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Columbia Missourian

Dale Sechler served in Army, devoted his life to service

By Ie'shia McDonald
October 6, 2012 | 5:11 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA – Dale Truman Sechler served in the Army for two years, but his whole life was dedicated to service.

“It was so inspirational how giving he was,” his daughter Teena Ligman said.

Dale Truman Sechler of Columbia died Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. He was 85.

Mr. Sechler was born Nov. 30, 1926, in Pleasant Hope to Sarah Edith Apperson and Alvin Truth Sechler. He married Carol May Sherman on Dec. 27, 1954.

From 1945 to 1947, Mr. Sechler served in the Army in the Philippines.

Ligman said her father had a global outlook on life. After receiving his doctorate from MU in plant biology, Mr. Selcher took a research position with the University of Florida in 1960. In 1967, he began working for the United States Agency for International Development, serving in India and later in Tunisia. Mr. Sechler went on mission trips to Nicaragua and other countries with his wife.

Mr. Sechler returned to MU in 1969 as a professor in the agronomy department as a small grains breeder. He continued to engage in research and teach at MU until retiring in 1989, with designation as professor emeritus.

Mr. Sechler was a member of Community United Methodist Church and Golden K. Kiwanis Club. He also volunteered for Meals on Wheels, the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and the P.E.T. Project.

He and his wife were foster parents for 14 years, and they hosted a number of international students and housed and mentored four refugee families from Vietnam.

“My parents were always helping others,” Ligman said. “I remember when I had to go serve in Desert Storm, they stepped in as wonderful parents to their grandchildren while I was gone."

The last trip Mr. Sechler took was the Honor Flight, a flight for war veterans, Ligman said.

“I remember he was very touched and honored to be a part of this ceremony," Ligman said.

Mr. Sechler is survived by his wife, Carol May; sister, Charlene Belden; daughters, Teena Ligman and husband David, and Lisa Sechler and husband Stephen Dolan; son, Mark Sechler and wife Carol; foster son, Daniel Jaggers; grandchildren, Katherine Sherer and husband Randy, Luke and Megan Ligman, Benjamin and Caroline Sechler, Amalia, Mara and Zina Dolan; and great-grandchildren, Kayden and Elsie Sherer.

His grandson Matthew Sechler and brother, Chester Sechler, died earlier.

Visitation will be held Sunday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church, 3301 W. Broadway. Services will follow at 4 p.m. at the church.

Memorials or donations can be made to the P.E.T. Project, 1908 Heriford Road, Columbia, MO 65202, or Meals on Wheels, 800 Hospital Drive, Columbia, MO 65202.