Dale Petranech, age 84, of Atco, NJ, formerly of Hammonton, NJ, passed away on Friday June 28, 2019. Dale was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 17, 1935.
Dale ran cross country and track at Marquette University, but he was destined to make waves in an entirely different sport. Dale, a retired former Red Cross disaster worker, had been an influential voice in the world of open water and marathon swimming since he was named the first chairman of the U.S. Swimming's Open Water Swimming Committee in 1977. He helped the sport grow as an administrator and showed he was a capable competitor himself, becoming the oldest swimmer to cross the Catalina Channel at the age of 50 in 1985. Dale was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in September 2014 and helped the organization through a restructuring and reorganization process. He also was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Administrator in 1995.
A former Marine Corps First LT who went on to serve on Red Cross projects in Vietnam, Dale spent most of his career with the Red Cross. He was involved in several national and international assignments with primary experience in mass care and supply, and as a government and volunteer agency liaison.
Dale remained involved with Marquette University through his support of the James M. Allen Endowed Athletic Scholarship. He considered his formative years at Marquette a critical part of the success he had enjoyed in life.
Dale is survived by his loving wife Isabel Petranech (nee White). Dear brother of the the late Paul Petranech. He is also survived and will be sadly missed by his nephew Russell (Carrie) Petranech. There will be no public ceremonies for Dale, services will be held privately on Long Island, NY at a later date. In his memory, donations may be made to the International Swimming Hall of Fame or the American Red Cross.