With Mark Dale gone, Oklahoma City home builders have lost two generations of expertise.
Dale, 63, owner of Carriage Homes, died Saturday after a bout with cancer. He was a former president of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association and two-time former president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association.
“He was an inspiration to us that are currently in leadership,” said Todd Booze, president of the state group and president of construction for Ideal Homes of Norman.
It was Dale’s second term leading Central Oklahoma Home Builders that bridged the generations. He served as president in 1990 in wake of the 1980s oil and real estate bust; builders drafted him again in 2010 as they coped with a deep slump and housing nationally staggered from the crash.
Dale will be remembered for his understanding of government relations, said Mike Means, executive vice president of the state association. Dale was instrumental in creating the state Certified Builder program to stave off state licensing and firm up industry standards, Means said.
“We use the term ‘pillar,’ and we sometimes use it lightly. But he was one of the main ones,” Means said.
With Dale ill most of the past year, Means said he and builder Jeff Click, co-chairman of the group’s legislative committee, often asked themselves what Dale would do.
“He was sophisticated and witty, but always humble and approachable. His influence in our local and state industry will ripple for years to come. I’ll miss calling him for advice or just a friendly conversation and hearing him answer in a wise tone, ‘Yes, grasshopper.’” Click said, recalling Dale’s fondness of the catch phrase from the early-1970s TV series “Kung Fu.”
Survivors include his wife, Lark; his mother, Jean Dale; a sister and brother; children; and grandchildren. A memorial service will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4400 N Shartel.