Eddie Vale Sr. memorial service held Dec. 13
Edwin “Eddie” Vale Sr. died peacefully at his home in Salado on Dec. 10, 2007 with his wife, Marilyn, at his side. They recently celebrated fifty-one years of marriage. Family visitation was held December 12 at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home 1615 Ft. Hood St., Killeen from 6 – 8 p.m. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Salado Church of Christ, 217 Stagecoach Road where Eddie and Marilyn have been members for many years. Online memories may be contributed and viewed at www.mem.com.
Eddie Vale was born in Idana, Kansas on June 5, 1914 and was the oldest son in a family of eleven children, seven of them boys. As a child he worked to contribute to the family income by doing various jobs that included shining shoes on street corners, painting houses, delivering bread and milk, and selling magazines and tins of “salve” door to door. During these hard times he was able to complete part of high school and also play baseball; he enjoyed telling about playing against a Negro team whose pitcher was the great Satchel Paige. Eddie headed to Tulsa as a young man where he lived and worked for many years. He was particularly fond of going to dances in Tulsa that featured Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. He was drafted into the Army on December 7, 1942 while working as a salesman in the appliance department at the Brown-Dunkin Department Store in downtown Tulsa, and returned to this job after his discharge in 1945.
The Army assigned him to the 10th Mountain Division and trained him for snow ski patrol at Camp Hale, CO; the unit was also at Camp Swift, TX (near Bastrop) for a short time. His first battlefield mission was in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. From there it was on to Europe for intense infantry fighting in the Italian mountains during extreme winter conditions in 1945. His wartime honors included three Bronze Stars which he received in 2004 during a special ceremony arranged by family and friends. Eddie was proud to have served in the same unit as Bob Dole and got to meet him in 2004 at Ft. Hood. All seven of the Vale Brothers served in the military; the five oldest during World War II.
After marriage, Eddie and Marilyn continued to live and work in Tulsa for several years where their three daughters were born and then moved to Colorado Springs, CO for a short time. The family came to Texas in 1964 where their two sons were born. They owned and operated Furniture Factory Outlet inKilleen for 30 years and then Vales of Salado for four years. Other business ventures included events such as wrestling and concerts held at the “old boot factory” on Highway 190 where the furniture store was located in the 1960’s.
Vale was a major sponsor of youth activities in Killeen, including little league baseball. Furniture Factory Outlet was THE TEAM to beat with him as coach. He also enjoyed bowling, playing golf and watching football and baseball on TV.
Vale was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Peter Nash. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, and their five children: SuDonna Nash; Sandra Skinner and husband, Ronnie; Teresa Carter and husband, Steven; Eddie, Jr., and wife, Susie (all of Killeen), and Donny Vale of Salado. Also surviving are 14 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and four brothers. Eddie’s legacy continues with the Ashley Furniture Home-Store and Patriot Furniture Stores which are owned by his children.
In lieu of flowers, donations are appreciated to: The American Cancer Society 800-227-2345 www. cancer.org or C. R. Clements Boys & Girls Club of Killeen, 304 West Ave B, Killeen, TX 76541 or Shriners Childrens’ Hospital 800-237-5055 www. shrinershg.org.