Dale Fillmer: 8/14/47 – 10/2/21

Today, I have the opportunity to post about a woman who was an inspiration and mentor to me for 28 years. My mother-in-law, Dale Harrocks Fillmer, went to be with her Lord and Savior on October 2, 2021. She passed away at Bethany House in Auburn, AL. This is not a sad post, but one of celebration about who Dale was and how she affected the life of everyone who ever met her or was privileged to call her family.

Dale Harrocks Fillmer

For as long as I can remember, Dale was making and giving to everyone she knew. She made a beautiful home for her family, always providing them with comfort and support, selflessly.

Dale was born on August 14,1947 in Cleveland, OH to Thomas and Shirlee Harrocks.  She attended college at Lake Forest, UC Berkeley, Auburn, and UAB.  Dale met her husband, Larry Fillmer at Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren Township, NJ, and they were married on December 27, 1967.  

She was an avid quilter and was passionate about gifting her quilts to family and friends.  She frequently made and donated quilts to Project Linus for children in need.  Below is a gallery of quilts that we laid out at her service. All of these she made for family or loved ones. The labels were truly the most treasured part. She was always so detailed in everything she did.

Although, she did not teach me to quilt, she was a constant kindred spirit for me when it came to the craft. Through her attention to detail, she inspired me to be more precise in all that I did and my quilts show the result of the example she set. Her work was amazing and she set the bar very high, indeed.

Dale, also, loved teaching piano to her children and grandchildren, from ages 5 to 45 years.  Scott, her son, was her 45 year old beginner and she taught him everything she knew on the keys. She passed on her extensive knowledge of cooking and preserving jams, jellies, and salsa to her daughter and her granddaughters alike. 

Auburn was her home, and she enjoyed many wonderful years cheering on her Tigers at football and basketball games here on The Plains.  When not at home rooting for her team, another of Dale’s favorite things to do was travel to Hawaii and to the beach at St. George Island with her family.  Vacations to Hawaii at Christmas are some of the most memorable for her family, as her son recalls that she always found it challenging to balance celebrating the traditionally cold, snowy holiday with the 75-degree weather, sun, and sand.  Reading and relaxing at the beaches at St. George Island and the gulf of Alabama were especially dear to her up her last days, as she was able to spend precious time with her grandchildren and daughter’s family at Gulf Shores.

Dale and Ebby – 2013


She is survived by her husband Larry; her sister Debbie (Metteer); her son, Scott and his wife Deborah, her daughter, Sarah (Marchio) and her husband Chris.  Dale leaves behind her 13 grandchildren Bryan (Fillmer), Gabriel, Jacob, Martha, Levi, Isaac, Zechariah, Ezekiel, Miriam, Jubilee, Abraham, Cornelius (Marchio), Abigail (Corbett); and two great grandchildren William and Luke (Fillmer).

Even though you are gone, you live on in each of us you left behind. We will miss you deeply and know that you are no longer suffering or in pain here. Thank you for all you gave to all of us. ~Deborah

2 thoughts on “Dale Fillmer: 8/14/47 – 10/2/21

  1. Dear friend, my heart goes out to you and Scott. I know how close Scott was to his Mom. He and the family must be devastated to have lost the nucleus of their family. You and I know the pain of this difficult burden that every child eventually has to carry. Time doesn’t cure the pain but it does eventually give us strength to keep living life with bitter sweet memories instead of pain when thinking of our beloved Mother. Please give Scott and family my deepest condolences. Love you, my friend.

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