Dale Warner Laursen of Elder Care Cottages, 7711 Big Bend Road, Waterford, will celebrate his 90th birthday March 1 with a 7 p.m. open house at the home of his daughter, Jacquelyn Laursen of 1426 Grange Ave., Racine.
Laursen was born on March 1, 1928, in Waukegan, Ill., avoiding Feb. 29 by two hours. He moved to Racine at a very young age then moved to Waterford two years ago.
Laursen was married to Gayle Mae Peterson on June 13, 1945, following his graduation from Horlick High School. The 16-year-olds met while working part-time at Western Publishing Co. Inc. Upon their introduction, Laursen was immediately smitten and the couple was married just short of 70 years when Gayle died on Sept. 4, 2014. She will always be his one and only true love.
Laursen continued working at Western Publishing Co. Inc. until his retirement at age 62, having missed only one day of work in all those years. He began as a book binder but ran any of the other machines in the absence of any other employee. He drew his career to a close by being in charge of the sample room for his last 15 years.
Laursen was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church for many years. There he was confirmed, taught Sunday School, ushered, had all four of his children baptized and even preached upon occasion.
An athlete at heart, Laursen bowled in many leagues and tournaments, pitched softball for Western’s team and accrued multiple awards in each sport. He also enjoyed tennis, fishing, boating, horseshoes, shuffleboard and ping pong. Laursen also loves dancing and his nickname at the Cottages is “Dancer.” He has always been an avid Packer backer and managed to switch from being a Braves fan to becoming a Brewers fan, although his favorite MLB team is still his Cubbies.
Laursen traveled annually up north from childhood until a few years ago. He also explored the country extensively with his precious wife.
A card player since his youth, Laursen has very winning ways at cribbage, though he is still sharp at other card games. You can’t get a pun past him and, with a twinkle in his eyes, he will come back with many of his own.
Laursen has four children: James (Patricia) of Caledonia and Mission, Texas; Jacquelyn of Racine; Kathryn (Brian) Paine of Grants Pass, Ore.; and Wendy Davis of Round Rock, Texas. He has eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Another great-grandchild is due in August.