Cover photo for Dale Duane Howard's Obituary
1932 Dale 2024

Dale Duane Howard

July 16, 1932 — March 26, 2024

Wausau

Dale Howard joined his wife, Mary Ann, at rest, on March 26, 2024. Dale was born July 16, 1932, in the Town of Maine, to Harry and Lillian (Lemke) Howard, spending his younger years learning self-sufficiency by growing vegetables, canning for winter, picking wild nuts and berries, fishing, and hunting.

He attended Wausau East High School where he met, and later married, Mary Ann Larson. Together they owned Howard's House of Trees, a retail and wholesale Christmas tree business. Dale grew well over 100 thousand Christmas trees for many years, and provided the Wausau area with beautiful green and flocked trees, wreaths, and decorations. Dale took great care and pride in perfecting his trees, winning state and national awards. One year, even providing the Christmas trees for our state governor's mansion. He loved being in nature among the trees and was a sage resource on evergreen trees and their production. 

Dale was musically gifted, playing violin, clarinet, and piano. In high school, he joined a group of classmates as their piano player, to form what would become the Jerry Goetsch Orchestra. For over sixty years, the band played at local wedding dances, in ballrooms, in parades, at bandstands in parks, on a weekly radio show, and then on their own weekly television show. The popularity of their "dance along" style TV show led to the formation of Polka Productions which took fans of the band on their first organized trip in 1973 to the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Traveling with the band's annual spring and fall trips became very popular with fans and enabled Dale and Mary Ann to ultimately travel the world.  

He also worked in the offices of Murray Machinery for many years and was a member of the Stettin Lion's Club.

Dale is survived by two daughters, Robin Tankersley of Algonquin, Illinois and Sue Howard of Woodinville, Washington. Grandchildren include Mattie Connelly of Kenmore, Washington, Kaitlyn Tankersley of Rolling Meadows, Illinois, Shaun Wahlig, and Gowri Wahlig both of Glendale, Wisconsin. As well as great grandchildren Mackenzie and Nora Connelly, and Olivia and Vincent Wahlig. He is further survived by nieces and nephews.

Dale was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ann Howard; parents, Harry and Lillian Howard; brother and sister-in-law, Harry Jr. and Martha Howard, and brother, Donald Howard (Mary Ann). His father and mother-in-law, Chester and Jane Larson; brother and sister-in-law, Perry and Marion Larson; and brother-in-law, Larry Larson (Karen).  

A funeral service will be held Friday, April 5, 2024 at 11:00 am at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 630 Adams Street, Wausau. Rev. Maggie Westaby will officiate. Visitation will begin at 10:30 am at the church until the time of service. Burial with military honors provided by the American Legion Montgomery-Plant-Dudley Post 10 will follow the service at Pine Grove Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Dale’s name to the Marathon County Humane Society.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dale Duane Howard, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, April 5, 2024

10:30 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Immanuel Lutheran Church

630 Adams St, Wausau, WI 54403

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Funeral Service

Friday, April 5, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Immanuel Lutheran Church

630 Adams St, Wausau, WI 54403

Livestream

Click to watch

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Burial

Friday, April 5, 2024

12:15 - 12:45 pm (Central time)

Pine Grove Cemetery - Wausau

1501 Grand Ave, Wausau, WI 54403

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