Dale E. Hastings, 85, of New Haven


THONOTOSASSA, Fla. — Dale E. Hastings, age 85, passed Jan. 13, 2022, at his winter retreat in Florida. He was born in Hartford, Conn., the eldest child of Merwin and Marjorie Hastings. 

Dale graduated from Wethersfield High (Conn.) in 1954 and the Hicks School of Agriculture at the University of Connecticut in 1956. With his formal education ending, he pursued his interests in the progressive dairy industry.

Dale first rented a farm in Southbury, Conn., and soon after purchased his own farm in Orange, Mass. Outgrowing this, he expanded to more acreage in Bridport, Vt., in 1972.

Dale became a well-known breeder of registered Holsteins. This led him to become a distributor for several companies marketing semen throughout New England and New York. A partnership was formed, in early 1980s, between Dale, a veterinarian and a professional technician, forming the business Poke-A-Moo (pioneering the practice of embryo transfer work in the cattle industry). 

Ending his dairy career in 1986, his interests turned to property management and woodworking. He was able to use his wealth of life skills acquired to further prosper. 

Dale Hastings was, till the end, engaged and learning. He always found a way to use his Yankee ingenuity to tackle a challenge. Purchasing Rivers Bend Campground in 1994, under his tutelage, he was rewarded economically in 2000 with his marketing savvy in the sale of the property.

Dale finally retired to the home he and his wife built together on Dog Team Road, New Haven, Vt. They spent 22 years there, where he enjoyed his time producing amazing hand-crafted items they both used and marketed as retirement income.                 

Dale is survived by his wife Jessie Whitney and their blended family of eight children; Kenn  (Valerie), Greg (Suzanne), Jeff (Cheryl), Andrew (Ellen), Katrina ((Tim), Chip (Scharene), John (Cherie) and Erica (Mike). He was blessed with 21 grandchildren and seven greats to date.            Survivors also include his first wife, Gretchen Kromas Masselli of South Carolina, as well as close first cousins, Patty, Joyce, David, Jan and Cheryl, and brother-in-law Jim, who have been supportive beyond imagination in the recent past. 

A family-and-friends celebration of life will be held at a later date.◊

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