It is with heavy hearts that we at Wheels Through Time let you know that our beloved founder, curator, and friend Dale Walksler passed away peacefully, with his wife by his side, at home on February 3, 2021, after a courageous four year battle with cancer.
Thursday, 4 February 2021
Dale Walksler passed away
In 1967 at the age of 15, Dale built his first motorcycle, sparking a life-long love affair with American Motorcycles and their history. At 22, Dale established a Harley/Davidson Franchise in Mt. Vernon, Ill: Dale’s Harley-Davidson. His signal success as a dealer grew to include the decades-long work that would define his life: the creation of the museum we now know as Wheels Through Time.
As the museum collection grew, so too did Dale’s vision for the museum, his reputation, his mechanical and curatorial skills, and a goal of always exceeding expectations of customers and guests.
In 2002 Dale opened the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC. From humble beginnings in a small Illinois town, one of the world’s premier collections of rare and vintage American motorcycles, automobiles, and memorabilia emerged. Wheels Through Time became an Iconic American Institution and known internationally.
Those who have visited Wheels Through Time know that Dale’s passion was not just something to be observed but rather experienced. Whether it was listening to his vast knowledge and stories of transportation history or watching him start a motorcycle, his was a passion that was infectious. It inspired in many, that same desire to preserve and celebrate American motorcycle history. His genius rested on the latter portion of the Wheels Through Time logo, “The Museum That Runs.”
Dale was a man of vision, zeal, intensity, imagination, and generosity. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and the staff at Wheels Through Time, and as well as by the countless tens of thousands who have visited the museum.
Dale’s vision was not just one of preserving the past but was also focused on the future. In that regard, he made great strides to ensure that the museum and his legacy would carry on for generations to come.
A celebration of Dale’s life will be announced at a later date. At this time, we ask for privacy for the family as they mourn his passing. At Dale’s request, in lieu of flowers, please send any donations and condolences to Wheels Through Time, PO Box 790, Maggie Valley, NC 28751.
All donations will be dedicated to ensuring the continuance of the legacy that Dale created far into the future and to giving museum visitors historical insight into the vital role that transportation has played in American history. The thrill of hearing the cycles run coupled with thoughts of riding into the wind will continue to evoke thoughts of Dale’s vibrant spirit --- and his dream.