Donald Graham Hale, 90, passed away Nov. 21, 2019 surrounded by his family at his home in Boothbay Harbor. Born on Oct. 21, 1929 in Millinocket, Don was the son of the late, Howard and Iza Cramp Hale.
He graduated from Portland High School and Gorham State Teachers College where he earned a bachelor of science in industrial arts and his teaching credentials. There, he met Frances Hawkes, and they were married on the evening of the day they graduated from college in June 1952. Don was immediately drafted into the Ordnance Corps of the Army and sent to Alaska. After his service, they traveled the Alcan Highway in a pick-up truck on their way back to Maine for discharge.
Two years later, they again went west for graduate school and received their master of arts degrees from Colorado State College. As the first husband and wife team to receive MAs together, the college newspaper featured a photo and story about them with their three-year-old daughter.
When Don was then offered a teaching position at Weston High School, the Hales moved to Massachusetts. He served 10 years as an industrial arts teacher and as assistant principal. They returned to Maine once again when Don was selected as the principal of Deering High School in Portland. The family lived on Amethyst Hill Farm in Cumberland which was aptly named after Deering High School colors. He remained at DHS from 1967 to 1981 when he retired from public education. The Hales then moved to Boothbay Harbor, and Don worked for Reed and Reed construction.
Don and Fran loved living on the Atlantic Ocean where they spent a great deal of time on their many boats including the Ali Molly and Ali Molly II. He enjoyed sailing and being the captain of his houseboats as they motored up the coast. Don built their cottage on Sebago Lake which was a favorite place for family and friends to gather for many summer outings. Don was an extremely talented carpenter and could often be found in his workshop puttering on his latest project. He had a unique gift for being able to create the new kitchen or garage remodel from the plans that Fran designed.
He loved to drive his truck and made numerous trips across the country to visit his daughter and granddaughter in California or to spend time with friends. Don upgraded his Ram at least once a year as he laughingly claimed that “it needed an oil change.”
His children and grandchildren were his greatest joy, and he always put their needs above his own. He loved to attend the grandchildren’s soccer games, tennis matches, and swim meets and could often be found watching Greely High School softball games which were coached by his son. He thoroughly enjoyed his weekly bridge games with friends, breakfasts at the Market Place Café, and playing golf with his buddies from Boothbay.
Don will be remembered as a man of few words who had a kind heart, quick wit, wry smile, and an ability to solve any problem. He was fiercely independent and had a life-long habit of improving the life of those around him.
Don was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Fran, his parents, and two brothers. He will be deeply missed by his daughter, Sonia Hale-Waterman; son, Robert Hale, and his wife, Joyce; and his cherished grandchildren, Alexandra Hale-Waterman, and Molly, Keegan and Bradyn Hale, all of Cumberland. He is also survived by his brother, Wayne Hale, of Portland; brother-in-law, Robert Hawkes of Boxford, Massachusetts; and many nieces, nephews, and sisters-in-law.
The family would like to express their deepest thanks and gratitude to his friends who so enriched his life and extend a very special thank you to Frank and Linda who were always there for him and his kids in so many ways.
Per his wishes, a private, family service will be held. Online condolences may be offered to the Hale family at www.directcremeationofmaine.com. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his honor may be sent to the St. Andrews Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 202, West Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04575.