He was born Nov. 1, 1930, in Toledo, Ohio, as the son of Clyde B. and Velma Murphy Blackwell. He served in the U.S. Air Force and was Honorably Discharged. He married Nina Marie Gover Sept. 10, 1967, in Huntington, N.Y. She preceded him in death Oct. 9, 2004.
Dale attended the Universalist Unitarian Church and was active in the community as a member of the Brazil Public Library Board of Directors. He enjoyed his Ham radio work and was a member of ARRL National Association for Amateur Radio and the Wabash Valley Amateur Radio Association.
Following formal education at Indiana University, he began a long career as an engineer/physicist. He designed loudspeakers and microphones and stereo cartridges. He was known internationally for his development of the Cockpit Voice Recorder "Black Box" that is installed in airplanes to help investigators following a plane crash. He developed video circuitry to analyze color motion picture film and made major contributions to the A6-F and F14 military aircraft cockpit systems. He also worked on assignment at Los Alamos National Laboratories in the development of the "Star Wars" defense technology. In retirement, he continued to work as a design consultant and a contributor of articles to various technical publications.
Dale was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Nina and one brother, Stirling Blackwell.
He is survived by four daughters, Nina Watanabe, California, Marka Barbour and husband Richard, Austin, Texas, Victoria Bush and husband Mike, Bloomington, Ill., and Loretta Dash and husband Ralph, North Hollywood, Calif., and eight grandchildren.
At the request of the deceased, his body was cremated. Visitation with the family will be 5-6 p.m., Sunday, March 16, at Moore Funeral Home with memorial services at 6 p.m. Should friends so desire, expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to the Clay County Humane Society, 8280 N. CR 125 W, Brazil, IN 47834. Visit www.moore-funeral-homes.com to send condolences to the family or for more information.