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Van Carter Hale

August 24, 1933 — September 18, 2021

Van Carter Hale

Van Carter Hale, age 88 of Purmela, passed away on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at his home.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, September 30, 2021 at The Presbyterian Church in Gatesville, with The Rev. Dr. Buddy Wheat officiating.  Memorial services will be held in the spring of 2022 at St. Peters Episcopal Church in Cheshire, Connecticut, with inurnment following at the church cemetery.

Van Carter Hale was born in a log cabin on August 24, 1933 in Grassy Creek, Kentucky to the late, Archie and Emma Carter Hale. He grew up in Kentucky, California, Texas, and Ohio. In 1952 he joined the army and was stationed at Ft. Hood where he became the company clerk because he had taken a six-week typing course in high school. While at Ft. Hood, he married his high school sweetheart, Joan Pollard of Galena Park. They had two sons, Carter Joe and Paul David. In 1956, he earned a Bachelor of Music degree from North Texas State University in Denton.  His first music teaching job was in Joinerville, where he taught music at all levels, drove the school bus, and was the Music Director at the local Baptist Church.  Over the next dozen years, he developed music programs in Orange, Galena Park, Perryton, and Big Spring. He also earned a Master’s degree in Sociology and Education from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, and began work on a doctorate in musicology at the University of Texas in Austin. During this period, he served as Music Director for several Christian churches and was Coordinator of Music for the Disciples of Christ churches, in the greater Houston area.  In 1969 he accepted the position of high school choir and band master at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, CT.  He subsequently represented New Haven at the Connecticut Music Educators Convention with his choir demonstrating what can be done to build a vibrant choral program in an urban high school setting. He and his students built a harpsichord to accompany their choir.  In 1971, he moved to Guilford, CT where he remained 13 years until his retirement from teaching. In Guilford, he served as Supervisor of Music for the high school, two middle schools, and five elementary schools. His high school choirs and madrigal singers toured throughout New England and made two extensive tours of England.  Literally hundreds of students were enrolled in the choral programs of Guilford High School.

In 1974, he married June Hale of Port Arthur, Texas. They were married 48 years and taught music in churches in Madison, Old Saybrook and Cheshire, CT. Van also directed a civic chorus, the Shoreline Chorale of Branford, and traveled on tours of Greece, France and Germany, with the Cappella Cantorum of Deep River, CT.  Following his teaching career, Van became a fine arts appraiser and dealer in CT, and wrote an extensive computer program cataloging over 11,000 American and Canadian artists with information on their output and auction records. His program, called ART SLEUTH, is registered in the Library of Congress. He also collected a photographic record of artist’s works with information on the subject of each work, the medium employed, and the geographic location(s) of the artist’s activity.  After retirement, the Hales have split their time between Benson, VT and Purmela, TX. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Gatesville where he sang in the choir, led by his fellow North Texas University graduate, Sue Ashby. In Vermont, he was a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Fair Haven, VT. 

He was preceded in death by his grandsons, Paul David Hale, Jr. and Nicholas Samuel Hale. 

Van is survived by his wife of 48 years, Marguerite June Hale; sons, Carter Joe Hale and wife, Susan Zlotnick-Hale, Paul David Hale and wife, Donna Trippconey Hale; grandsons, Jason Carter Hale, David Van Hale; and five great grandchildren. 

In lieu of flowers, the family has designated that memorials be made to The Presbyterian Church of Gatesville, 2111 E Main St, Gatesville, TX 76528, The Boys and Girls Club of Gatesville, 2533 E. Main St, Gatesville, TX 76528, or St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 149 N. Main St, Fair Haven, VT 05743.

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