Blackwell Dale 2019 (002)

CRA Executive Director Dale Blackwell Dies of Brain Injury

April 17, 2020
California Rental Association executive director and owner of Sacramento, Calif.-based Aba Daba Rents, died at age 65 from complications of a severe traumatic brain injury.
California Rental Association executive director and owner of Sacramento, Calif.-based Aba Daba Rents, died at age 65 from complications of a severe traumatic brain injury.

Blackwell was born in 1954 in Santa Monica, Calif., and moved with his family to Sacramento at age four, when his parents Gene and Betty moved to start Aba Daba. In 2000, Blackwell and his brother Bob became second generation owners. Blackwell served on the CRA board of directors for many years and became executive director in 2006, continuing to serve in that position until his death. Blackwell also served as chairman of the Insurance Committee of CRA for 14 years.

Blackwell was an extremely popular figure with the association, seeming to almost single-handedly keep the association going, particularly during the recession years, with the help of his wife Vicky and association executive assistant Carol Murphy.

Blackwell was a passionate football fan, particularly of the Oakland Raiders. Every Sunday during football season, Blackwell would go to church and then watch the Raiders. Blackwell loved to fish and would spend a month in the fall in Oregon fishing for salmon. An avid traveler, Blackwell loved to travel with his trailer, along with his wife, often visiting family members as well as CRA members around the state.

Blackwell loved animals and enjoyed his pets Leila and Jack. A statement from CRA said, “He loved watching his grandchildren and spending time with family. Dale was known for his infectious laugh, amazing advice, and his kind and generous spirit.”

Blackwell is survived by his wife Victoria, better known as Vicky; and his five children, Kerri Costarella, Scott, Jeffery, Randall and Jena. He is also survived by his parents, Gene & Betty, his three younger siblings Bob, Dianne and Christine, four grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Because of the current risks of Covid-19, Blackwell’s family will be hosting a celebration of life later this year. Details will follow when the risks are lower.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations can be made to Rental Services Industry Foundation, or to your local animal shelter.