Alan Noel Hale
Dec 26, 1938 - Jul 11, 2019
Alan Noel Hale
Dec 26, 1938 - Jul 11, 2019
Biography from Alan Hale’s Memorial on 8/18/2019 at Woodstock Farm in Bellingham, WA – Compiled by Kari Hale
Alan’s family and friends let us share with each other how Alan’s life mingled with your own. May we find comfort and share in honoring and celebrating Alan’s amazing life journey. By sharing memories and stories of all kinds – poignant, sad, joyful, or humorous – his legacy will live on in our hearts and minds. Many of you knew Alan in one or two capacities, he was a multi-faceted man with many talents and interests.
Alan was born December 26, 1938 in Chicago to the late Jeannette Vivian Hale Sykes and Hurford Robert Hale. His parents met at a Valentine’s Day dance. Alan was the middle child of three children. He is survived by his older brother Robert Hale and wife Catherine of Henderson, Nev.; and his younger sister Lynda Wilkerson of Bellefontaine, Ohio. He is also survived by daughter Thessaly Prentiss and husband Philip Prentiss of Bellingham, WA.; daughter Kari Hale and husband Justin Davis of Edmonds, WA; son Victor Beck-Hale of Columbus, Ohio; Anita Hale of Port Townsend, WA (mother of Thessaly and Kari); Ann Beck of Bellefontaine, Ohio (mother of Victor); and grandchildren Michael Davis, Clara Prentiss, Madeline Prentiss, and Garett Prentiss.
Alan died unexpectedly at the age of 80 due to a head injury from a bicycling accident on July 11, 2019. He was on his morning bike ride around 5:30 am in Bontoc, Southern Leyte, Philippines. He was on his second tour as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer serving from September 2017 to July 2019, fulfilling a lifelong dream. He also felt closely aligned with the mission of Outward Bound – to serve, to strive and not to yield.
Alan met his first wife, Anita Johnson, during high school in Euclid, OH. They shared a love of the water, art and synchronized swimming, performing in 50-member co-ed team. He graduated from Euclid High School in 1957 as President of the National Honor Society, one of many societies he would join over his life. He went on to Dartmouth College on an academic and swimming scholarship and trained as part of the Olympic development swim team.
During Alan’s time on the Olympic development swim team he became anemic due to the cafeteria nutrition not providing/understanding enough about high performing athlete’s dietary needs. This experience was the first of many that lead to Alan’s interest in providing experiential education safety over his lifetime.
After Alan graduated from Dartmouth College in 1961 with a degree in biology, he and Anita were hired by the Peace Corps to work in Puerto Rico; training Peace Corp volunteers for three years at a newly opened camp.
After Puerto Rico, their mutual love of art, culture and a bit of wanderlust sent Alan and Anita to Europe for a year; touring the continent in a VW with art books, a guitar and inquisitive minds. They experienced museums, cave drawings, the blue men of Morocco and so much more. Justifying their trip to their parents, they decided to and rightly claimed they were studying art. Alan continued to appreciate art throughout his life.
He had a short stint working in a brokerage firm in Ohio, where Alan was with the Johnson family spending time with Anita’s younger siblings (Laura, Jennifer, Rick and Kari Johnson) and her parents (Dick and Anita Johnson).
Through Anita’s connections, Alan was provided a unique opportunity to join the Minnesota Outward Bound School in accounting. He soon became the youngest director of the Minnesota Outward Bound School. There is nothing better than experience and Alan got it in Norway, where he trained with the British & Norwegian army and learned winter survival skills. Back in Minnesota he implemented the first winter expedition program in the United States. He also implemented the first co-ed courses.
Love of outdoor education kept the family in Mankato, where they welcomed daughters, Thessaly An Hale and Kari An Hale. In 1973, Alan earned a Master of Science degree in Experiential Education from Mankato State University. Where he instructed in the Experiential Education department and Wilson Campus School. He also continued to teach and lead group outdoor expeditions in Minnesota, the Quetico Boundary Waters, Devil’s Tower, Wyoming and Colorado. After 15 years of marriage, Anita and Alan divorced.
