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In memoriam: Consummate L.B. Foster salesman, short-line industry leader D. Dale Leake


D. Dale Leake, a long-time sales manager for L.B. Foster Co. and one of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s (ASLRRA) first associate board members, died March 21 after a “courageous battle with cancer,” according to his obituary. He was 70.

Leake joined L.B. Foster in 1966 and spent his entire career with the company in a wide variety of sales positions, including national sales manager. Early in his career, he was involved in selling essentially all of L.B. Foster’s product lines. In the early 1990s, Leake was transferred into the rail side of the business, where he spent the remainder of his career in various sales management positions. He retired from L.B. Foster in 2004.

“Dale was a classic relationship-building salesman. Everybody new Dale,” says L.B. Foster President and Chief Executive Officer Stan Hasselbusch, who first met Leake in the late 1970s.

Although he retired seven years ago, Leake continued to generate sales in the rail supply community in a consulting role.

“He was selling until he passed away,” says Hasselbusch.

Leake became the first member of the rail supply sector to serve on the ASLRRA’s board, according to his obituary. He was a good friend of the short-line industry, and a “strong and compassionate leader,” said ASLRRA President Richard Timmons in a newsletter released yesterday.

“Dale was the eternal optimist, and he was renowned for his hospitality and generous spirit,” said Timmons. “He was one of the first members to welcome me when I joined the ASLRRA in 2002, and I have thoroughly enjoyed his friendship and benefited from his wise counsel over they years.”

Leake is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Linda, two daughters and four grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Dunwoody United Methodist Church, 1548 Mt. Vernon Rd., Dunwoody, GA 30338.

Jeff Stagl

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/24/2011