Celebrating the life of Dale C. Troppito
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On the evening of May 21st 1974, Dale walked over to Tony, sat on his lap, put her right arm around his neck, looked him square in the eye and asked “So don’t you think it is about time you asked me to marry you?” They had been dating for 6 months and they were friends from computer science and math classes for almost four years. To wit Tony responded, “Well if you get off my lap, I will get down on one knee and do a proper job if it.” Not only does this story begin an incredible rocket ride that would last another 41 years, it also tells you what everyone who knew Dale came to know: she had an uncanny insight into people and events, a huge sense of humor, and very little patience for procrastination.
She was born Dale Christine Coulias on May 25th, 1952. Mom had to seek permission from the church to have her christened Dale, a non-saint’s-name, after Dale Arden, the female sidekick of Flash Gordon. Dale would go on to graduate with a degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois, one of just 13 women to graduate that year across all of Engineering at one of the nation’s largest, and most prestigious, engineering schools. She received her MS in Computer Science from Northwestern University while holding a full time position as Member of Technical Staff for Bell Laboratories. She was the first woman to hold this title at the Indian Hill labs. She would continue to be one of the few women around the table as she took on leadership roles at Digital Equipment Corporation and Software Arts. She was recruited by Lotus Development Corp., a start-up at the time, to build their engineering organization. Later Dale joined the senior management team to bring Wang Labs out of chapter 11, and founded a number of high tech consulting and product companies. For the last 15 years Dale led The Gantry Group, a leading market and product strategy consulting firm serving the health care systems market.
Beyond technology and management, Dale became an acknowledged collector of modern American Folk Art and Crafts, building the largest personal collections of a number of American craftsmen and artists. She also loved to travel. Each year, Dale organized trips that took the family around the world to experience different cultures and food, explore ancient civilizations and the roots of religion, and of course, collect folk art. She loved nature and gardening. Passersby frequently knock on the door asking to walk the property around her historic home to experience and photograph the gardens she created over the years. She loved cooking fantastic, and at times exotic, dinners for family and friends. And when it came time to relax, that meant sitting down with her family to watch English mysteries and science fiction adventure movies.
Dale, surrounded by her family, moved on after a protracted and, as was her style, tenacious battle with colon cancer. Her life, her energy and her love of people remain an inspiration and guiding light for her surviving husband, Tony Troppito, and daughter, Logan Troppito. They will always feel her boundless love. Oh and did we mention, like her mom, Logan is named after a Sci Fi character.
A Funeral Mass for Dale will be celebrated on Saturday, April 11th at 10:00am at St. Irene Church in Carlisle, Mass., with a burial service and reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Dale to the Massachusetts General Hospital, to support “Mass General Cancer Center at Emerson-Bethke.” Checks can be mailed to:
Massachusetts General Hospital
100 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114
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181 East Street
Carlisle, MA 01741
Carlisle, Massachusetts 01741