Beloved father and husband, Frederick Charles Hale, passed away January 31, 2014 after a heroic 22 year battle with interstitial lung disease resulting from medical malpractice.
Born September 12, 1945 in Ogden, Utah to William Elwell Hale and Constance Mabel Goodell and reared by his maternal grandmother Crystal Eichelberger in Boise, Idaho. Along with Fred, Crystal cared for his half sister Orilla Jonne Stuck (Dave). In other households, Fred had full siblings Eldora Parslowe (Ken) and Betty Jo Schreck; and half siblings Linda Lee Schmidt (Bill), Ruth (Charles), Grace (David), Earlene, David (Sharon), Linda (Vern), John, Steven, Joseph (Karen), and Robert (Merry).
Fred was a handsome young man, and at four years old was crowned the “King of Boise”, a title given to the handsomest boy, in Boise, unfortunate enough to have been lassoed into the competition. This victory included Fred being taken on stage, given a coronation ceremony — including his literal crowning, and being interviewed on the radio for an ABC news segment. It is believed, by his loved ones, that Fred was probably not surprised by this recognition, as it only confirmed what he already knew; that he was of regal and majestic stock, and that it was about time everyone else started treating him like it.
Fred’s youth in Boise was a very lean time. As soon as he was able, he had to pitch in to help support the family, and did so by having two paper routes — one in the morning and one in the evening; and by shoveling snow in the winter, mowing lawns and oiling roofs in the summer, and picking up any odd job that came along in order to help put food on the table. Fred learned from a young age to provide, how important it is to care for your family, and to be frugal.
While Fred would eventually develop a lifelong love of dogs, at five years old, his first pet was an ornery rooster, nicknamed SOB; an acronym for the rooster’s real name. Fred’s headstrong attitude revealed itself with this pet and “true friend” as young Fred liked to apprehend SOB and force the vicious rooster to sit in Fred’s little red wagon so Fred could cart it around the yard and take it on adventures. Apparently, surly roosters are not very appreciative of bumpy wagon rides, and old SOB would attack Fred relentlessly. While a testament to Fred’s stubbornness, it also highlights his determination that there is good in the heart of everything, and despite how much something may peck and scratch, given enough dedication and love, it will come around. Though SOB never softened, neither did Fred, who maintained his belief in the essential goodness of others for the duration of his life.
Starting in middle school and throughout his high school years, Fred was a hand bell player for The Cathedral Bell Choir at the First Methodist Church. As part of the bell choir he was able to visit Seattle, a city which he would eventually move, to perform at the 1962 World’s Fair. Fred attended Boise High School, and participated in track-and-field as a long distance runner. He also participated in the ROTC program and eventually became captain of the rifle team. At seventeen, with his sister Orilla married and out of the house, Fred’s grandmother passed leaving him alone to care and provide for himself while he finished his senior year, graduating on time with his class of 1963. Fred’s dogged tenacity earned him a long distance running scholarship at Weber State University, beginning his collegiate career.
While attending Weber State, Fred’s dear friend Ned returned from his LDS mission and, on a whim, Fred decided to transfer up to Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho with him. While attending Ricks, Fred explored his faith and studied Mormonism under the guidance of Dr. Clyde Thomas. Fred converted to Mormonism and in the process met and married Clyde’s niece Ronda Jo Thomas. Fred and Ronda later moved to Seattle, and Fred graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 1973 with a BA in Political Science.
Fred’s marriage to Ronda produced the pride and joy of his life, his children: Jennifer Jo (Brad), Mark Frederick (Nicole), Jeffery Charles (deceased), and Paul Thomas. Jennifer was born in Seattle, and shortly thereafter Fred and Ronda moved to the Salt Lake City area where Fred would remain for the rest of his life.
Fred spent his adult life providing for his family as a realtor. Fred sold new homes and his company, Hale & Associates, was responsible for selling all the homes his partner’s building company built. Fred helped to create many developments in the Salt Lake area such as Oquirrh Shadows and Morningside Cove. Fred’s long standing health issues began shortly after his partnership dissolved and while never healthy enough to run his own company again, Fred continued in the profession working for such companies as Warner Homes, Continental Homes, and Liberty Homes, and remained active in the Salt Lake Board of Realtors serving in many posts for the organization. Fred loved to help people and over the duration of his career many hundreds of families were touched by his expertise and kindness.
