Dale Vitalis

Dale M. Vitalis, age 89, Fargo, ND and Battle Lake, MN died February 18, 2018 at Sanford Medical Center, Fargo, ND He died peacefully surrounded by family, after suffering complications from longtime heart disease.
Memorial Service was Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND. Burial was in Mount Hermon Lutheran Church Cemetery of rural Annandale, MN.
Visitation was Friday, from 4-7 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, followed by a Prayer Service at 7 p.m.
Dale Masterson Vitalis was born November 27, 1928 in St. Paul, MN. He was the middle son of Adolph and Mary (Masterson) Vitalis. He was baptized and confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, MN. After graduating from Humboldt High School in 1946 he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After basic training at Camp Polk, LA, he was deployed to Taejon, Korea with the Occupation Army following WWII. He was assigned as a surgical technician in the Medical Division with only six weeks of training! Being the camp bugler brought him joy within a dismal setting.
After discharge from the Army in 1948, he attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN graduating in 1952 with a Mathematics Education degree. Dale taught math and coached football and basketball in the Junior High School at Mahnomen, MN. He also was a Boy Scout leader and active in the youth ministry at First Lutheran Church, Mahnomen. For several summers Dale was a counselor at the St. Croix YMCA Camp in Wisconsin. He attended summer classes at the Lutheran Bible Institute in Seattle, WA. These experiences led to a desire for full-time ministry. Dale enrolled in Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN in 1954.
He met the love of his life, Luella Marie Berg of Annandale, MN and they were married October 7, 1956 at First Lutheran Church (now Gethsemane) in Dassel, MN. They spent their internship year at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of Great Falls, MT.
Dale graduated from Luther Seminary in May and was ordained June 8, 1958 as a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (later the American Lutheran Church and now the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America). Dale began his ministry in Whitefish, MT. While there, two daughters Kathryn Marie and Susan Mary, were born.
In 1964, the family moved to Golden Valley, MN where Dale served as Associate Pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church. The family, which now included daughter Elizabeth Ann, moved to Billings, MT in 1967. Dale served Peace Lutheran Church. Steven Dale was born in 1971.  His next call was to Oak Grove Lutheran High School as Campus Pastor.
In 1978, Dale became Senior Pastor at Pontoppidan Lutheran Church of Fargo. In 1985, he became regional director for the “Commitment to Mission” program of the former ALC. From 1986 to 1990, Dale served as Senior Pastor at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Billings. He then became Associate Pastor at Olivet Lutheran Church in Fargo. In May of 1996, he officially retired and began his longest ministry as part-time visitation pastor at First Lutheran Church, Fargo.
Throughout Dale’s ministry he faithfully served through the church at large, the synod and the local congregation. He also served on the Boards of Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp, World Mission Prayer League, Oak Grove Lutheran School, KFNW Radio, and Central City Ministries, Fargo. Together he and Lu led many marriage retreats at Mount Carmel Camp. Dale loved Jesus, his family, friends and the people of his congregations. He had a humble heart and a gentle spirit. His gospel focused preaching was a blessing to many.
Dale loved activities that included family; camping, waterskiing, downhill skiing, and playing ping pong. He was competitive and seldom lost. His favorite place to be was at their Battle Lake home reading Louis L’Amour, learning some of his best theology. His humor and wit will be missed! Many a tough situation was made lighter with a quotation from Hezekiah.
He is loved and survived by his wife of 61 years, Lu; and children Kathy (Mark) Vitalis Hoffman of Middletown, MD; Susan Vitalis of Battle Lake MN; Beth (Joe McDonald) Vitalis of Salt Lake City, UT; and Steve Vitalis of Fargo, ND; granddaughters Sarah and Amy Vitalis Hoffman; and many relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Bill and Jack.
Memorials may be shared with First Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND, Oak Grove Lutheran School, Fargo, ND, Mount Carmel Ministries, Alexandria, MN and World Mission Prayer League, Minneapolis, MN and MindShift, Fargo, ND.
Memories and condolences may be shared by visiting www.hansonrunsvold.com
Arrangements by Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home, Fargo, ND.