Full circle: Dale Young’s retirement home once was home to his family
When Dale Young walks on the grounds of Prestige Living at Colonial Vista, he is stepping on familiar and familial territory. Dale and his parents, Earl and Ella Young, once lived in a house on part of the Colonial Vista property where the stone steps that led to their house remain intact.
Dale is as young as his name at the age of 92. His mind is sharp, his memories are clear and he has cultivated a lifelong habit of being curious about the people and the world around him. It was a pleasure to spend some time chatting with Dale as he shared stories of growing up in the valley, joining the U.S. Marine Corps (of which he is exceedingly proud) and sharing photographs and newspaper clippings that reveal important moments of his life. He lives independently at the retirement facility and has a number of close friends.
Dale’s father, Earl, moved to Malaga in 1898 along with his brother. Earl often made the pages of what was then the Wenatchee Daily World. In 1963, writer Lona Courtney (who was later to become my father’s secretary), wrote a story, highlighting Earl’s exploits with a rifle. At the ripe age of 85, Earl won a spot on a team competing for the Inland Empire Rifle and Pistol Assn. Dale followed in his father’s footsteps in learning to shoot and compete and helped his father coach a local shooting team for youngsters.
Dale was born in Wenatchee to Earl and Ella (Gillespie) Young, and lived his early years in Malaga where to this day he remains deeply connected to the history of that community. The family moved to Wenatchee in the early 1940s.
In 1947, when Dale was about 16 years old, they purchased a home at 633 Okanogan Ave., which is the present-day site of the Colonial Vista campus, a retirement facility developed by the late Carl Campbell.
After high school, Dale was drafted and served in the Marine Corps. His sweetheart was not to be left behind, so he and Rose Noon were married and traveled together through his stations in Jacksonville FL, Memphis TN, and Santa Ana CA. Their first child, Connie, was born while they were stationed in California. For a three-day hospital stay, he remembers getting a bill for $5.25.
After Dale completed his time in the Marines they returned to Wenatchee where two more children, Don and Diane, were added to their family. Dale worked for Ernie Elder at Elder Auto Parts where he eventually worked his way up to being the store manager. For fifteen years they lived just four blocks from Dale’s parent’s Okanogan Street home. “I remember riding bikes with my brother and sister to see my grandma and grandpa at that very location,” said Dale’s daughter, Connie Fisher, who lives in Spokane.
When Ernie Elder retired, he sold the Wenatchee NAPA store along with several other stores in nearby towns. Dale and Rose bought the store in Chelan and operated that business until they retired. They moved back to Wenatchee and enjoyed traveling throughout the west in their RV and spending numerous winters in Yuma, AZ. Even today Dale can recite the highway number of nearly every road they traveled on! Rose passed away in 2019 and Dale’s traveling adventures have slowed down.
These days, Dale stays closely connected with his two surviving daughters, Connie, and Diane Polson of Waterville, and has built many friendships at Colonial Vista.
Dale finally sold his car a few months ago and is now dependent upon others for transportation. But he has family and his many friends to keep his lively mind and curious soul busy. And he can still walk to the stone steps of a house he lived in as a teenager.
For Dale Young, life has come full circle.