Dale F. Theis, Norfolk, Nebraska, official reporter of the Ninth Judicial District of Nebraska, and his judge, the Honorable Eugene C. McFadden, were killed instantly in a car-train collision near Norfolk on January 29, 1979
Dale, who was 43, graduated from the Minnesota School of Business, Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1962, then freelanced in Cleveland for a year. In 1963, he and his fiancee, Karin, who had graduated from the same school at the same time, were married and moved to Nebraska. During his 16 years as an official reporter in Nebraska, Dale was very active in the Nebraska Shorthand Reporters Association, serving as its president on two occasions, among other offices.
Quoting from the Memorial for Dale F. Theis, written by members of the Ninth Judicial District Bar Association of Nebraska: “Without a doubt, Dale was as fine a reporter as this community has ever known. Somehow he was always able to understand and record the most difficult material. He had an excellent knowledge of legal, medical, and other technical terms. He was always able to find portions of testimony requested by either Court or counsel, and in our memory was never asked to correct any part of his record. Dale made it a point to get to know all the attorneys in the district and attempted to serve the needs of each to the fullest extent. He attended as many functions of the Bar as possible, adding much, both socially and professionally, to each meeting. He was always anxious to be of help in and out of the courtroom, and his work was accurate and promptly delivered.”
Karin, who is a freelancer, added: “Dale was instrumental in encouraging many young people from Nebraska to go into court reporting. He was also most helpful to new reporters and new lawyers with whom he came into contact in his work. His greatest love was the outdoors. His favorite place was a cabin he built on Lewis & Clark Lake near Yankton, South Dakota. He was a snowmobiler in winter, a boater and fisherman in summer. We have four children, Lisa, Jennifer, Jeffrey and Christopher. We and his many friends miss him terribly, but are consoled by the fact that he and his Judge, the man he admired most in the world, and with whom he died, had been happy, active, and in good health until their deaths.”