CAVE SPRINGS — Dale Leroy Fender, 61, beloved brother, son, friend, uncle and pet owner, died in a car accident Saturday, July 17, 2021, in Cave Springs.

He was born Sept. 24, 1959, in Jonesboro to Neva Lou Mock Fender and Douglas Fender.

Raised in Kennett, Mo., and a graduate of Kennett High School, Dale attended the University of Missouri, where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and graduated with a degree in horticulture.

He spent his life working in every aspect of the golf course business, from equipment sales, design and building, to groundskeeper, to golf course superintendent, including spending several years in golf course maintenance at Augusta National.

Dale truly had a special gift; he significantly improved any golf course he touched, whether public or private.

Dale is survived by his sister, Belinda Fender and husband Frank Engley of Columbia, Mo.; sister, Rosy Elmore and her husband John of Lawrence, Kan.; nephew, Zach Elmore and his wife Estrella of Dallas, Texas; niece, Lacey Elmore of San Francisco; nephew, Austin Fender of Jonesboro; nephew Billy Fender and wife Tiffany of Senath, Mo.; many cousins; several great-nieces and a great-nephew; and two beautiful puppies, Buddy Guy and Choco.

Dale is also survived by an endless number of friends, partially because, throughout his 61 years, he never met a stranger.

Dale was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Bill, and the love of his life, Maria.

His family is grateful that his legacy will live on through his generous decision to be an organ and tissue donor.

Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Aug. 9 in Kennett at the First United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to your local animal shelter, animal rescue organization, or the First United Methodist Church in Kennett.

Arrangements are with Heritage Funeral Home in Springdale.

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