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Douglas Denton Hale, Jr.
02 Oct 1929 - 26 Dec 2014
© Strode Funeral Home
Reprinted with permission

Douglas Denton Hale, Jr., 85, died December 26, at home, surrounded by family and friends.

Hale was born in Jacksonville, TX, on October 2, 1929, the first son of Douglas Hale, Sr. and Effie Musslewhite Hale.

“Little Doug” as he was known as a child, grew up with his two younger brothers, Steve and Billie, in Troup, TX. He had an especially warm and caring relationship with his paternal grandmother, Jessie Jarvis Hale, who lived next door. She taught Hale how to read and instilled in him an intense desire to learn. He lived near the Troup School and loved his teachers who, through their example, modeled scholarly discipline and the patience to later become a teacher and researcher himself.

In 1946, Hale transferred to nearby Jacksonville High School which had broader curriculum choices and an established athletic program.

Having competed successfully in football and track in high school, he received an athletic scholarship to Rice Institute, Houston, Texas, in 1948. In addition, during the five summers of his college career, he was employed by Humble Oil Company as a roustabout in the East Texas Oil Field. After his graduation from Rice in 1952, Hale was offered a Fulbright Scholarship for a year’s study in Stockholm, Sweden. The adventure abroad gave him independence, courage and a sense of purpose.

Upon his return, Hale enlisted in the U. S. Army and served for three years as a special agent for the United States Counter Intelligence Corps, headquartered at Fort Sill, OK. In 1955 he met and married Betty Bishop of Tulsa. The couple had two children: a son, Steve, and a daughter, Ellen.

Having chosen an academic career, upon completing his military service in 1956, Hale enrolled in a Master’s Degree program at the University of Missouri and later earned a PhD. in History from the University of Texas in 1961. Thereupon, he became an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Two years later, he was appointed a professor of history at Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater. During the following eighteen years, Hale taught a number of courses in economic history, German history, history of the West, and American immigration studies. He also supervised numerous master’s theses and doctoral dissertations.

In 1981 Hale retired from teaching and devoted his time to research and writing. He published many articles and three well-regarded books: The Germans from Russia in Oklahoma; The Third Texas Cavalry in the Civil War; and Wanderers Between Two Worlds: German Rebels in the American West.

In 1985, Hale married Lou Moore Strickland of Norman, OK. The couple took many enriching trips to Europe, Central America, and within the U.S. They always loved coming home to Stillwater—Hale called it “an idyllic place to live.” Through the years the couple has enjoyed the cultural events sponsored by OSU, made extensive use of the campus and public libraries, and taken (and taught) continuing education classes. Hale loved running on the old golf course, riding his bike around Boomer Lake, and picnicking at Berry Ponds next to Lou’s sculpture studio.

Hale is survived by his wife, Lou and the five children and ten grandchildren they have together. They are: son, Charles Steven Hale, wife, Patricia Lynn Hale of San Antonio; daughter, Ellen Douglas (Hale) Humpert, husband, Trice, daughters Shelby Ruth Humpert and Leah Nicole Humpert all of Austin, TX; Thomas Scott Strickland, III, wife, Debra Mullins Strickland of Peterborough, NH, daughter Megan Leigh Strickland, and Robert Blake of Los Angeles, CA, and son, Tyler Scott Strickland of Peterborough, NH; Gray Moore Strickland, wife, Shelley Garner Strickland of Tulsa, OK; daughter Elizabeth Maute Cooke and husband, Drew Cook, New Orleans, LA, son, Gray Garner Strickland, daughter, Grace Louise Strickland, and son Graham Thomas Strickland, all of Tulsa, OK; and “Lisa” Elizabeth Louise Strickland Burnett, husband, Trey Lyn Burnett, and sons, Ross Trenton Burnett and Benton Ashford Burnett all of Spring, TX.

Hale is also survived by Freddie Gossett Hale, wife of deceased brother, Charles Stephen Hale, of Troup, TX; brother Bill Hale, wife, Janan Gillespie Hale of Tyler, TX; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial celebrating Doug’s life will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Stillwater, OK on January 10, 2015, at 2:30 p.m., under the direction of Strode Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, in Stillwater, the family suggests memorial gifts be directed to Judith Karman Hospice, PO 818, 74076 or the OSU Foundation for the new Performing Arts Center, 74078. In Texas, donations may go to the Cameron-J. Jarvis Library in Troup, 75789.

Condolences may be emailed and obituary viewed at Strodefh.com.

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