Roger Archie Erwin Hale, 74, passed away June 6, 2019 at the home he proudly designed and built next to the Vermillion Golf Course in 2009.
In the Archibald and Alvena Hale family, girls were born in a hospital and boys were birthed at home. Roger (as the youngest son and fifth of six children) was born as foretold at home in Vermillion on Nov. 16, 1944. He lived with his hard-working family—two brothers, Arnold Wayne and Lu Ray Wendell Wilkie who both predeceased him, and three living sisters, Vivian Hale Starr, Normagene Purella Hughes and Bobbie Arvilla Okazaki—until he graduated from high school in 1963. He enlisted in the Army, serving in Germany where in took his discharge to travel extensively and discover what our European neighbors were like. He especially loved the Scandinavians and their way of life. Eventually home called and Roger returned stateside to begin his education and work careers.
Roger loved travel, education, finance, teaching and helping others, especially kids. Once back in the states, Rog took a job working for the Federal Reserve Bank in Portland, OR. He enrolled at Portland State University, working on dual master’s degrees in education and history. After completing his BA in education, he taught fifth grade in Portland while continuing his masters work and enriching his life with love and a fuller homelife. He and Barbara Ann, his wife of 26 years, welcomed two children, a son Roger AE, Jr. and a daughter Kimberly Renee, both of whom predeceased him. However, Kimberly gave them a granddaughter, Joelle Renee, now age 19.
Upon completing his two master’s degrees, Roger’s career moved into setting up more varied and complex educational programs to help students and educational communities all over the United States. Since he loved travel and welcomed new challenges and was willing to move wherever he thought he could help most, he used his talents in varied ways in various communities. Among his many work opportunities, he served as a counselor and vice principle in Manzanita, OR, Clackamas, OR, and in Greenville, MI. He was Dean of Students at Sheldon Jackson College, a private college located on Baranof Island in Sitka, AK, the oldest institution of higher learning in Alaska.
You will notice that all his work sites share a common benefit—they offered beautiful scenic views. Roger loved the outdoors, exploring, camping, fishing, hiking, biking and discovering the meaning of nature. His friends and siblings were never surprised when he rang the doorbell, outfitted for the outdoors, bedroll and fishing gear tossed in the back of the pickup, and cheerfully invited, “let’s go exploring!”
Roger was happy to return home to Vermillion in 2009. He was a private man who took pride in the Vermillion home he built. He avoided crowds, unless it involved USD basketball or an occasional high school soccer or basketball game to cheer on his neighbor girls. For years he loved the occasional road trip, but in recent years was more comfortable at home. He loved life, a Red Lobster or Café Brule meal, acknowledging his delight with the flavor of a meal by murmuring a loving mhm-mhm-mhm! He indeed enjoyed watching good TV and reading political novels, autobiographies, and almost anything about our forefathers. He loved doing random acts of kindness in the community, especially if it benefitted a deserving child, but always asked to stay anonymous. A day of fishing, even if he caught nothing, left him knowing joy.
He leaves behind his beloved dog, Lady (formerly the cherished dog of his daughter Kimberly and granddaughter Joelle). Lady gave Roger Peace, Loyalty, and Companionship in the last six years of his life.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29 at the Hansen Funeral Home in Vermillion. HansenFuneralHome.com.