled at how blessed he was to assemble the wonderful dedicated staff that he worked with. Together they advanced KTWU from infancy to an “electronic library”. There was little money, limited technical facilities, but they had an audience starving for challenging programming. There was no place to go “but up”.
In addition to being the General Manager of KTWU, for six of those years Dale simultaneously served as the first Chairperson of the Mass Media Department. The Department was established in 1971.
During Dale’s tenure KTWU became satellite interconnected with PBS as did all of the other educational/public television stations. KTWU became a 24-hour station, diversified program offerings were added, local programs were included, college courses for credit through WU, music and dramatic specials, WU sporting events, state legislative programs and the station’s benchmark series, “Sunflower Journey’s” was created by the then program director. KTWU also became color compatible and participated in the development of closed captioning transmission.
Dale retired in July of 1998. He was an avid reader, writer, and a news junkie of sorts. Dale continued to read four newspapers weekly if not daily until most recently. He loved the game of golf, Dale and Evelyn hosted ten family golf tournaments over the years. He enjoyed traveling by car or by train. Revisiting his beloved Atlantic, Iowa remained at the top of his list.
Dale loved his family and his friends. He enjoyed informal and formal gatherings. Wherever people were Dale wanted to be. He loved connections and coincidental strands of commonality. He had a precise memory for names, dates, and locations. Dale was a storyteller and a history buff. He was known to bet on college football games with friends and family.
Dale was a long-time member of Topeka’s First United Methodist Church. He belonged to the Topeka Chapter of the University of Nebraska Alumni Association, the Washburn Alumni Association and the Gourmet Club. Dale was a long-time member of the Saturday Night Literary Club, the Topeka Rotary Club and the Shawnee County Historical Society. He led the Society’s capital campaign which raised over a million dollars for the preservation and interpretation of the historic Ritchie House.
Dale married Evelyn (Court) Anderson on September 9, 1950 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The couple celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary in 2018. Evelyn predeceased Dale on September 10, 2018. Dale attributed their long marriage to love, mutual respect, love of life, family, dear friendships, laughter and separate checking accounts.
Dale was very proud of his grandchildren: Stacey Hicks Nyp (Nick) of Topeka, Brian Holloway (Kelli) of Olathe, Joel Hicks (Kiley) of Hesston, Matthew Holloway (Cay Leytham-Powell) Broomfield, CO, great grandchildren London, Reece, and Andrew Holloway, Maryn and Henry Nyp, and his Danish Foreign Exchange “granddaughter”, Ellen Kellmann Fisker.
Dale’s surviving loved ones include daughters Kyle (John) Hicks of Silver Lake, Kathrine (Ron) Holloway and Karen Anderson of Topeka, brother in law Frank (Ann) Court of New Bern, NC.
Dale will lie in state at Brennan Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Street, on Sunday, January 26. The family will greet friends from 3:00 until 6:00 pm.
Funeral services will be held at First United Methodist Church, Klasse Chapel, 600 SW Topeka Blvd, on Monday, January 27, at 11:00 am. Cremation will follow with a private family inurnment to be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the-
“Dale Anderson/KTWU Internship Fund” c/o Washburn University Foundation, 1729 SW MacVicar Ave, Topeka, KS 66604,
OR Shawnee County Historical Society’s Historic Ritchie House, PO Box 2201, Topeka, KS 66601,
OR Midland Care Hospice House, 200 SW Frazier Circle, Topeka, KS 66606