July 8, 1945 – October 1, 2021
Elmer D. Hale, 76, of Flat Rock, IL, died October 1, 2021, surrounded by his family following a short battle with cancer.
He was born July 8, 1945, in Lawrenceville, IL, the son of Ruby (Sissle) Hale. His early years were marked by hardship, and as a young boy, Elmer relied on the benevolence of his neighbors before finding a home with his foster parents, Tony & Mary Hill. A 1963 graduate of Lawrenceville High School, he was eventually drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He would go on to proudly serve his country as a radio telephone operator and infantryman in the 4th Infantry Division from 1967 to 1969. Over the course of his service, he saw heavy action and earned an
Army Commendation Medal, two Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart for distinguished acts of heroism in the face of danger and adversity.
After returning home from war, he earned a Petroleum Tech degree from Lincoln Trail College and went to work for Marathon Oil Company. Here, he would work in both the laboratory and as an operator during his career.
On March 13, 1981, Elmer married the love of his life, Sharon Matthews, making him not only the father of his two sons, but also a father to her two daughters, whom he raised and loved as his own. They remember Elmer as a man who held a deeply embedded love for his family, his country, and his Lord. A man of faith, he was a longtime member of the Flat Rock United Methodist Church and was also active with a number of other organizations, such as the Robinson V.F.W. Post #4549, the Flat Rock American Legion Post #132, Disabled American Veterans, and the National Rifle Association. This voracious reader believed in giving back to his community, as evidenced by his time
on the Robinson District Library Board. Elmer was also a 49-year member of the Flat Rock Masonic Lodge #348 and was involved with the Valley of Danville Scottish Rite as well.
Anyone who knew him could attest to his love of sports. He was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinal fan and followed University of Illinois basketball and kept up with Lawrenceville High School games. He was also an avid hunter.
It didn’t matter what he was hunting, be that duck, squirrel, rabbit, or deer; he simply loved the thrill of the hunt while being out in God’s creation. He enjoyed much of our nation’s natural beauty by way of family road trips.
Few things brought him more joy than loading his loved ones in a van and taking in the sights of Yellowstone, Niagara Falls, and countless other destinations.
Throughout his adult life, Elmer made a point to stay in contact with many of his battle buddies. He belonged to a group of veterans with whom he became good friends, staying in touch nearly every day. They would meet at several veterans’ reunions, including the annual Vietnam Veterans Reunion in Kokomo, IN, an event Elmer looked forward to every year. In October of 2017, he was honored with an all-expenses-paid trip to the memorials in Washington, D.C., through the Honor Flight Network. Elmer Hale was, by all accounts, a man worth honoring.
Mere words cannot and do not convey the selfless dedication it takes to sacrifice oneself for their country. We are humbled by his tenacity of spirit and recognize that Elmer represented the very best of who we are. We thank God for him and that his 76 years with us were but the beginning of life eternal.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon Hale; by his two sons & daughters-in-law, David & Kara Hale (Robinson, IL) and Ryan & Waleska Hale (Bellville, IL); by his two daughters & sons-in-law, Lisa & Jay Jacobs (Robinson, IL) and Laura & Dan Gallion (Robinson, IL); by his grandchildren, Nicole & Jerry Wilson, Emily Paddock & Billy Sears, Evan Hale, Addy Paddock, Julia Gallion, Payton Gallion, and Skylar Hale; by his great-grandchildren, Brylee Sears and Rolland Wilson; by his cousins, Janet & Randy Ammons (Knoxville, TN) and Gwen & Mike Lauderdale (Evansville, IN); by his brothers-in-law & sisters-in-law, Verl & Carol Sanders (ND), Elwin & Ann Marie Sanders (GA), Karlette & Bernie Morgan (Casey, IL), Byron & Kim Sanders (Oblong, IL), and Roberta Quinn (Robinson, IL);
as well as several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Ruby Hale; by his foster parents, Tony & Mary Hill; by his brother, John Hale; and by his father-in-law & mother-in-law, Robert & Pauline Sanders.
A time of visitation will be held from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 5th, at the Flat Rock United Methodist Church.
A Masonic service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday and will be followed by a funeral service conducted by Celebrant Curt Goodwine. Military rites will be accorded by the combined units of the U.S. Army, the Robinson V.F.W. Post #4549, the Robinson American Legion Post #69, and the Flat Rock American Legion Post #132. A live stream of his service will be available
on Goodwine Funeral Homes’ Facebook page or by going to https://www.goodwinefuneralhomes.com/live-stream/live-stream.
Memorial contributions may be made to “Pine Haven Christian Children’s Ranch” or
“Oblong Children’s Christian Home”, with envelopes available at the church.
Obituary from the Goodwine Funeral Homes website