BYRON – Dale L. Emery, 82, lifelong Byron area resident passed away Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020 at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. Dale was born on Easter Sunday, April 17, 1938 at St. Anthony Hospital, Rockford.
He was preceded in death by his parents Clarence and Viola (Hoffman) Emery, his brother Donald Emery, and his best friend and business partner James (Jim) Fortune.
He was raised and lived on the Emery Family Farm at the corner of Tower and Water Roads in Byron up until 10 years ago. Dale was a 1956 graduate of Byron High School where he excelled in agriculture and music. In high school Dale enjoyed being a member of FFA and wearing the Blue Jacket. While in FFA Dale played saxophone in the FFA State Band in 1955 and 1956. During this time Dale was also a member of the Rock River Triers 4-H Club in which he served as an officer and was a member of the 4-H band. While in H.S. he also sold Purebred Chester White Boars Hogs and started a Guernsey herd of cows.
After graduating from high school Dale went to work at J.I. Case Co. as a timekeeper. When Dale left J.I. Case he went to work for Hamer STD Service in Byron, it was here where he met what was to be his business partner and best friend Jim Fortune and together they owned “Fortune & Emery TV & Western Auto” in downtown Byron, IL which later became Western Auto & Bait Shop and a car wash on Blackhawk Drive where Holcomb Bank now sits. During Dale’s employment with Hamer Std Service he was held up by three men with shotguns in the middle of one night. For many years Dale took care of the Christmas decorations for the City of Byron in which they awarded him a plaque. He was a charter member of the Byron Lions Club, a past master of Byron Grange, was 7th degree of the National Grange.
In 1962 Dale was fortunate to escape death when he fell asleep at the wheel of his car while driving down Route 2 and ended up in the Rock River. Dale retired from his store business in 2000 and went on to work for the Byron C.U.S.D. as traffic control for 17years. Dale treasured time spent with family and friends, spending time at his summer home in Tomahawk, Wis., taking pictures, baling hay for himself and helping other area farmers, bowling and attending to the many animals on his farm.
Dale is survived by his wife of 41 years Beverly L Emery, his two step-sons Patrick(Angela) Streff, and Michael(Vernie) Streff his grandchildren Miranda(Jason) Coyne, Jamie(Justin)Streff, Katelyn Streff, Alexis Streff and Katie Koch. Great-Grandchildren Trinity, Noah, Maya, Carter, Maci, Dylan, Austin, Taylor and Cailey.
Due to COVID19 restrictions, an Immediate Burial with a Private Family Graveside Ceremony will be held. Celebration of Life to be held at a later date pending COVID restrictions. Memorials to the family.