Cover photo for Duane Dalley's Obituary
Duane Dalley Profile Photo

Duane Dalley

March 14, 1926 — February 17, 2023

Dallas, Texas

Duane Dalley


Duane Garth Dalley was born to Lowell Alfred Dalley and Zelda Marie Zobell Dalley on March 14, 1926 in Albion, Idaho. Ruby Laree Weatherford was born to Archie Belle Weatherford and Ann Jane Pease on October 25, 1934 in American Falls, Idaho. Even though they were born to Idaho farming families who lived within 200 miles of each other, they did not meet until 1957, after they had moved to Los Angeles. Los Angeles had already become the second largest metropolitan area in the United States, with a population 25 times larger than the state they grew up in.  


By the time they met, Duane had served in the US Navy in World War II and in the Korean War, and he had also served as a volunteer missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), serving in that capacity “without purse or scrip.” Duane had also completed a master’s degree in electrical engineering at UC Berkeley and was working at RCA Victor. Ruby had completed her nurse’s training at Saint Anthony Mercy Hospital and was working as a Registered Nurse at UCLA Medical Center. 


Duane and Ruby were married in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple in the same year they met. Duane decided he had found someone he liked, and he didn’t want to allow her to slip away, so he proposed on his knee in her apartment, presenting Ruby with a ring while facing the Los Angeles LDS Temple through her apartment window. 


In 1958, Duane accepted a job in the Missiles System Division of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, and Ruby and Duane bought a house in 1959 in what would later be called Silicon Valley. When they moved to Silicon Valley, their house was built on a cherry orchard on Gilbert Avenue in Santa Clara. Their house was very close to Stevens Creek Boulevard, which is now a major thoroughfare lined with car dealerships, even though it was still lined with orchards when they first moved there. The first silicon-based company was founded in Silicon Valley only three years before they moved there, so they joined Silicon Valley in its infancy. 


Their first child, Kevin, was born shortly after they moved into their new house, and their other children, Brian, Craig, and Ann, were born while they continued living in the same house. Ruby was a homemaker while their children were young, and Duane worked as an aerospace engineer, designing antennas for satellites and aircraft. One of the most famous satellites he worked on was the Hubble Space Telescope, which is still breaking new scientific ground in 2024, 34 years after it was first launched. Duane started working as an aerospace engineer in the infancy of the aerospace industry, since the first satellite (Sputnik) was launched only two weeks before Duane and Ruby were married. 


When Ruby went back to work, she also was part of a pioneering movement. She started working as a nurse for Hospice of the Valley in the early 1980’s. Hospice of the Valley had been founded in 1979, and the first hospice organization in the US had only been started in 1974. Hospice of the Valley specialized in allowing people with terminal cancer to die with dignity in their own homes. Ruby was a passionate patient advocate, always believing that patients should be offered options to allow them to navigate their medical journey. 


When Duane retired from Lockheed (which was then called Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation), he became an ICAPGen accredited genealogist, turning a long-time interest into a retirement avocation, in which he charged very modest fees to provide highy skilled genealogical help for clients. He specialized in Danish research, but he also helped clients who wanted to research family history for other locations. Not long before he passed away, Duane offered to work on his bishop’s family tree. Even in his 90’s, he could still read Danish and navigate computer records with great skill, and he identified over 50 new individuals in his bishop’s family tree.


During their retirement years, Duane and Ruby greatly enjoyed travelling. Including all of the trips after they were married, they travelled to all 50 states as well as visiting nearly 50 foreign countries. Ruby often said that the trip to Kenya and Tanzania was one of their favorites. 


Throughout their lives, family and faith were very important to them. They devoted much of their time to raising their children. They enjoyed visiting with relatives, and, in later years, they greatly valued the opportunity to visit with grandchildren. They particularly enjoyed being able to have three of their grandchildren live with them for a while in their Santa Clara home (Dan Ellis, Jake Ellis, and Spencer Dalley). Duane and Ruby held many volunteer positions in the LDS church over the years. Duane served in the young men’s organization, helped rectify finances as a clerk, and frequently volunteered at the local genealogical library. He also performed a genealogical service mission after he retired. Ruby spent much of her time volunteering with the children’s organization (Primary) and the women’s organization (Relief Society) in the LDS church. She also was willing to use her nursing skills to help fellow church members. 


Ruby and Duane lived in their Silicon Valley home for over 60 years before they moved to a senior living community in Dallas, Texas. They had been married for 65 years at the time Duane passed away. Just as Ruby had strived to serve others with her medical skills earlier in life, she was blessed by multiple volunteers and professionals who helped her during the year following Duane’s death. Ruby had always said that she didn’t want Duane to leave her as a widow for a long time, and, after Duane passed away, Ruby passed away almost exactly one year later, reuniting again with her lifelong spouse. 


Duane was survived by his brother-in-law, George Schick, and by his sister-in-law, Valene Dalley. Ruby was survived by her brother Jerry Weatherford and his wife, Beth Weatherford. They were also survived by their son, Kevin Dalley and his wife, Haven Bourque, their son Brian Dalley, and his wife, Winnie Dalley, their son Craig Dalley and his wife, LaDawn Dalley, and their son-in-law Dee Ellis, and his wife, Flora Ellis. They were preceded in death by their daughter, Ann Ellis. They were also survived by their grandchildren: Kendra Dalley, Brittany Talbot, and her husband, William Talbot, Spencer Dalley, Mallory Dalley, Randall Dalley, Hayden Dalley, Cameron Dalley, Julian Dalley, James Dalley, Elaine Talbot, and her husband, Robbie Talbot, Lynette Hawkins, and her husband, Kallen Hawkins, Rachel Dalley, Dan Ellis, and Jake Ellis, and his wife, Cassie Ellis. They were also survived by their great-grandchildren: Samantha Talbot and Levi Talbot.


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