Dorothy “Dottie” Jane Edwards Dale Hughes

by Lynn McMillen
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Dorothy “Dottie” Jane Edwards Dale Hughes passed away on February 8, peacefully in her home, surrounded by many loved ones. She was 96 years old.

Dottie was born November 28, 1927, on a Navajo reservation in Lovelock, Nevada, where her parents worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Throughout her life Dottie wanted to be a teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Tennessee, and her master’s degree in education from Alabama A&M University. She spent her young adult years raising her five children before teaching high school science, chemistry, and physics for 15 years. In 1983 she received the Alabama American Association of Physics Teachers Award. In 1984 she received the E. Scott Bar Award for Excellence in Teaching Physics, an award given by the physics teachers of Alabama Universities. She especially cherished this award because she was nominated by one of her former students, who gave her the credit when his professor told him he was the best prepared student in all his classes. In 1987, Dottie received the Presidential Award for Excellence by President Ronald Reagan. The faculty and students of Huntsville High School admired and loved her.

Dottie loved the outdoors. As a youth she joined a hiking club, hiking all over the Smoky Mountains. It was on one of these hikes that she met Bill Dale, her husband of 48 years.

Dottie and Bill were married in 1947. They moved to Huntsville in October of 1951, where they raised their family and served their church and community until Bill’s death in 1995. In 2001, she married Rev. Ken Hughes and lived with him in Fairhope, Alabama until his death in 2012. She always considered herself to be doubly blessed to spend her life with these two fine and loving men.

Dottie and Bill were very active in First Christian Church, serving in the choir for 40 years, and in various other leadership positions. She was the first female elder there. After moving to Fairhope, she continued her church involvement at Fairhope Christian Church. Throughout their lives, Bill and Dottie generously supported many charitable causes. They were founding members of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild. They both received the Virginia Hammel Simms Award for their contributions to the arts in Huntsville. In retirement Dottie spent many hours as a private physics tutor and court appointed juvenile advocate.

Dottie was preceded in death by father, Raymond Edwards; mother, Wilhelmina Edwards; brothers, George Edwards, John Edwards, Frank Edwards, and Robert Edwards; sisters, Marion Edwards Ferris and Wilma Edwards Neas Loga; her husbands, William Isaac Dale Jr., and the Rev. Kenneth Hughes; son, Barney Dale; son-in-law, Eric Schiller; and grandson, Jeffrey Dale. She is survived by children, Deborah Dale Shiller (George Henley), Donna Dale Evans (Robert), Brian Dale (Sue), and Bradley Dale (Janice); daughter-in-law, Eileen Freiburg-Dale; 14 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and her many friends. A special word of thanks to Dr. Thomas McCulloch and Tina Haring for their years of friendship and service.

A funeral will be held at First Christian Church, Huntsville, Monday, February 12 at 11:00, Rev. Paul Allen officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Christian Church Foundation, PO Box 1007, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1007, or online at Please note “William I. and Dorothy E. Dale Fund” in memo line.

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