A bright light in Lawrence Kansas has passed on to be with the Lord. H. Dale Willey, 79, passed August 14, 2020. 1 John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.
Dale was born July 15, 1941 in Kansas City, MO., the son of Joseph Howard Willey and Geneva Ruth Bollin Willey. He graduated from Shawnee Mission East H.S. in 1959 and he attended K U from 1959-1961. While at K.U. he was a member of Delta Chi social fraternity.
He worked in his father’s Chevrolet-Oldsmobile dealership for 4 years in Lee’s Summit, MO until his dad’s death in 1965. They sold that dealership in 1965. He then worked as a Salesperson for Dave Cross Motors, Lee’s Summit, MO for 5 years. In 1970, Dale purchased the Pontiac-Cadillac
dealership in Lawrence.
He was active in the Kansas Automobile Dealers Association (KADA). He was elected President of KADA in 1991. In 1993, he was voted the Time Quality Dealer for Kansas. He was elected as the Kansas Director of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Board in 1997. He was elected NADA Chairman in 2006 serving as Chairman in 2007.
In KCMO, he was a member of the Ararat Shrine and the Royal Order of Jesters.
In Lawrence, he was a member of Lawrence Noon Rotary Club, a member of Lawrence Breakfast Cosmopolitan Club since 1971. He was presented as a Citizen of the Year in the Lawrence noon Kiwanis Club in 2019. He was also a devoted member of the Tuesday morning Bible Study for many years meeting at Perkins.
Dale had a big heart for children sponsoring 4 little league baseball teams each year in the Douglas County Baseball Association (DCABA), he served on the Board of O’Connell Youth Ranch being elected Chairman. He was a supporter of Family Promise, Lawrence Public Library, USD 497 School Foundation, served on Board and Supporter of the Giving Tree Christian Pre-School
Supporter of DCCA, Boys & Girls Club and Peaslee Tech school. He was very instrumental in the formation of the Automotive Tech program at Peaslee Tech. He was a supporter of LMH Health, Lawrence Public Library, and Lawrence Arts Center
He was a member of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce since 1971 serving on the Board and as Chairman in 1996. He was instrumental in founding the Lawrence Junior Achievement Lawrence Business Hall of Fame and was inducted as a laureate in 2015.
Dale and his business partner, Greg Maurer, purchased a majority ownership in the Lotspeich GM Automobile dealership in Warrensburg, MO in 2006. He sold his interest in Dale Willey Automotive G M dealership December 31, 2013. He sold his interest in Lotspeich G M Automotive dealership December 31, 2015. Throughout Dale’s automotive career he had one ultimate goal: To sell so many cars he had to call a cab to get home. He got close once or twice, but sincerely appreciated everyone’s efforts who helped him with his goal.
He married Sharon Luke. Their daughters are, Suzanne Willey and Carol Ryan (Wes Ryan). He later married Janice “Jan” Snyder. His step-daughters are Kim Purvis (Dwight Purvis), Laura Carbrey and Megan (Dana) Hiebert. Grandchildren, Michael Purvis, Erin Carbrey, Josh Purvis (Andrea), Haley Ryan, Madison Carbrey and Jack Ryan and Great- grandson, Greyson.
A Celebration of Life service will be held 1:13 p.m. Sunday, August 30, 2020 at the Dale Willey Used Car Building, 2840 Iowa Street. Inurnment will be held at Mount Moriah Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri. With social distancing in place, and masks being required, family and friends are welcome to attend in person or while listening to the service from their vehicles on a radio station provided by Warren McElwain Mortuary. Dale’s service may be streamed live on the following Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015019777953
The service will also be available at http://Dale.suzannewilley.com
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Family Promise or to Delta Chi Scholarship at the University of Kansas (checks should be made out to Kimball Education Foundation) write in the memo line “Dale Willey Scholarship” and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044.