Justina Elizabeth “Betty” Hale, our beautiful mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, passed naturally and peacefully into her blue heaven on Feb. 21,2020, at the amazing age of 102 1/2. She was surrounded by loving family while comfortably residing at Valley Hi Nursing Home since leaving her precious home and friends in Bull Valley, Ill., in 2018.
She was born Aug. 3, 1917, in Wilkes Barre, Pa., to Justina Williams Hale and Lewis Gordon Hale, and delighted in her younger brother Lewis Gordon Hale Jr. She went to high school in Scarsdale, N.Y., and graduated from Skidmore College. She was one of the first women to work at Time Inc. as a bookkeeper. She left employment when she married our father, the late Hamilton Orin Hale Sr., on June 29, 1946. They had a splendid life together until he passed away in 1994. She loved to travel with family and ventured worldwide as her husband was an airline attorney.
Betty was locally chronicled as one of the “Belles of Bull Valley” and for her positive attitude as a secret to longevity. She loved hosting her friends and family for happy hours and dinners, and people often left with a recipe to enjoy in the future.
Betty sadly outlived most of her lifelong friends, and she would faithfully visit and enjoy their lives as long as she could. She kept contact wherever they lived, wrote many cards and letters, and accepted each loss with grace.
Betty was active in the Woodstock Fine Arts Association and volunteered for the Opera House and Hospital Gift and Thrift Shop. She avidly read mystery novels from the public library and participated in Bridge, Book, and Garden Clubs. She has special memories as a member of the Woodstock Country Club and the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club in N.Y.
While Betty Hale is no longer here physically, her legacy of love and life will live on through her family and friends.
She is survived by her brother, Lewis Gordon Hale Jr. and family; and her children, Jean Hamilton Hale, Hamilton Orin “Tip” Hale Jr. (Colleen), and Justina Marion “Jamie” Hale (Clarence Trausch).
Her legacy continues through her grandchildren, Renee Setser Gugel (Eric), and their children, Connor, Ian, Camden, and Calla; Jessica Hale Feiner (John) and their children, Tommy and Ava; Faith Hale Singer (Brandon), Hamilton Orin “Tyler” Hale III (Kristy), and Thomas Craig. She is pre-deceased by our family’s beloved Elise McCarter, and seven dear golden retrievers.
She wished to be cremated, and her ashes will be interred next to her husband’s in the Crystal Lake Union Cemetery at a later date. Her Celebration of Life was held at the Schneider, Leucht, Merwin, and Cooney funeral home, 1211 N. Seminary Ave., in Woodstock, Ill., on Feb. 27.
Our beautiful Betty will be remembered for regularly saying, “I am a lucky lady.” She added more love to this world by living a happy life with elegance and charm each and every day, and all who had the privilege of touching her life were truly the lucky ones. She also once stated, “I am certain there are many mysteries in life,” and in her passing we are sure she solved the greatest one of all.