Dale Henry Haskamp passed from this world shortly after dawn Aug. 30, 2009. He was 38 years old. He was born in Fayette, Mo., June 26, 1971, to James and Mary Haskamp, the ninth of 10 children. He had bravely faced cancer for over a year. Although he was young, he had made peace with dying and faced it with grace and strength.
He is survived by his wife, Adrienne; his father, James Haskamp; his nine siblings Denise, Dennis, Donna, Daniel, Diane, Debbie, Damian, Delores and Dina, as well as many other extended relatives near Glasgow, Mo., where he was raised; and his beloved dogs, Mole and Seamus. His mother, Mary, preceded him in death.
Dale led an interesting and varied life. He majored in forest ecology and natural resources at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. He later went back to school to get a teaching credential in high school science.
Dale was an accomplished kayaker, and paddled many rivers across the western U.S., from the mildest to the wildest. He was always calm and serene; even when running challenging Class V, his friends always felt safe in his company. He also loved to mountain bike, telemark ski, and backpack in the high country of Colorado and California, as well as the redrock country of the Colorado Plateau. He loved the natural world and spent as much time out and about as he could. He traveled extensively, and saw a lot of Africa, including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Madagascar, as well as South America, especially the high Andes of Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina and Bolivia.
In his life he worked as a caving guide, and as a fire ecologist and botanist for the Department of the Interior in Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Redwood, Lassen, and Crater Lake National Parks, as well as at Lava Beds National Monument, and Shasta Dam National recreation area. He taught at the Pagosa Springs Junior High School, and the Archuleta County Education Center. He worked as a carpenter in Pagosa Springs, remodeling old houses and helping to build new ones. He was a beloved travel guide for the American Institute of Medical Education, leading large groups of people to many parts of the world, including Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand and Spain. Dale was a natural teacher. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of natural history, from botany to birds, animals, geology and weather. He volunteered at Chimney Rock Archeological Area as a tour guide as well.
Dale was a gentle, compassionate man who made everyone around him feel at ease and appreciated. Even with his many talents, he was always humble and gracious. He had kind words for everyone.
There will be a memorial service for Dale in Missouri on Sept. 19, 2009, and next summer his friends and family will hike several days into the backcountry of Sequoia National Park to spread some of his ashes. There was a celebration of his life in Pagosa Springs Sept. 4. It was beautiful. Dale hoped those who knew him would remember to appreciate life, especially the small things, and to take the time to look around, respect our beautiful earth, and to be kind. He will be greatly missed, he was a tremendous person.
Contributions can be made In Memory of Dale Haskamp, Bank of the San Juans, 305 Hot Springs Blvd., Box 2830, Pagosa Springs, CO, 81147.