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In small communities, heroes come from all backgrounds, and they almost never wear capes. They live quiet lives, hiding in plain sight, taking their satisfaction in a job well done. They may be thanked for each job, but not for the bigger impact they have on their communities.
That’s not the case for Dayton, however. At least, not if Gordon Gerlitz can help it.
“We have to recognize people while they are still going,” Gerlitz said. “Oftentimes, we recognize people after the fact, but that doesn’t work for me. If you’re doing a great job, I want to thank you now.”
A very important thank you was organized by Dayton residents Gerlitz and Vicki Zoller, for a longtime plumber who continues to help his clients-turned-friends in every way that he possibly can.
Since 1987, White Plumbing has been going above and beyond to answer every call for help, and the services have not gone unappreciated. Community members recently came together to say a very big, virtual thank you to owner Dale White.
White was presented a Certificate of Appreciation from both the City of Dayton and the Columbia County Commissioners. Long-time clients sent in letters of appreciation, as well, and the letters all had a common theme, Gerlitz shared. “Rain, snow, or shine, Dale White would do what was needed to fix your plumbing issue, 24/7. He is an angel sent from Heaven to help us here on Earth. He is kind, generous, thoughtful, and honest.” Many people mentioned what a pleasure it has been to know him.
“Dale White is a true asset to our community. Through his many years of service, he has proven to be an expert and master of the plumbing trade,” said Mayor Zac Weatherford. “The City of Dayton is fortunate and grateful to have Mr. White utilizing his skills to provide a much-needed service.”
Gerlitz and Zoller worked together to create a tribute book with photos and kind words from clients, friends, and fellow community members. The book is available for purchase at https://tinyurl.com/mry2k2e9
The recognition did not stop after the presentation, though. A post shared on FaceBook on All Things Dayton, WA, had hundreds of likes and comments.
“I love Dale. He’s always available, and prices are reasonable,” posted Chrisann Christensen of Dayton.
“He is a godsend! He’s done so much work at my place, all I have to do is leave a message. He appears, and like Superman, is done and gone in a flash!” Michelle Stedman shared.
“In 1971 my family bought property in Dayton; my dad hired Dale to help with a well pump and other plumbing needs through the years; this past summer I had to replace a water line to my rental house, guess who I used…. Mr. White. My family has never used anyone else. He truly is the original energizer bunny…he keeps going and going,” said David DeSiga.
“Even went under the house to fix the outside faucet! What other 80’ish guy does that?! Thanks for all the times you bailed me out, Dale,” Dorothy Croft commented.
“Dale White has rescued us SEVERAL times! He does such good work, and I always feel like I am ripping him off because he doesn’t charge a ton. I hope he is currently training about 50 apprentices to take his place when he retires. Dayton will be in a world of hurt when he decides to take some time off and retire,” Susan Larson said.
“His skill & memory of what he did at the same location two owners ago is priceless! When the truck pulls up, it’s a good feeling to know the problem is solved,” Carla Rowe commented.
“Dale is a very kind man, and he never charges double for work that needs to be done on Sunday as most plumbers do. He is due. He is very qualified, efficient, does not charge an arm and a leg, and I enjoy when he visits our house because he has many interesting stories to tell about his life,” said Holly Kaczmarski.
White continues to respond to plumbing calls for his long-term clients, working well into the holidays and maintaining a ‘just a phone call away’ reputation. Thank you, Dale White, for all you’ve done for the community of Dayton. In the words of Candy Ward Jones, he is a Dayton Hero!