David Dalke, author of Don't Miss It

Early years

David Dalke, known as John David, was born in Stafford, Kansas. Little John David began living life with gusto at a young age, not only walking at eight months, but climbing the backyard fence before he turned a year old. Apparently, some children just can’t hang around the yard when there are other adventures to be had ‘out there’. Walking early, climbing determinedly, excited while in forward motion, David kept his parents hopping almost from the time of his birth.

A zest for living—running, jumping, trying all things, experiencing as much as possible, led to a broken arm in fourth grade (both bones of the forearm). Then, a short six weeks TO THE DAY after the cast was removed, he broke his arm again in the same spot, to his mother’s great perturbation. His father, farm-bred and familiar with untoward events, was absolutely unfazed by a drooping forearm, and calmly said, “Well, Dave…It looks like you broke your arm again.”

David loved music, strongly influenced by two very musical parents, and he also loved sports. As a child he stated his desire to be a sports announcer and travel with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. He wrote postcards while in seventh grade to baseball greats—now legends—asking for autographs, and got them! Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Stan Musial and Jackie Robinson (just to name a few) responded to young David’s formally-written, respectful request: “Enclosed is a postal card on which I would like for you to sign. Thanks, David Dalke.”

Desiring to be connected to people and never at a loss on how to converse with others, it was natural for David to enjoy the summer camp scene, and to be invited back several times as a junior camp counselor. Buddies accompanied him to these summer church camps yearly, and he and best friend John were teen youth counselors five years in a row. Full of laughter and tricks, it was hard for them to keep straight faces during prayers and the like, but still the boys were asked back.

One formative camp experience set a path for David, when a senior pastor laid a hand on David’s shoulder (which was luckily not currently shaking with mirth) and said in very great seriousness, “David…you would be very good as a youth minister.” And so, an idea was born.

Check out David Dalke’s most recent book


David Dalke kept busy in high school singing, playing several musical instruments, performing in small groups, trying out for all the available sports, and ultimately lettering in wrestling. Then he was on to a Quaker university, where neither the serious study of psychology and sociology, nor the presidency of the university student council, thwarted the pursuit of numerous pranks and hijinks. Originally majoring in music, he changed directions; it was obvious that music was his passion and not to be his profession.

Following graduation with a BA in Psychology and Sociology, David pursued his Masters in Theology at Drew Theological School in Madison, New Jersey. After Seminary, David served as pastor in Belle Plaine, Kansas (United Methodist Church), and on the staff of churches in Pratt, Kansas (First United Methodist), Wichita, Kansas (First United Methodist), and Fort Collins, Colorado (First United Methodist). He offered leadership training and sermons that were known for content, creativity and pertinence to issues of the day, often woven with current song lyrics emphasizing the message. He later went to the opposite coast and earned his Doctorate of Ministry in Counseling and Group Work at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Always involved in every community where he ministered, he was given the National Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award.

Learn more about David Dalke’s new book here

Professional life

His attention to people’s interpersonal needs and not just to spiritual needs opened up another path. David Dalke adapted his ministry to include a Longmont, Colorado pastoral counseling practice for families, couples and individuals. In addition, his knowledge and skill in facilitating problem-solving eventually translated into doing extensive writing and training nationally for small businesses, and in corporate settings—all this while developing models of leadership in several churches, most recently First United Methodist Church in Fort Collins, Colorado.

A few of his clients have included IBM, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The Fire Service, Equipment Maintenance Service, San Diego Naval Air Depot, National Forest Service, Department of the Interior – Bureau of Indian Affairs, Ball Aerospace, city councils and local churches. He has also been a corporate trainer for CareerTrack, and taught at Friends University and Colorado’s AIMS Community College in the area of Human Behavior.

David Dalke’s classes and workshop presentations are original, always geared to the current needs of the target group, with agendas laid aside in respect for addressing any pressing needs of the moment. His writings, of which some have been published, inspire readers to think and reflect.

His topics of expertise include Team Development, Balance Personal and Professional Ethics, Men and Women in the Workplace (gender issues), Compassionate Authority (a leadership model), Positive Communication Skills, Creative Conflict Management, and Stress Management/Life Balance.

David Dalke’s most-recent book is available now

Other works

David Dalke has co-authored with his spouse, Sheryl Ankerstar, a workbook with handouts for trainers entitled Balancing Personal and Professional Ethics (HRD Press); co-authored with Dr. Lois Hart, a book entitled The Sexes at Work: Improving Work Relationships Between Men and Women (Prentice-Hall), plus a training manual of the same title through HRD Press; Pilgrims of Another Sort (AuthorHouse); Don’t Miss It (Self published); Knees Lifted High and Toes Pointed: Marching to Sounds of Human Decency (Resource Publications); and his latest book, Noodles in my Socks: A tribute to Bill Martin Jr, the man who lived on Brown Bear Lane (self published). David has also authored several articles for periodicals on Suicide, Divorce and Broken Relationship.


Living in Fort Collins, Colorado, and embracing the aging process, David Dalke’s path continues: family; friends; storytelling; music; sports; stretching himself; creating, creating, creating—with words, with music, and always with optimism.

David writes from the heart. In his book Don’t Miss It, he recounts fond memories from listening to tales recounted by his Grandpa and David’s own experiences. Each moment is special and carries with it a lesson about living with joy and sacredness.

This spirit is carried through in his book Knees Lifted High and Toes Pointed: Marching to Sounds of Human Decency. This story, set in the years of the depression, captures the impact of music from a high school band on a dying small town. It is a captivating read that offers hope to the hopeless. Learn more and buy the book here.

In his latest children’s book, Noodles In My Socks, David collaborates with Besa Haise, an autistic artist, to playfully tell the story of a young boy named Billy, who loves to eat. All goes well until Billy’s mother places a plate of noodles in front of her surprised young son. The story takes a twist. The book is for children and for those who read to them.