Dale Nicoson

Shortly after Graduation in 1952 I went to Ames to enroll at Iowa State. The shock of needing to study was extreme. My performance was not stellar. I Then spent a year in Rolfe before enlisting in the US Air Force Aviation Cadet Program. After washing out of the program, I attended Buena Vista for a couple of years. Eventually I was able to finish my Degree at Lea College in Albert Lea, Minnesota in 1974.

I lived in Iowa City from 62 to 69 and got married during that time. We moved to the Lake Mills/Forest City region to follow employment and spent five years there. I was divorced in the mid 70's and began the overseas part of my life. I spent 1975 working on a power transmission line project in what was then Zaire.

After a little time home, I started working on Operations and Maintenance Contracts in Saudi Arabia. I continued that with a few breaks at home until about one year before the Gulf War. This was an extremely interesting period of time as I got to watch from close up a Nation literally be built from the ground up. I found that during this time my mid-west background was very helpful as we had grown up respecting someone that was different than we were. In many ways the Rolfe of my youth was multi-cultural in nature. Most of my contracts in Saudi were on military installations. It was normal for there to be companies from 8-10 different Countries on the same site.

Finally it was time to return home and I came back to the Iowa City area where my Mom was living having retired as a teacher from the Iowa City System. I must admit that when the Gulf War started that it was like watching my home town as I was familiar with nearly all of the locations. I spent the next ten years or so working with small Iowa Companies helping them sell overseas or to the US Military.

About three years ago in late 1999 I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Stage Four. Essentially I had two months to live if nothing worked. I wound up taking 8 cycles of chemo treatment, a month of radiation, and then four more cycles of a stronger chemo. When the tumors kept coming back it was then time to do a stem cell transplant. I am very thankful that I was living in Iowa City very close to the treatment at University Hospitals. I spent 62 days in the Hospital which is why I missed the re-union. At this time I have been tumor free for nine months and am pretty encouraged. A near death experience is somewhat like a hanging sentence, it tends to polarize ones thinking.

I feel fortunate to be alive and am looking forward to enjoying my Son and the three Grandchildren that he and his wife are rearing.


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