Dale was born on May 8, 1949 in Falls City, NE. He was the only child of Kenneth and Ruby (Schmidt) Comer.
While attending Falls City High School, he began to use his musical and acting talents. He played trumpet in the band, sang in the chorus and other small groups, and performed in several plays and productions. After graduating high school in 1967, Dale attended Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE. He was an active and involved member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and found many friends and colleagues through Phi Tau. Dale was a member of the NWU marching band, participated in numerous choirs and small vocal ensembles, acted, and sang in the NWU theater department, and more. He graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Music Education with a Voice Major.
In 1971 he began teaching vocal music in Syracuse, Nebraska at the Junior and Senior High Schools. He taught for 3 years, but ultimately decided that this role was not a good fit and he wanted to do something more with his education. He was deciding between becoming an attorney or obtaining his Doctorate in Music. Unsure about his future, Dale took the LSAT “just to see” and ended up getting a full scholarship to the University of Nebraska College of Law. Upon graduation, with his new crisp law degree, he moved to Omaha to work for Western Securities for several years. Dale also became a Freemason and joined the AF&AM Falls City Lodge #9.
In 1979, Dale joined the Nebraska Attorney General’s office. He practiced law for the benefit and improvement of all the citizens for 35 years. During his time with the Attorney General’s office, Dale worked under 4 previous Attorneys General from Paul Douglas through to Jon Bruning. In his time with the AG’s office, Dale became the Bureau Chief of the Legal Services Division and Assistant Attorney General. Dale absolutely loved the practice of law and worked hard to keep the Nebraska government in accordance with the statutes of the state and country, when he retired in 2014, he was the equivalent of a Senior Partner. He continued to provide counsel and legal support to the State of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska, and the Barbershop Harmony Society up until his death.
In high school Dale sang in a quartet with fellow classmates, which he really enjoyed, and opened his eyes to Barbershop quartet singing. In 1976, Dale joined the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (now known as the Barbershop Harmony Society) and the Lincoln Continentals chorus as a Bass. He never knew that this membership would be so amazing and change his life in so many ways.
Dale directed the Lincoln Continentals chorus from 1980 to 2009, the Continentals won numerous Plateau AA championships under the direction of Dale. In addition, Dale also directed the Carolina Vocal Express chorus, which represented the North/South Carolina district at the International BHS Chorus Contest in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Dale sang Bass in several quartets over the years, which brought him immense joy and fun. He medaled with the Chord Motor Company (1978 Central States District Champions) and the Heartland Vocal Band (1998 International Quarter Finalists). As he got older, he joined the Senior Quartet contests of BHS with Catalyst, High Mileage, and Final Countdown. Each Senior Quartet competed in the International Senior Contest.
In 1984, Dale became a certified Sound judge. He subsequently served on the Sound Category board of Review and as Sound Category Specialist. Dale retired from judging the renamed Singing category in 2020. One of his proudest accomplishments was judging the BHS International Quartet and Chorus contest nine times over his judging career. Judging allowed Dale to connect with, teach, and learn from many people over the years and helped him hone his craft and share his love of the Barbershop style. Dale and Lila traveled all over the US and the world through Dale’s judging and met many friends and colleagues across their travels.
Giving back to the hobby that he loved, Dale served as Central States District Music Educator and Central States District Associate Contest and Judging Chairman, which became a family favorite participation! In 1994, Dale was appointed as the first Chairman of the BHS Chorus Director Development Committee and served in that role from 1994 through 1997. Dale has taught director’s classes at COTS and at the Society’s Directors College, and he has coached quartets and choruses throughout the Society.
Also, in 1984 (a big year for Dale!), Dale married Lila (Austin) Comer at First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, NE. After meeting at a Barbershop contest, Dale and Lila became a couple and were very active in the Central States District of BHS. Lila was the love of Dale's life, and she often accompanied him to BHS contests and events all over the country and the world. They became well known in the Central States district and throughout BHS for their generosity, warmth, hospitality, and humor.
Dale and Lila welcomed two girls, Sarah in 1986 and Sally in 1989. Dale loved his daughters immensely and was incredibly proud of them. He attended numerous dance recitals, band concerts, softball games, Job’s Daughters events, choir competitions, and more. Dale was an active and loving father and was always around and present for his girls.
Dale was an involved member of First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, NE and Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC. Dale sang in the choirs of First Presbyterian and Westminster, sharing his booming and lush bass voice. Dale also enjoyed golfing with his choir friends from Westminster. Dale was a Deacon at First Presbyterian for numerous years, while Lila and the girls were involved with Sunday School, youth group, Vacation Bible School, choir, bell choir, and other faith formation events and activities.
Dale leaves a legacy of quiet strength, laughter, a love of history and the English language, and the love of music to all that had the joy to spend time with him. Dale’s influence and connections go farther than we could ever know, he has touched the lives of so many through his work through the Nebraska Attorney General’s office and the Barbershop Harmony Society.
Dale's legacy lives on through his wife of almost 40 years, Lila, daughters Sarah (Eric Rathbun) Comer and Sally (Cory Bruns) Comer, stepson Kevin (Heather) Ralston, and his grandchildren, Austen Comer, Aaron Ralston, and Ella Ralston. His legacy lives on through his numerous friends, cousins, extended family, and friends who have become family.
A celebration of life for Dale will be held on Monday, December 4th at 2:00 pm at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home. The family will have visitation from 1:00-2:00 pm on December 4th. An afterglow will be held following the celebration where Dale’s favorite, pizza, will be enjoyed. His service will be livestreamed for his family and friends all over the country and the world.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Bethel #27 Job's Daughters (2706 Minot Drive, Bellevue NE 68123) or the Lincoln Continentals Chorus (5120 Myrtle Street, Lincoln NE