Dale E. Backs

Funeral services for Dale E. “Sonny" Backs, 60, Lawrence, KS will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 30, 2011 at the First Christian Church in Lawrence, KS.  Burial will be in the Glenwood Cemetery in Shelbyville, IL, at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 3, 2011.  He died on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at his home of pancreatic cancer.

Dale was born on August 14, 1950 in Louisville, IL, the son of Harry D. & Edna Summers Backs.  He moved to Lawrence from Decatur, IL in 1994.

He was currently employed as the General Manager of Crown Toyota in Lawrence.  He began his career in the automotive industry in 1974 at Fehrenbacher Chevrolet in Decatur, IL.  He started in the parts department and was promoted to parts manager, service director, used car manager and then the general manager of the Crown Oldsmobile-Toyota dealership, also in Decatur.  He has been associated with Miles Schnaer, the owner of dealerships in both Decatur and Lawrence since January 1979.

He was a member of the First Christian Church in Lawrence, where he served on the Trustee Board, as an usher, and as Chairman of the Personnel Affairs Committee.  He was also a member of the Kansas Auto Dealers Association (KADA) and the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA).  He was the recipient of several Presidential Awards by Toyota Auto Sales International.

Dale was married to Del (Jones) Shelton on October 18, 1986 in Decatur, IL.  She survives of the home.

Other survivors include  a daughter, Crystal (husband, Mike) Foreman, of Strasburg, IL, a son, Christopher (wife, Rebecca) Backs, of Los Angeles, CA, a step-daughter, Shari (husband, Eddie) Ermicida, of Pismo Beach, CA, a step-son, Patrick Shelton, of Santa Maria, CA, his mother, Edna Backs, of Louisville, IL, two sisters, Pam (husband, Alan) Huff, of Flora, IL, Annette (husband, Bill) Garrity, Clementine, NJ and six grandchildren.

The family will receive friends at the church following the service.  He will lie in state from noon – 9p.m. Friday at the Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. The casket will remain closed.

The family suggests memorials in his name to Lawrence Memorial Hospital (LMH) Oncology Department through the LMH Endowment Association, the First Christian Church, or to the Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care and may be sent in care of the mortuary.

29 Condolences

  1. Chuck and Marsha McPheeters on April 28, 2011 at 9:59 am

    To Del and family.
    Our prayers for your peace and comfort are offered.
    Chuck and Marsha

  2. Barb Copple on April 28, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Dale was a great man and will be cherished in our hearts forever. May you feel God’s love and comforting strength surrounding you and your family at this time. Barb Copple

  3. Steve, Genee and Oreana Figuieras on April 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    May God continue to comfort Del and the rest of the family. Our prayers go out to Dale may he rest in peace with our Father.

  4. Ron and Jane Garvin on April 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Del and family, Words do not suffice but please know you are surrounded by love – both heavenly and earthly. Our prayers for your comfort and peace are continually being lifted up. Dale will be missed terribly – he was one wonderful guy! In Him, Ron and Jane

  5. Tammy Wilson on April 28, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Del, I am so sorry. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Ryan Lieurance on April 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Dale was a great man to work with and a true gentleman to be around. One of the few people I have met that could speak volumes without saying a word. He has a left a great name for his family carry on. Take care and god bless.

  7. Brenda Roberts on April 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I have never worked with anyone like Dale. Anyone that knows Dale knows exactly what I mean. Was always so kind even to those who were not so kind. Was such a genuine person. I will miss him greatly. Del and family know that you are now and will always be in my thoughts and prayers. Brenda

  8. Dennis Renton on April 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    On behalf of Volkswagen of America, we would like to express our condolences to the entire Backs family.

  9. Charity Hasty on April 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Uncle Sonny, you will definitely be missed. You were the most awesome uncle anyone could wish for. I remember all those toys that you got us that annoyed mom. You were like a father to me in many ways. I will remember how proud you were when you walked me down the aisle and the smile on your face.

    Del, you will always be in my prayers and thoughts. You will always be family to me.

  10. Janet Blevins on April 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Dale was a wonderful, kind person and will be sorely missed. I was previledged to be on the FCC Leadership Board with Dale. My our Lord comfort those left behind. My
    deepest sympathy!!
    Janet Blevins

  11. Bob and Lorene Powell on April 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Dale will be missed by so many. Our prayers will continue for Del and family.
    Bob and Lorene

  12. Lori Blaylock on April 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    To Del,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Sincerely, Lori

  13. Barbara Walters on April 29, 2011 at 8:10 am

    To Del and Family. May your abiding faith in our Heavenly Father sustain you in this time of loss.
    Barbara Walters

  14. Bob Wright on April 29, 2011 at 9:52 am

    If you had the opportunity to work beside him you would know what I know. He was more than a boss…he was a mentor, a teacher, a friend. The world lost a great one on Wednesday. My prayers are with his family. God bless.

  15. Del Backs on April 29, 2011 at 10:19 am

    My Dearest Husband,

    24 yrs ago I married my best friend. This Tuesday, I will bury my best friend. I bury your body as you requested. Your soul is with the Lord. I know you are in God’s eternal Kingdom now. You at peace, therefore, I am at peace. God has you. And I will always carry you in my heart.

    You are so unique. No one is like you, & there will be never be another you. You have always been the most wonderful husband, friend, father, grandfather, boss, son, brother; I could go on, but space is short.

