JAMES .R. HALL
James Russell Hall, loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend, and teacher of many, died in Berea, the place he called home, on Tuesday, February 27, 2007.
He was born on July 4, 1918 in Farmers, Rowan County, Kentucky, to William Asa and Fannie Mae Mynhier Hall. A product of several public schools in Farmers and Morehead, he received his bachelor's and masters degrees in industrial arts from Eastern State Teachers College (now Eastern University) and his doctorate in industrial education from the University of Missouri. He was in an National Youth Administration (NYA) program in Richmond; worked briefly as a young man in Louisville and Florida; and served in the Army in chemic's units from 1942-1946, including being stationed in Hawaii from 1943-1945.
While in the Army, he married the love of his life, Lillian Guy of Lee County. They met on September 14 ("their day") in 1941 at Lake Reba while he was in the NYA program. They married in Bel Air, Maryland, at the height of World War II. After the War, they made their homes in Richmond and Buckhorn before residing for 45 years in Berea. During those 45 years, Union Church was a very important part of their lives; both Jim and Lillian were honored to be named lifetime honorary deacons. They were married for over 62 years.
After receiving his bachelors degree from Eastern in 1947, Jim and Lillian moved to Buckhorn in Perry County, where he served many roles while working at the Buckhorn Orphanage, including teacher, co-principal, construction superintendent, superintendent of buildings and grounds, ambulance driver (his car; only gravel roads and creek beds available), forest warden (with no two-way radios or helicopters to help), fire chief (with no fire department or equipment), transporter of the basketball team, and installer of the first tv's in the community. In 1956 they moved to Berea where he was a professor of industrial arts at Berea College until 1989, when he retired. A skilled woodturner, he held wood symposia for interested persons from all walks of life and had many unusual jobs in the summers, such as teaching building trades to Peace Corps volunteers who would be going to Senegal; being property manager for the outdoor drama "Wilderness Road," and refurbishing a passenger train car to be a traveling Appalachian art exhibit. They continued to reside in Berea until 2001, when they joined their daughter Betty Jean and her family in their home in Fairfax, Virginia. Lillian died on October 4, 2005.
Jim is survived by his two daughters, Betty Jean Hall (Tom Burke) of Fairfax, Virginia, and Janet Smith (Rick) of Brunswick, Georgia; two grandchildren, twins Tiffany Michelle Burke and Timothy Michael Burke; and a host of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; one brother, Orville Timothy Hall, and six sisters, Marjorie Evans, Christene Hall, Ruth Elam, Bertha Bennett, and Dot Huff. He will be remembered by all for his kind disposition and keen wit.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 2, 2007 at Cowan Chapel at Union Church with Rev. Kent Gilbert and Rev. Randy Osborne officiating. Burial will follow at the Berea Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday evening from 6-9 p.m. at Lakes Funeral Home in Berea.
Condolences for the family may be left at www.lakesfuneralhome.com. Remembrances may be made sent to Union Church or the charity of your choice.
Dear Family and Friends,
In September, we completed our first full year with Betty, Tim and Tif in Virginia. As you may recall, we had had a series of medical problems in the summer of 2001 and made the decision to close down operations in Berea and move up here. We are now up and going with the help of some fine doctors at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and some other specialists. Now, I'd say we're doing just fine for two 84-year-olds.
Speaking of which, when you get to be 84, we've discovered a great new line when trying to get medical bills straightened out, etc.: "Well, I'm 84 years old and I just don't know what to do ..." It works every time! ("Now, don't you worry, sir, I'll take care of it for you ...")
We find ourselves staying busy and enjoying it all. We went on a cruise in August to celebrate our 59th anniversary and shared the time with 19 family members. We left from Ft. Lauderdale, went around the Keys, and to a couple of points in Mexico. It was wonderful having everybody together. We also made two long weekend trips this year to Canaan Valley in West Virginia: once in February and again in November to celebrate Tim and Tif's 21st birthday. Those of you in the family know that this is very near the place where our Mynhier clan blazed trails starting in the 1770s before some of them got wiped out by Indians and the smart descendants moved on to Kentucky. Betty took us to see the stump of the beech tree which the Indians chased Uncle Jonathan around before finally doing him in, and to see what remains of the homestead, which is really quite beautiful. This area is a fairly well known winter resort area but, unfortunately, I forgot to take my skis ....
Another significant event of the year was the death of Betty's dog Luci while we were away in October. Luci and Lillian had become best friends and Lillian was devastated by the loss. Betty swore that there would be no more dogs here. That lasted about 10 days until one Sunday afternoon when Betty and Tif disappeared for a few hours. They came back with an 11-week-old puppy that looks just like Luci except "she" is a "he" .... Now, if we could just figure out how to keep up with our shoes, the tv remote, etc. ...
Here's wishing each of you a VERY Merry Christmas and hoping that those of you who want snow for Christmas will get lots of it and that those of you who have vowed to never shovel snow again don't.
Merry Christmas to All!
Jim & Lillian Hall
6003 Saddle Horse Place
Fairfax, VA 22030