Dal Emery Dagnon, age 83, of Tonasket, passed away Nov.2, 2021, in Issaquah, Wash. at Swedish Medical Center with pneumonia. Many members of the family were at his side.
Dal was born in Okanogan, Wash. May 2, 1938, to Helen and Charlie Dagnon. He spent the majority of his early life in the Methow Valley and called Twisp his home. He graduated from Twisp High School in 1956. He married Joanne McMillan July 3, 1965 in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. They started a family and moved to Tonasket shortly afterwards.
Dal had a great work ethic and held many jobs throughout the years. As a teenager, he worked for the Sunny M Ranch as a wrangler and ranch hand. During the next few years, he started working on a trail crew in the Pasayten Wilderness. He was the camp cook and later learned to pack. He was employed by the Forest Service as a contracted trail builder, was a logger, sawmill owner/operator, and construction worker. Later on, he went to Billings to become an auctioneer. He then tried his hand as farmer and a cattle rancher.
Dal was very involved and interested in helping preserve a landowner’s rights. He was levelheaded and prided himself on not letting personalities get in the way of issues. He served on many local boards on the state and local level. He was very proud of his work for the Board of Adjustments, Board of Equalization, and held offices for the Okanogan County Cattleman’s Association and the Washington State Cattlemen’s Association. Dal truly enjoyed doing benefit auctions for people in need or for good causes with his partner (Daryl Ausmussen) of 50 years with D&D Auctions.
Throughout his life, Dal had a great love and respect of the cowboy’s way of life. His actions were louder than words. He was free with a smile, and at his best telling stories of his exploits throughout his many journeys around the sun. His passion for horses never waned, and he remained very active as a rider right up to his final days. Dal was also known to have a zeal for the game of basketball, and he played on the Army Basketball exhibition team at the Brussels Fair in 1958 during his time in the service. Dal loved his family and his work. He could often be found doing something related to his auctions or the ranch. It was in this endeavor that he had countless interactions with his employees, friends, and family. During these moments were where many of life’s lessons were taught to his own children. If you knew Dal, odds are you probably worked alongside him in some capacity.
Dal was preceded in death by his parents, Charlie and Helen Dagnon; parents-in-law, Larry and Leota McMillan; his brother, Tom Dagnon; his grandson, Ryan Dagnon; and his brother-in-law, Patrick McMillan. He is survived by his wife, Joanne Dagnon; Joseph Dagnon, Jana Dagnon, and Larry Dagnon (Stephanie). He had five grandchildren, Marcy Harris, Dal Michael Dagnon, Nathaniel Dagnon, Leah Dagnon, and Kassidy Symonds. He is also survived by his sisters, Dorothy Nelson, and Dolores Franz; brother, Don Dagnon; sister-in-law, Judy Dagnon, brother-in-law, Mike (Gretchen) McMillan, Jeff (Marva) McMillan, as well as his brother-in-laws, and 12 nephews and nieces.
A celebration of life will be held at the Tonasket Eagles on Saturday, November 13th at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers please feel free to make a donation to the Tonasket Eagles Foundation Scholarship Fund or the Okanogan County Cattlemen’s Association Scholarship Fund.
Bergh Funeral Service & Crematory is in care of arrangements.