More detail on this person: Dale Anthony Haaksma Dale Anthony Haaksma, age 58, of Grand Rapids, passed away at home on Friday, November 4, 2005, surrounded in love by his family. He lived the last eight years of his life with grace and determination despite stage IV malignant melanoma. Dale was a decorated helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was the first American pilot to land on the American Embassy in Saigon, at night by flashlight, in preparation for President Nixon's visit. He was a member of GVSU's first class in the Bachelor Degree Program of Nursing, and then worked at St. Mary's Hospital. After working as a sales rep for 15 years, he earned a master's degree at Michigan State, and returned to the medical field as a family nurse practitioner at Advantage Health where he found great satisfaction in working with patients of all ages. After his illness prevented his working any longer, Dale became an active member of Gilda's Club and volunteered at St. Mary's Hospital. Dale was a devoted husband and loving father. He was loved by everyone for his kind, servant's heart. He lived out his faith in his everyday life, and was looking forward to his new life after death with anticipation. He was preceded in death by his parents, Anthony and Ruth Haaksma, and his older brother, David Haaksma. He is survived by his loving wife of 35 years, Lin; his daughters, Gina (Jose) Godinez and Cameo Haaksma; brother, James (Charlotte) Haaksma; sister-in-law, Joyce (Frank) Giddy; father and mother-in-law, Nelson and Jeanne Lieffers, and many other relatives and friends. Memorial contributions may be made to Gilda's Club. A memorial service will be Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Visitation will be on Sunday from 2 to 4 and on Monday from 7 to 9 p.m.
Burial information: Woodlawn Cemetery, Grand Rapids, MI
This information was last updated 12/09/2017
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 07/01/2020
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association