Donald Edward Dale (top image, left) was a long time member of Richmond’s local media community, and an out and proud gay man. He passed away at the age of 73 over the 2015 holiday.
A thorough obit, written by Richmond Council Woman Ellen Robertson and printed in the Times-Dispatch this weekend, provided additional details about Dale’s life:
Donald Edward Dale had been the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ No. 2 public relations man for only three days in April 1978 when he was asked to give a tour of the museum to the wife of the Israeli ambassador to the United States.
Ten minutes of talking about the imperial Russian Easter eggs exhausted his knowledge about the museum.
The sympathetic Israeli woman, who had visited museums all over the world, walked him through the galleries, giving him an overview of a museum full of paintings she had never seen before.
Drawing on the skills he had acquired in previous jobs in radio and television journalism, he was not unprepared again.
Mr. Dale, who in the next 32 years wrote about every exhibition and acquisition at the VMFA and versed himself in art ranging from the Early Bronze Age to that created in Manhattan lofts, died Monday in Richmond at 73.
I had the pleasure to meet Don and work with him on an episode of his last project, The Virginia Voice. He was one of the most pleasant and informed men I’d ever met, and if I’m able to continue working up until the end like he did then, then I’ll consider myself just as lucky.
A gathering to celebrate Mr. Dale’s life will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Virginia Room at Brookdale Imperial Plaza, 1717 Bellevue Ave. in Richmond.