While Fred loved his career, in many ways it was a means to an end; to support his children and give him the time and means to do all the activities with them he wanted to do. To his children, the level of dedication and commitment Fred displayed, at the time, didn’t seem out of place. As far as they were concerned that’s just what dads do. But years later, upon reflection, his children realized most dads don’t take time off work to artfully put on Halloween make-up for their son’s school’s daytime Halloween parade, or help their daughter build such a grand science fair project that it can’t even fit in the car to take to school.
For Fred’s children, what made spending time with him enjoyable was two-fold. First, for as long as they can remember, Fred loved to have fun and he never needed a reason to smile. Second, though he never mentioned or complained about it, due to his impoverished childhood, it was apparent Fred missed out on a lot of activities in which he would have loved to have participate. Instead of being bitter or jaded, as many adults are apt to do in such circumstances, Fred relished his chance to finally experience many things for the first time, and he loved that he got to share these new experiences with his children. For instance, Fred loved to help Mark through both the cub scout and later boy scout programs. Fred’s eyes would light up and twinkle every time Mark made a new step in his progress, and when Mark earned his Eagle, we’re sure Fred felt every bit like he was earning his Eagle too. On the same token, it’s doubtful Fred ever built a model airplane as a child, but he learned how to properly do it for the first time while working through it with a five year old Paul. To this day Paul practices the hobby, and it always makes him think of his dad. Birthdays were always an exciting time because more often than not the major gift for the event was always something that would provide for more time with dad. From rock polishers to a telescopes the Hale children received gifts that involved a lot of quality time with dad learning and discovering new things together. Decades later, they now reflect and realize just how special and rare that was.
Beyond fun time and activities Fred was deeply committed to his children’s well being. After his divorce, Fred cared for and finished rearing his boys all alone while personally struggling with his worsening health issues. Once the boys were fully matured, Fred helped both his sons in every way he could in their efforts to go to college and launch lives of their own. Through Fred’s support of his sons, he gave them the chance to prove themselves, both of them graduating summa cum laude in their respective disciplines, establishing themselves enough to be awarded academic scholarships and prestigious fellowships and recognition, and to go on and earn graduate degrees and begin professions of their own. None of this would have been possible without the love and support of their dad Fred. In addition to seeing his sons through their academic pursuits, Fred helped his daughter Jennifer get her real estate license, which also led to them working together at Liberty Homes for a number of cherished years.
After his son’s were out of the house and working towards establishing themselves, Fred had time to focus on his own personal life and he met and married the love of his life, Sonya Smith, with whom he was blessed to spend the last eleven years of his life in a very caring and spiritual union. Fred and Sonya cared deeply for each other and Fred’s children and family are eternally grateful to her for being such a wonderful, loving wife.
Fred loved both his children and grandchildren. Through his daughter Jennifer, he was blessed with two grandsons: Jathan Daniel and Levi George. With his marriage to Sonya, Fred gained four more children: Eric Lind (Danelle), Lisa Higgins, Lara Miller (Chris), and Jana Gough (Wayne). And with these happy additions he gained many more grandchildren to love and in whom he took great joy: EJ and Tessa Lind; Daniele, Shaylyn, Curtis, and Saydi Higgins; Jordan, Jaxson, and, Isabella Miller; and Jaren, Jansen, and Jayda Gough. With his waning health, one of Fred’s greatest regrets was to not be able to watch all of his grandchildren grow into adults and to see them achieve all he knows they will achieve.
It is possible to only give a brief hint of what an absolutely great man our dear Fred was. He touched so many lives and his family would greatly appreciate if others would share their memories and thoughts of our beloved Fred in the Guestbook.
Services will be Saturday, February 8th, at Riverton 6th Ward, 12345 S. 2700 W. Viewing will be at 9 AM with funeral services at 11 AM.
In lieu of flowers, Fred’s children ask that a donation be made in his name to Idaho Youth Ranch.
Thank you to Yee Fung for setting up this site on such short notice. The Hale family is very appreciative.