While at Mankato State, Alan met Ann Beck, a student in the master’s program. In 1977, Alan was hired to manage and design a new wilderness expedition program on the island of Hawaii for youth-at-risk, as well as junior and adult programs. It was called the Hawaii Bound School and offered expeditions up to 28 days; backpacking through rain forests, desert and mountains, and canoeing in outriggers off the Kona Coast. Alan and Ann wed in Hawaii in December 1979.
Returning to the mainland in 1982 Alan and Ann biked across the US, singing “The Rainbow Connection”, from LA to Ann’s home town of Bellefontaine, Ohio where they eventually settled.
The bulk of Alan’s career was dedicated to service and helping people. Alan was a certified Trager Massage Practitioner and Reki Master. Pursuing his passion of creating safe and effective outdoor experiential education, Alan founded the National Safety Network, where he presented workshops across the country on safety standards in adventure programs.
In 1988, when Alan was 50 years old, he and Ann welcomed their son, Victor Beck-Hale. In 1991, Alan earned a JD from Ohio Northern University. He practiced law with Ann and her father for a short time before taking a position as an assistant Logan County prosecutor. As a prosecutor, Alan handled all juvenile matters involving abuse, neglect and custody cases and true to his passion he focused on youth rehabilitation and alternatives to incarceration. Ann and Alan amicably parted ways, ending their marriage. Even though the marriage dissolved Alan and Ann both valued family and raised their son Victor together.
After many years as a prosecutor, Alan saw an opportunity to try a new career and bring harmony to nature. He saw a posting for a new position, the head of the Logan County Solid Waste District. He jumped in with both feet and satisfied his thirst for learning and growth in the community until his retirement in 2013. A life-long learner, he overhauled the whole program, gained new properties, won awards and committed Logan County to be zero waste by 2020.
Alan was married a 3rd time to Carolyn Miller for 12 years. He was single at the time of his death.
An avid lover of the outdoors, Alan sought to exemplify global citizenship and public service. Alan was an involved member in the community supporting the arts, performance and those dedicated to public service. A life-long member of the Kiwanis, he helped the organization to commit to operating their annual Pancake Breakfast as a zero-waste operation. He had a 22-year perfect attendance record. He was also an active member of Toastmasters, served on the Logan County Arts Council, and supported the Mad River Theater. He was a member of the Logan County Bar Association and medaled in multiple meets as a Master Swimmer.
At 80 years old, Alan was the oldest serving member of the Peace Corps. He was healthy, in a great state of mind, and ready to suspend his wanderlust and come home to the NW to live surrounded by his grandchildren and daughters. He was looking forward to seeing Cambodia, visiting friends and family in Hawaii and Ohio, including his son, his brother, and his sister this fall.
“I joined the Peace Corps to fulfill a 50-year dream of serving as a Peace Corps volunteer,” Hale wrote from his site. “My service in the Philippines means I have not been a porch-sitting retiree, but an active citizen involved in meaningful work.”
Alan achieved his dream and accomplished a lot over the past year during his service, including making many good friends.
The Director of the Peace Corps, Jody Miller attended Alan’s memorial in Bellingham, WA and thanked the family for Alan’s committed service and presented them with letters of condolence from the President of the United States and with flags that were flown in front of the WA DC Peace Corps office on the day Alan died.
The United States Peace Corps flew Alan’s children (Thessaly, Kari and Victor) to the town of Bontoc in the Philippines for a beautiful memorial service there in August. They met Alan’s host family, coworkers and many friends. They were given a week-long tour to meet the Peace Corps Manila office staff and PC and PCR volunteers, and to see the local area were Alan lived and volunteered, as well as historic Manila. It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Thank you to the Peace Corps and Peace Corps Response in both Washington DC and in the Philippines for making this possible. The PC worked hard to make something good come out of our tragedy and loss.