    You told me recently, that you wished you had met me first. I told you, that we had to go through our painful growing processes to be the people we are today. Out of that painful growth, something fantastic happened: we have 4 wonderful children. God lead us through that path, & we continue to trust our most wonderful God to continue to lead us. I have asked God “why” so many times, please give us more time. But He wanted you, & we both abided.

    When Miles asked to to come to Kansas 15 yrs ago, you told me that only if I went with you. I could see in your eyes that you wanted this so very badly. So, I gave up everything I knew & followed you. I have never been sorry. I would have followed you anywhere. As quoted: “You jump, I jump”.

    Remember, how I would whisper in your ear, all my love & that you better wait for me. I better not catch you chasing any Angels.

    Everywhere I look, I see you. I embrace these memories. We have such a special love for one another. We disagreed many times, but we loved more. After all these years, I could still feel tht flutter in stomach, & catch in my breath everytime you walked into my sight.

    I love you, Your Wife

  16. Ailiya Filisky on April 29, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Uncle Sonny,
    I so wish I could be there to say goodbye, sadly my school schedule wont allow me to do that. I had to write a poem yesterday in class about someone very dear to me. I wrote it about you.
    *Uncle Sonny you left too soon
    God called you home way up past the moon.
    the cancer you had spread wide and vast.
    the time you had left went by too fast.
    forever I’ll remember the things you used to do.
    from building wooden toys to sticking your finger in my food.
    A great man you were and forever will be.
    The best uncle you were to my sister and me.*

    I love you and Ill miss you xoxo

  17. mary beth bialek on April 29, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Hello Del,
    I was so glad I stopped by on Thursday and see you out watering the flowers and being so much at peace. After reading your letter to Dale, I can see why you are at peace. He was a wonderful man obviously and you two were so fortunate to find each other. What blessings you two have had over the years with your loving relaionship and the love of your combined families. He will always be with you in spirit as you know. Thank God for your undying faith for that is what keeps you strong. We all hope we can follow in your footsteps when we are faced with death of a loved one.
    We will not be able to attend the funeral afer all. We promised our grandaughter we would come to her volleyball game and this may be the only game John, her papa will see. I think you probably know how grandkids are our life. John and I will be with you in spirit and I definitely want to keep our promise for us neighbor ladies to get together on our decks.
    All our sympathies and blessings to you and your family,
    John and Mary Beth Bialek

  18. Michael Rush on April 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I summarize Dale in 4C’s:Christ in his heart(MOST important) Courage(cancer battle!) Class(obvious, to any and all)and Charisma(also obvious). I will add a humorous postscript and say he also had an “F” That would be for FEW, very few computer skills(just like me!) God bless you, Del. I am better because I know Dale!

  19. Larry Sturm on April 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to you his family and friends. Dale was a very special person. May God bless you with many lovely memories. With Sympathy Larry Sturm

  20. Paula Derryberry, Tim Shinefield and Vicki Lovett on April 29, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    To Del, Aunt Edna Bell, Pam, Annette, Crystal & Christopher. Our hearts go out to you and we pray that you will know God’s peace at this time. Wish we could be there with you.

  21. Mark & Jennifer Kelly on April 29, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Chris and family, we were so sorry to hear about your dad’s illness and our thoughts are with you.

    With Love,
    Mark, Jennifer, Emily & Jared Kelly

  22. Dori Oshel on April 30, 2011 at 12:35 am

    I am very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  23. Peggy Kessel on April 30, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Del, my heart aches for you in this time of sadness. Dale was a wonderful man; a true gentleman! You have so many lovely memories and I hope they will be a comfort to you now. I know your loss is great. May your love for Dale heal your sorrow over time. My prayers are with you. Love, Peggy Kessel

  24. Ken Levine on April 30, 2011 at 8:48 am

    My heart goes out to Dell and the entire family. Dale was my first GM and I have all great thoughts and memories to have been taught the car business from such a great man.He was patient, kind, thoughtful and always had a smile on. I will always remember our trip to Tulsa, where Dale took me to look at another dealership to see how they were doing business to teach me. I will always be grateful to Dale and his professional and personal kindness.

    Ken & Leiba Levine

  25. Sharon K Nelson on April 30, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I had the privilege to work with Dale when Trustee responsibilities changed from me to him. He was always kind, considerate and just a pleasure to work with. He will be missed by FCC for all his work there. My thoughts and prayers to Del and his entire family.

  26. Vickie Harding on April 30, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I did not know Sonny long enough but long enough to know how kind, respected and giving he was. I thinking God needed a great GM for the chariot lot (because Heaven knows we’ll all want a new one when we get there). My thoughts, prayers and love are with you Del.

  27. Carmen on May 1, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    After reading all the wonderful comments I am more certain than ever that God had the gates swung open wide and welcomed a wonderful man home. My condolences to his family. May you take comfort in our God and Keep the Faith!
    North Clay Class of ’68

  28. Dan Ladd on May 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Dale was a First Class Car Guy. Our prayers are with his family. May his soul rest in peace.

  29. Frank and Jutta Kayser on May 29, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    We are very saddened to hear of Dale’s passing 9 years ago. We were former resident of Lawrence, KS, and visited Dale often at the Crown Dealership there. Never have we experienced a kinder person to deal with. He always had a big smile on his face, which we will never forget. Our prayers are with are with his family, even 9 years later.
    May God bless!
    Frank and Jutta Kayser

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