SOUTHPORT — Wilbur “Bill” Hale Jr., 86, passed away Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at the Lower Cape Fear Hospice in Bolivia, N.C., after battling leukemia for several months. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joanne Rawson Hale.
Born in 1930, Blakely, Penn., he was raised in Scranton, Penn. After earning his BS in Pharmacy at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, he joined the U.S. Navy. Upon completion of Officer Candidate School, he served on active duty as a surface warfare officer for six years and then transitioned to the U.S. Navy Reserve. He then worked as a pharmacist at various stores in the central Pennsylvania region.
In 1973, Bill retired from the U.S. Navy Reserve as a commander after 20 years of service, and he and his family moved to Chester, Vt., where he was the owner of the Chester Drug Store. He sold his business in 1992 and retired to their log cabin on Terrible Mountain in Andover, Vt.
He enjoyed meeting people in his part-time jobs at Okemo Mountain Ski Resort in Ludlow, Vt., and at the Vermont Country Store in Weston, Vt. He was an active volunteer for the Community Care network in the Chester/Andover, Vt., area. In 2015, he and Joanne moved to Southport, N.C., to be closer to family.
Throughout his life, Bill was active in the U.S. Navy; the Rotary Club in Pennsylvania and Vermont; the Chamber of Commerce in Vermont and the community and his churches in Pennsylvania, Vermont and North Carolina.
In addition to his wife, Joanne, Bill is survived by his daughter, Wendy, and her husband, Phil, of St. Davids, Wales, United Kingdom; son, Tom, and his wife, Marybeth, of Southport, N.C.; granddaughter, Nichole, of Manheim, Penn.; grandson, Chris, and his wife, Tori, of Astoria, Ore.; and great-grandchildren, Keira, Chet, and Declan, also of Astoria, Ore.
The family will bury his ashes in the future in Andover, Vt.
Share online condolences with the family at brunswickfuneralservice.com.