Lil' Dale Sweet

Lil’ Dale Sweet, 77, of Luana died Friday, August 12, 2022 at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien, WI. Lil’ Dale’s celebration of life jammin’ send-off will be held from 1-6 p.m. Sunday, August 21 at the Waukon Banquet Center. Private funeral services will be held at Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in rural Postville with Karla Johnson officiating. Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon is handling arrangements.

Keith “Lil’ Dale” Sweet was born May 27, 1945 in Waukon, the son of Elmer and Lois (Love) Sweet. He was baptized and confirmed at Forest Mills United Methodist Church in rural Postville and graduated from Lansing High School.

Dale married Mary Hines at First Baptist Church in Waukon; they had two daughters. They moved to Rockford, IL, where he started his career in radio as a local DJ and also hauled milk and drove truck, which he continued to do the rest of his life. He owned the Riverview Bar in Waucoma and eventually moved to New Castle, WY and worked as a cable installer. During this time, he and Mary divorced.

In the 1980s, Dale eventually moved back to Waukon and met Crystal Hinman; they married April 11, 1999 at Forest Mills United Methodist Church. Dale later became a member of Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in rural Postville.

As a legendary local musician, Lil’ Dale is probably best known for his radio show on KNEI. Starting a couple decades ago, Dale began on the AM station Wednesday mornings before moving over to FM Saturday mornings; since he had the most listened to show of the radio staff, the station added an extra hour to his show, which made him so proud. Dale had listeners from across the country and around the world.

His band “Lil’ Dale and the Legends” played for several decades as well. Previously, in the 1990s, Dale lived in Nashville and on and off for about 11 years, played with Claude Gray, Moe Bandy, Mickey Gilley and Faron Young. He primarily played lead guitar, but was a jack of all trades in playing instruments (except harmonica).

Dale also loved transportation of all kinds. He only drove Freightliner trucks and enjoyed riding his Harley. Trains and jets fascinated him, and he liked checking out classic cars. Dale collected Farmall tractors and had several sitting around his farm. He loved his pets, people and life, and always thought of others before thinking of himself.

He is survived by his wife, Crys, of Luana; his two daughters, Vicky (Stephen) Colich and Anna Sweet, both of Farmersburg; his stepchildren: Brian (Jeni) Hinman of Dubuque, Kellie Hernandez of Little Rock, AR and Lynnette Starkey of Waterloo; his grandchildren: Stephanie, Brenda, Jason, Nicole, Faye, Fredrick, Shawn, Shelby, Veronica, Matthew, Zach, Dylan, Morgan, AJ, Christopher, Shawntae, Ethan, Alejandra, Millie and Julie; 12 great-grandchildren; his sister, Enda “Chae” Juve of Valley Center, CA; his only niece, Karla (Jared) Kelly of Ossian; his two nephews; his uncle, Dale Sweet of Giard; his great-nieces and nephews; his “adoptive sister,” Elaine Hegg of Waukon; and other family members.

Dale was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Kenneth Sweet; his sister, Jean Halverson; and an uncle, Wayne Sweet.

Honorary casketbearers are Jim Adams, Connie Barr, Lloyd Bjergum, Stephen Colich, Gene Hensel, Jim Juve and Joe Sweeney. Casketbearers are Craig Bolyen, Jason Colich, Buddy Dougs, Fredrick and Matthew Sperry, and Brett Willie.

Online condolences may be left at

As Lil’ Dale always signed off, “Remember, if you love someone, let them know.”