IN MEMORIAM: The Very Rev. William Hale '54


The Very Rev. William Manning Hale, Class of 1954, of Marlborough and MacMahan Island, Maine, died April 4, 2014, at home surrounded by family at the age of 88. Hale was elected a deputy to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church on seven occasions, and deputy to Provincial Synod. He later served on the Board of Trustees of The General Theological Seminary, as well as President of its Alumni Association. He also served on the General Board of Examining Chaplains for The Episcopal Church. He chaired the Standing Commission on Church Music, which compiled and published the 1982 Hymnal.

He was a Companion of the Order of the Cross of Nails at Coventry Cathedral. In the Dioceses of Western Massachusetts and Central New York he served on multiple international, national and local boards and committees.

He was born in New York City, July 12, 1925, and graduated from Brown University in 1949, where he helped to re-establish Brown Crew. Enlisting in the Army Air Corps Cadet Training School in July 1943, he received his wings and commission as an officer in September, 1944. At the age of 18, he flew 37 missions (17 as lead bombardier) in the Southwest Pacific in B-24 Liberators, becoming a 1st lieutenant at age 19. He was a member of the 13th Air Force, 307th Bomb Group, 321st Bomb Squadron on the island of Morotai.

After the war he taught English and Latin for two years at The Park School in Brookline, Massachusetts, before entering The General Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon in June, 1954 and priest in December of the same year. He attended the College of Preachers in Washington, D.C., Trinity Institute in New York City, Center of Studies at Coventry Cathedral, England, and St. Deniol's Residential Library in Wales.

A curate for two years at Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield, Massachusetts, he was rector of The Church of the Atonement in Westfield, Massachusetts, before becoming dean and rector of St. Paul's Cathedral in Syracuse, New York.

Upon retirement in 1990, he served as acting canon precentor at Coventry Cathedral; interim rector of Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, and at St. John's Episcopal Church in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, and Calvary Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For a number of years he was priest-in-charge of St. Francis Chapel in Marlborough and was also a priest associate at St. James Epicopal Church in Keene. He was a member of the Mayflower Society and the Dublin Lake Club. As a resident of Marlborough, he was very active on the committee to build the new Marlborough School.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Helen Frost Hale of Marlborough; his sons, William M. Hale Jr. and wife, Susan Keefe, of Freeport, Maine, and Stephen F. Hale and wife, Sara Choler, of St. Louis, Missouri; his daughters, Helen H. Mead and husband, Ted, of Marlborough and Rebecca H. Malone and husband, Paul, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts; grandchildren, Sarah F. Mead, Alden H. Mead, Paul G. Malone 3rd and Samuel M. Malone. His brother Rev. Samuel Whitney Hale Jr. and sister Margaret Hale Kunhardt died earlier.

Services were held on April 26 at St. James Episcopal Church, Keene. Fletcher Funeral Home of Keene was in charge of arrangements (