Norman Wayne Hale, aged 94 years two months and 6 days, passed away in Houston Texas on March 23, 2023. He was born January 17, 1929, to Oather and Mildred Hale at the family farm near the hamlet of Armstrong, Oklahoma, the second of five children. He was preceded in death by Dorothea (‘Dot’) Hale, his wife of 60 years, his parents, his older sister Nina Jo Grimshaw, younger brothers Weldon (‘Pete’) Hale and Jerry Alexander Hale, and his granddaughter Elissa Joyce Hale. Norman is survived by his son Wayne and wife Belinda Hale of Friendswood, Texas, grandson Joshua and wife Christina of Liberty, Texas, of Clovis, NM, great-grandchildren: Benjamin, Eleanor, Samuel, and Timothy Hale and by his brother Neal and wife Bernice Hale of Clovis, NM.
Norman was raised on the farm, first in rural southern Oklahoma and then on the plains of eastern New Mexico when his family moved in 1934 when he was five. He often spoke about a heifer he raised for FFA, trading it for a used Model A Ford – starting a lifelong interest in cars. Norman played basketball and baseball at the small school at Lingo, NM. The family moved to farmland closer to Portales, NM where Norman graduated from High School in 1947. After a year at Eastern New Mexico University, Norman and his younger brother Pete enlisted together in the US Navy in October of 1948. They were assigned together to Naval aviation training school where they trained to be aircraft mechanics and then both served in anti-submarine aircraft Neptune P2V squadron VP-2 based at Whidbey Island, Washington. On September 10, 1952, Norman and Pete were Honorably Discharged and made their way home to New Mexico in time to start classes at Eastern New Mexico University.
Norman studied accounting at ENMU and that fall met a young schoolteacher from Oklahoma, Dorothea Cates. They were married on June 7, 1953, in her parents’ home at Atoka, Oklahoma. Norman graduated from ENMU in 1955 after they had welcomed their only child, Norman Wayne Hale, Jr., in July of 1954. Pursuing a career in accounting, the family moved to Amarillo, Texas for a year and then to Lubbock, Texas for two years before moving to Hobbs, New Mexico in 1959. Norman worked in the accounting firm of Barrett & Barrett from 1959 to 1975. In the fall of 1975, Norman established his own accounting firm. Norman often remarked that tax accounting was like a big game where he studied the rules and regulations to get the best return for his clients. He became known for his integrity and ingenuity in tax planning. Norman and Dot were active in civic life in Hobbs, with Norman serving first in Lions Club and later in Rotary Club. They were long time members of Hobbs Country Club and were active members of First United Methodist Church in Hobbs.
Norman’s passion was his collection of antique automobiles which he restored and exhibited. His 1928 Model A Coupe won several awards in local car shows. Norman fully retired from the accounting firm in 2001. Norman moved in 2015 to assisted living in the Houston suburbs to be near his son Wayne and family.
Visitation will be Wednesday morning March 29 at Griffin Funeral Home (401 N. Dalmont, Hobbs, NM) from 10 AM to 12:00 noon followed by a graveside service and internment at Prairie Haven Memorial Park Cemetery at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to First United Methodist Church of Hobbs or to the Hobbs Rotary Club.
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