Dallas W. Van Delinder, 89, of Billings, passed away on Feb. 25, 2019, at Highgate Senior Living, where he had made his home for the past seven months. Dallas was born on the family farm near Richey on Feb. 8, 1930, the son of George and Dretta (White) Van Delinder.
When Dallas was 7 years old, the family moved off the farm and settled in Belgrade, where he attended school, graduating from high school there. He went on to attend the University of Montana in Missoula, where he received his degree in accounting. He was proud to be the class Valedictorian, as well as the youngest student to ever graduate from the U of M.
Shortly after graduation, he married his sweetheart, Verna Jones, on June 30, 1951. On July 19, 1951, Dallas was called to serve his country during the Korean War, which took them to California, where he served in the Air Force as Auditor General at a rank of 1st Lieutenant. In 1953, he was honorably discharged and they moved back to Montana, living in Virginia City for a summer and then Billings, which was their home for the remainder of their lives.
He joined Babcock and Lee Trucking Company in Billings, where he was the accountant. Mr. Babcock would eventually become Governor of Montana and he and Dallas remained friends. In 1966, Dallas and Jim Janke started Janke and Van Delinder, CPA. The two stayed partners for about 15 years before he purchased Peterson Construction. This flourished his interest in Real Estate, eventually becoming a Broker. He would later become a partner in Homestead Business Park, developing the foundation for businesses such as Business Center One, Shopko and Costco, as well as many other businesses on the Billings West End. Dallas was a hard worker, very dedicated to the betterment of any project he was involved. With a desire to continue working, he reopened his CPA practice and partnered with his daughter-in-law Kimberly Van Delinder and continued to run the practice until his retirement in 2000. Dallas’s wife passed away in 2002 and Dallas remained independent until the last six months.
Dallas loved cars! He loved to buy, fix and sell cars and enjoyed working on them with his sons, Steve and Curt. He was fascinated with technology and owned one of the first computers in Montana. He wrote “How-To Guides” to teach others how to use an IBM computer and was up to date with technology into his senior years. He was a dedicated family man and very proud of his children, Nancy, Curt and Steve. Dallas was a Rotarian, joining the Downtown Rotary Club in 1970, and remained a member until his death. Dallas served as a Montana Highway Commissioner and was very proud to be part of the efforts that brought the Interstate Highway System to the state of Montana.
Dallas was preceded in death by his parents; all five of his siblings; wife, Verna Van Delinder; and son Curt Van Delinder. He is survived by his children, Nancy (Randy) Besel; son Steve (Kim) Van Delinder; and his grandchildren.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service to celebrate Dallas’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. His cremated remains will be laid to rest next to his wife at Mountview Cemetery in the spring.