By Deborah Kaplan, VMA and Stephen Kirk, PhD, FAIA, CVS-Life – Dean, College of Fellows
The members of SAVE International were saddened to learn that Dale Eugene Daucher, PE, CVS, FSAVE passed away in Charlottesville, Virginia on December 13, 2020. A native of Buffalo, New York and graduate of the University of Buffalo with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering, Dale was a long-time activist for the Value Methodology (VM).
After a career in the U.S. Air Force, Dale joined the U.S. General Services Administration’s Public Buildings Service, working with Donald Parker, PE, CVS, FSAVE in the newly created office of Value Engineering (VE). In the early 1990’s Dale moved to the consulting world, working first with Arthur Beard Engineers and long-time SAVE members David Wohlscheid and Jeff Van Atten. As a consultant, he also worked regularly with other VE firms including Project Management Services, Inc. and Lewis & Zimmerman Associates, Inc. He and his wife, Janice, traveled the globe facilitating VE workshops across the U.S., Taiwan and in Kuwait among other countries.
Dale was a director and president of the SAVE National Capital chapter for two terms. He was also a director of the SAVE Certification Board for many years and transitioned to the role of Board Administrator from 1995 to 2002 when a stroke cut short his career. His wife, Janice, assumed the manager role for another six months.
The father of seven wonderful adults, Dale lived in Sterling, Virginia since the early 2000s and continued to work on VE studies. One of his efforts included participation in ADA guidance development for building systems within Fairfax County, Virginia, a function he performed from his own personal experience with access for persons with physical challenges.
On February 28, 2020, prior to the pandemic shutdowns, SAVE members Douglas Mitten, Benson Kwong, Leonel Laguarda and Debbie Kaplan made a surprise visit to Dale at the assisted living facility he was residing. Dale did not have a phone in his room, so the visit was coordinated with the lovely staff at the front desk. Dale was extremely surprised to see his old friends and colleagues. What everyone thought would be a quick chat in the lobby of Dale’s building turned out to be an hours-long lunch at one of Dale’s favorite local restaurants. Laughter ensued as the gang reminisced about their years working together and especially the fun they had making trips to New York City for VE studies.
“We are so grateful to have been adopted by our dad and mom from China. They allowed us to live the American dream with their support and love. We are forever thankful and love them so much.” ~ Amanda & Kimberly Daucher
Following are remembrances of Dale from SAVE Fellows:
“So very sad to hear about Dale’s passing. He was such a fighter. I managed to visit him a few times after his stroke when I was still in the DC area. His positive attitude in the face of his disability was such an inspiration. I always considered Dale as my first and most influential mentor in the VE profession. He was the first CVS I met. To paint the picture, here I was promoted into the position as the Value Engineer for Overseas Buildings Operations at the US Dept of State. I had never heard of VE, Value Management, the job plan, or anything about the process. I just knew it was now mine to manage for the Department. A VE study had been contracted before I took over and started the week I started in the job. Dale was the contractor leading the study. He had a daunting task, not only did he need to get the study done, but he had to train his client, (me) on what, why, and how. He handled the challenge with such professionalism, compassion, and understanding. He never made me feel like I was stupid for asking all my questions, and his patience was amazing. Not only did he teach me about the job plan and the reason for using the methodology, but he made a point of introducing me to his colleagues, competitors, other Value Program Managers, and to SAVE International. He was always available for me, no charge, to ask any question, I might have. He was so very gracious with his time. He was a major reason I was successful in my many years managing the Value Program at the U.S. Dept. of State and for encouraging me to become involved in SAVE International. May he rest in peace. We lost a great one.” ~ Kathy Bethany, FSAVE
“On behalf of SJVE, we are very saddened to hear of the passing of Dale Daucher. The summary of his life is so wonderful to read. The late Yoshio Nakagami, past SJVE Certification Committee Chairman, and myself had several chances to discuss with Dale during Certification Board meetings at SAVE Conferences many years ago. He has done an outstanding job as Certification Board Administrator for a long time and we really appreciate for his contribution and dedication towards Value Methodology. We feel so fortunate to have been able to spend some wonderful times together, which we will always remember and cherish. He will be in our thoughts and prayers.” ~ Satoko Uesugi, Deputy Secretary General, Director Overseas Affairs, Society of Japanese Value Engineering
“I’m really sorry to hear of Dale’s passing. I knew Dale from his association with the SAVE Certification Board. I served on the Board when Dale was the Administrator. But he was much more than an administrator. He was often the conscience of the Certification Board. His knowledge, judgement, and dedication were well appreciated. He really ran the engine of the Certification Board. My sincere condolences to Janice and the Daucher family.” ~ Drew Algase, FSAVE
“I worked with Dale at Naval Facilities Engineering Command and succeeded him as VE Program Manager (Worldwide) when he went to work with Don Parker at GSA. He and his wife were wonderful VE people. Lots of people admired his work and dedication to SAVE.” ~ Lindsey K. Gardner, FSAVE
“I became Director of a new VE program at GSA’s Public Buildings Service (PBS) starting September 1971. I was authorized to hire a Deputy Director to help manage the program and initially hired Arnold “Bud” Brogan for the job. Bud was with me for about two years when he transferred to GSA’s Federal Supply Service (FSS) to start a program there. Then I hired Dale Daucher to take Bud’s place as my Deputy in approximately 1974. He, unlike Bud, was a construction-oriented person from the old Navy Bureau of Yards & Docks (now NAVFAC). He was a young energetic employee and did a great job dealing with design and construction in our 10 regional offices all over the United States. Each regional office was required to appoint a VE leader. Dale took to the task with enthusiasm to teach them how to set up a team to do VE for a project and how to administer the VE incentive program placed in every contract. With Dale’s vital help, PBS began to make its annual VE performance goal. When I left GSA in December 1984, Dale was promoted to Director of VE in PBS. Based on his annual reports to me, he was doing a great job.” ~ Don Parker, FSAVE
“Sad news. I knew Dale from the days of Congressional Receptions and Board meetings at Sedgefield, Larry and Eleanor Miles’ home in Easton, MD (1980s mostly). He was a fervent supporter of VE and SAVE, and Janice was always there with him.” ~ Ginger Adams, FSAVE
“I had the opportunity of working with Dale on numerous occasions when I worked at Lewis & Zimmerman. In addition to his depth of knowledge, that we learned from, his demeanor and friendly attitude towards life made every experience an enjoyable encounter. I visited him on a couple of times after his stroke has although not as mobile, his sharpness and enduring spirit was always present. His love for his 365 Porsche Speedster was always on his minds and we certainly spoke about it often. Along with Janice his lovely wife, we will all miss this wonderful man of many talents and a cornerstone of our Society.” ~ Luis M. Venegas, FSAVE
“I wish I knew Dale when I lived in the Buffalo area, but I left for Michigan in 1994 and did not learn about the VM until 1997.” ~ Jim Bolton, FSAVE
“I knew Dale when he worked at GSA. He greeted me at his office went I came to take the CVS exam in March of 1978. He was a wonderful person of character and did a great job for the SAVE Certification Board. I enjoyed listening to his stories at the SAVE conferences. God bless Dale’s family.” ~ Steve Kirk, FSAVE