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Sadly one of Oklahoma Anthropological Society's
most admired and loved members, Dale McHard,
died suddenly January 8, 2012, at the age of 78


developed a passion for uncovering relics and artifacts from Oklahoma's past, to the point of becoming the President of OAS in 1999, and later dig chairman.


 enjoyed working with the Oklahoma Anthropological Society. One could find Dale eagerly playing in the dirt with his signature Tilley Duck hat; a hat that he purported would survive the ordeal of a trip through an elephant’s digestive system.


As appearing in the OAS Trowel Notes Spring 2012


In Memoriam: Dale McHard

Veteran OAS leader Dale McHard, 78, died in January after a debilitating illness.

His legacy of public service, family man, Christian stalwart and skilled amateur archeologist will long be remembered.


Dale died Jan. 8, 2012. He is survived by wife of 50 years, Mary McHard; a brother, Don McHard; and Dale and Mary’s children, Dale Jr. and Janet, and their spouses. Dale had four grandchildren, Elizabeth, Meredith, Ridge and William.  Services were held Jan. 20 at United Methodist Church of the Servant.


Dale possessed a quick sense of humor, and when the occasion arose, his dry wit was followed by a laugh cherished by his friends. His steady presence and enduring curiosity will be greatly missed.


A native of Blackwell, Dale spent most of his career with the State of Oklahoma. He was a chemical engineer and industrial hygienist. He rose to State Director of Occupational and Radiological Health, a post he held for decades.  During his tenure with the state, he helped author the original Air Quality Act, a bill eventually signed into law. He and his staff relished the role of detectives in a search for lost radioactive sources. For that accomplishment he won a governor’s commendation.


Through his life, Dale supported Christian organizations in Oklahoma City. He was active in the Skyline Urban Ministries through donations of time and money. He became a lay chaplain at the Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City, ministering to families during their difficult times.


Youthful military duty as an officer with the Ordinance Corp. and Corp. of Engineers prepared him for his years in the field, both with the state and while digging and directing the Oklahoma Anthropological Society.

He and Mary would drive their RV to the dig sites, sometimes accompanied by Dale Jr.’s children, where they would work shoulder to shoulder with archeologists and volunteers in recovering and preserving a unique Oklahoma past.


On OAS digs Dale could be found eagerly troweling away in a dirt square, taking shade under his signature Tilley Duck hat. He told anybody who asked, and a few who didn’t, that the hat would survive the ordeal of a trip through an elephant’s digestive system. How he knew that remained his secret.


Dale clearly had a passion for uncovering relics and artifacts from Oklahoma’s past. He became OAS President in 1999. Later he served as Dig Chairman, a post he held until 2009. In 2006 he and Mary received the prestigious OAS Golden Trowel Awards.


Dale had a special form of humor and laugh that we will miss particularly; we will miss his presence wholly.


 dale  dale  dale