Dale D. Billhorn

Posted 12/15/23

LaMOILLE – Dale Duane Billhorn, 91, of LaMoille, passed away Nov. 27, 2023, at his daughter's house in Princeton, with his six children at his side.

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Dale D. Billhorn


LaMOILLE – Dale Duane Billhorn, 91, of LaMoille, passed away Nov. 27, 2023, at his daughter's house in Princeton, with his six children at his side. Like any good Bureau County farmer, he waited until harvest was finished to leave the fields.

The family will provide further information regarding a memorial gathering in the spring at the "Home Place" outside of LaMoille.

Born June 28, 1932, to William and Bertha (Scriba) Billhorn, Dale attended high school at the old Allen School in LaMoille, where he participated in football and track. After high school, Dale entered the family business as a fourth-generation farmer and, in 1953, moved his young family to the Clarion "Home Place" farmstead that had first been deeded to his great-grandfather (Veit Billhorn) after immigration to the United States in 1852. Ultimately, in 1974, Dale purchased the Home Place and continued to farm there until 2016. Dale lived in Bureau County his entire 91 years, 70 years on the Clarion Home Place.

Dale is survived by his six children from his marriage to Doris (Lobach) in January of 1950, Mick Billhorn, Patricia Schultz (Les), and Janice Myers (Daniel), all of LaMoille, John Billhorn (Jill) and Jodi Hoare (Frank) of Chicago, Jackie Martin (Kevin) of Princeton, his sister Donna Zinke of Mendota, and his second wife, Carolee, of Oglesby.

Dale was preceded in death by his grandson Ryan Adkins, his sister Charlene Stamberger, and his son-in-law Frank Hoare.

The farm family built around Dale goes far and deep. Dale, known as "Pappa Dale" to the clan, enjoyed 18 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren.

In 2022, Dale was awarded the prestigious Illinois Department of Agriculture "Sesquicentennial Farm" award, given by the State of Illinois in recognition of 150 or more years of family farm ownership. The year 2023 marks the 171st year of family ownership of the Billhorn Clarion Township Home Place farm.

Over the course of his life, Dale was an avid race car fan and found success on many dirt and pavement tracks as an owner, driver and chief mechanic. As well as owning midget race cars and stock cars, in the early 1980s, Dale drove his own stock car at LaSalle Speedway as well as the Mendota and Princeton fairgrounds. The driving force in Dale's racing interest started in the 1940s when Dale met and became friends with Danny "the Greek" Kladis, a two-time Indianapolis 500 participant who, for more than five decades, took Dale under his arm and taught him the nuances of oval, open wheel race car competition.

Dale was residing with Jackie in Princeton at the time of his passing. In honoring Dale's wishes, the family asks that all memorials be directed to the family (Jackie Martin) for allocation to the Fresenius Kidney Care, where Dale received dialysis for the last seven years of his life, as well as the Clarion Lutheran Church outside of LaMoille, which served as the family's base for worship for many years.

Online condolences may be directed to www.norbergfh.com. Arrangements by Norberg Memorial Home, Inc. & Monuments.