Dale Brueggeman

Bethalto |

H. Dale "Boo Boo" Brueggeman made his final exit from this earthbound world on April 24, 2023 at 11:42 am, surrounded by his four devoted children.  He's now in the arms of his beloved, Mary Belle, who he lost in 2011 after more than 60 years of blissful marriage.  He will be profoundly missed by his children and their loved ones, his dear Mary Jane, seven grandchildren and their partners, two great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, a number of surrogate family members and his wonderful community at Villa Rose.

An adored only child, Dale was born a stone's throw from the "Mighty Mississippi" in Alton, IL on July 30, 1928, to Olive and Orville Brueggeman.  This could likely explain his love of that great river and the incredible adventures it held.  His nearly 95 years of life was spent exploring its muddy waters around Calhoun County, hunting in its marshes; and in his older years, simply enjoying a leisurely car ride down the Great River Road to reminisce about times gone by.  Despite his fading eyesight, he could tell you if those flowing waters were close to breaching its banks.  Although born in Alton, his childhood hometown was Shipman, where his heart still lingers.

To sum up "Boo Boo's" 95 years of living would take to much space for any newspaper to accommodate.  He was, to say at the very least, a family man, an explorer, a hunter, a collector, a devoted American patriot and a prolific storyteller.  He was the life of the party who never met a stranger, a crack shot at 1000 yards, a tinkerer and do-it-yourselfer and a friend as loyal as they come.  If you needed a hand, he would give you both.  If you needed a tool, he'd have every type.  There was no task too difficult and no request denied.  He would give without hesitation and always with a smile.  These traits defined and shaped the unforgettable man he was.

Dale was extremely proud of his 42-year drafting career at Shell Oil.  Starting on the bottom rung, he diligently worked his way up the ladder to become the department head at the time of his retirement in 1988.  Throughout those years, he found time to give back to the community through his church, where he held a number of leadership roles. He was a board member of Wood River Township Hospital and eventually its Chairman, a position he took very seriously.  He and Mary Belle enjoyed sharing their mutual love of music.  With Dale on the banjo and Mary Belle on piano, they would visit nursing homes, schools and local organizations, bringing smiles to many.

Dale's service to his country included over a decade in the Naval Reserves and the "Seebees" where his love of building and his drafting skills were instrumental in supporting their motto, "We Build, We Fight".  He spent his training on the iconic aircraft carrier, "Coral Sea".  A picture of that mighty ship holds a place of honor on his apartment wall to this very day.  His service was honored by his country in 2018 he was given an 'Honor Flight' to Washington, D.C. along with many other veterans.  It was a trip that not only honored him but gave a chance to honor those who gave their lives in wars past.  It meant a great deal to him.

Not only was Dale an avid hunter who never left the duck blind without a meal to bring home, he was a nationally ranked competitive marksman.  He was the Sharpshooter Class National Champion in 1951 where he brought home the Western Cartridge Company trophy.  He was awarded the "Distinguished Marksman" classification-the highest shooting rank a civilian can receive from the U.S. Military- in 1971 at Ft. Riley, KS.  This was a hard-earned distinction that few have achieved.

Despite what was happening in the world around us, Dale was always a beacon of positivity.  His quick wit and devilish charm never left him.  As he promised, his iconic nickname, "Boo-Boo" will remain a secret that he carries with him, much to the chagrin of his children.  But that's okay, Boo-Boo.  It's much more fun keeping a secret, isn't it'

All services will be held at First Baptist Church in Wood River, 300 E. Lorena Av, Wood River, IL.

Masonic Rites will be presented at 3 p.m. with visitation from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

Visitation will continue from 9:30 a.m. until time of service at 10 a.m., Saturday.

Interment will follow in Woodland Hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:  BJC Foundation for Hospice, P.O. Box 790369., St. Louis, MO  63179-9917 ( or Shipman Area Park Association, 616 Reeds Ln, Shipman, IL  62685 or Greater St. Louis Honor Flight (

Marks Mortuary in Wood River entrusted with arrangements.

Obit Provided By:
Mark's Mortuary

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