Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
Alex Cabrero ReportingOne of the three rescuers killed last week was buried this afternoon. Dale Black was trying to find the original six trapped miners when the Crandall Canyon mine collapsed on him and his team.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people came out for the funeral service. His friends and family didn't want today to be a sad day; instead they wanted it to be a happy day because they were celebrating Black's life.
Dale Black was somebody everybody in the community knew; they liked him. One of the popular phrases we heard was that's "Dale just being Dale." The guy really had a lot of fun in life and lived life to the fullest.
He worked in the coal mines where his co-workers knew him as "Bird." When they all heard he died in the collapse last week, they couldn't believe "Bird" was gone. One person said, "Just about every day I do something, I say to myself, ‘You know, I learned this from Dale.'"
Black's friend, Alan Childs, said, "We live life sort of here, and Dale lived life sort of here; in a different sphere, a sphere that had life on steroids." Black's nephew, Kim Lilly, said, "All the fishing trips, hunting elk, deer, birds, and even my first rabbit you made me clean. You were laughing as I puked all over the place."
There were a lot of laughs at Dale's funeral because many said he was just that type of person, always having fun, always laughing and always trying to get others to join him.
There were also some touching words from his family. His brother spoke during the ceremony. Guy Black said, "I know God must have a great a plan for this fun-hearted, ordinary man because heroes make the best angels, I've heard."
Dale's daughter, Ashley, said, "I have had more time with my dad in 23 years than most people have in a lifetime. We'll get through this because that's what Dad taught us. He'll be loved and he'll be missed, but he will never be forgotten."
Friends said Black was never scared to go into the mine, especially to search for those trapped miners, because he felt it was his job to find them.
Ashley agreed. She said, "My dad worked as hard as we knew he would to get those miners out of there, and he never gave up hope. There were times when he was up there that he didn't even need to be, but he just wanted to do his part in the rescue efforts."
The funeral was held at the Little Bear Creek Campground because Dale loved the outdoors. Hunting, fishing, camping and hiking are some of the activities Dale loved to do.
A lot of people said he was a hero, and that's what was said about everybody involved in the rescue effort; not just a couple guys here and there, but everybody said this is truly a hero.
Black leaves behind a wife and two children. He would have turned 49 on Friday.
Funeral services for the other two rescuers killed will also be held this week. A viewing for 58-year-old Gary Jensen will be held tonight at the Salina LDS Stake Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. His funeral is tomorrow at noon. Jensen will be buried at the Redmond Cemetery.
There are two viewings for 29-year-old Brandon Kimber of Price. They will be tomorrow evening at Mitchell Funeral Home in Price and Thursday evening in Moab at an LDS Chapel. A private funeral will be held on Friday in Moab.