Dale Moline, 85, of Williston, North Dakota, known as “Moe” in the Williston Basin Oil Patch, passed away Wednesday morning, January 3, 2018 at CHI St. Alexius Health Williston Medical Center.
Dale Andrew Moline was the only child born on November 18th 1932 to Oliver Andrew Moline and Laura Gerard Moline. He was raised on the family farm in Tyrone Township approximately ten miles north of Williston. His early days were filled with hunting, fishing, and catching snapping turtles in Cow Creek. He rode horse at an early age due to his mother’s love of horses. He attended the “Y” school and continued his education at Central School in Williston, ND. Time was spent farming, haying, and threshing with his many Moline uncles and cousins, skating on the Little Muddy, dancing at area dance halls, and playing third base on Homer Orth’s “9 Mile” Baseball Team. Under his father’s guidance, Dale learned auto mechanics, welding, and fabricating. As a young man Dale was equipped with enough skill to succeed on the farm when his father died at a young age. In the years after his father’s death, Dale worked for various farmers in Tyrone Township and took over the farm operation. He raised small grain crops and cattle. In 1957 he met his future wife, Arlyss Eleanor Johnson, a spunky gal from the Red River Valley. She was working at the Williams County ASCS office when he met her. He soon asked her to go for a ride in his sporty black “55” Chevy coupe. They were married on September 28th, 1957 at Center Lutheran Church in McVille, ND. They made their home on the family farm in Tyrone Township north of Williston. Many happy times were spent there with their two daughters, Dorothy and Karen. They have heartwarming memories of farming, haying, calving, gardening, butchering chickens, riding the Honda 50, snowmobiling, dancing, skating, and traveling in the motorhome to the girls’ athletic events.
Dale served eleven years in the North Dakota National Guard. In 1961 his National Guard Battalion was activated during the Berlin Crisis. He was deployed to Fort Riley, Kansas. He served his country state side and was honorably discharged as Platoon Sergeant First Class, Company C, 164th Engineering Battalion.
In 1955 he went to work for National Tank Company building 400 barrel oil storage tanks. National Tank was eventually bought out by Combustion Engineers and Dale received a promotion. He began to learn the production end of the oil business. His mechanical abilities were again put to good use as he mastered other oilfield equipment including, treaters and repairing Invalco monitors. Treaters became his specialty and he was credited with designing a treater prototype that he presented to a group of engineers in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His design was put into production and the concept is still used today.
In 1985 Dale was offered an early retirement package from CE Natco. He closed that chapter of his life and immediately opened another. His oilfield days were not over! He went into business for himself and started MOES, known as Moline Oilfield Equipment Service. He continued to work as a consultant to assist companies with oil production in an effort to make their oil sellable.
During the 1991 Energy Festival, Dale was recognized and honored with the “Key to the Williston Basin Oilfield”. In 2002 he hung up his hardhat after 47 years in the oil patch, and stepped into retirement extremely grateful that no one was seriously hurt or injured under his leadership or supervision.
He continued with his small farming and cattle operation. He also now had time to pursue a hobby of classic car restoration. He overhauled engines, welded floorboards, sanded rusty spots and he prepped the car bodies for paint. His collection of classic cars grew and grew. He was an active member of the Vintage and Classic Car Club and the Studebaker Club. He and Arlyss enjoyed driving their cars and traveling to many car shows in the surrounding communities. They took many vacations. They enjoyed camping in Sunlight Basin with their grandchildren. They attended many polka fests around the tri-state area and they never missed a dance.
Dale was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and a member of Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church. He was also a member of the American Legion and the Moose Lodge. He was a gifted storyteller with a great sense of humor. Many treasured times were spent gathered around the dinner table listening to his stories. He was a great example and mentor to his children and grandchildren, offering practical advice filled with “Grandpa Dale” wisdom. He listened intently. His gentle, kind service to others, the twinkle in his eye, his perceptive smirk, a cap cocked slightly to the right, and his proclamation that he did not walk this life alone are legacies that his family will treasure forever. God bless the memory of our special husband, dad, and grandpa.
Surviving Dale are his wife of 60 years, Arlyss; daughters, Dorothy (Lyle) Kuester and Karen (Brad) Samuels; grandchildren, Andrew (Emma) Kuester, Evan Kuester, Megan (Matthew) Torske, and Allison (James) Peters; great-grandchild, Hallie Torske; sisters-in-law, Marilyn Messner and LaVerne (Lewis) Ringdahl and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Preceding Dale in death were his parents, Ollie and Laura Moline; grandson, Nicholas Ethan Samuels; brother-in-law, Don Messner; and father and mother-in-law, Francis and Clara Johnson.