1921 – 2015

BETHEL — Richard “Dick” Augustus Hale died peacefully Sunday morning, May 17, after a short period of declining health.

He was born in Lewiston on Oct. 5, 1921, the son of Elliott K. and Geraldine (Rideout) Hale. He attended local schools and graduated from Lisbon Falls High School in 1939. After attending a postgraduate year at Phillips Academy, he entered the University of Maine at Orono to study forestry. He joined the rifle team and the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity before being called to active duty in 1943. He was commissioned armor first lieutenant in 1944 and was sent to Germany to join the Army of Occupation.

Upon honorable discharge, he returned to the University of Maine to complete his degree and enrolled in the Yale School of Forestry to get his Master of Forestry in 1948.

After graduation, he returned to Lisbon Falls and started his own logging and sawmill business, Hale Forest Industries, which integrated all aspects of harvesting and manufacturing. In 1956, he became an independent saw mill consultant and over the next 10 years, helped various mills with layout and design, quality control and many other related aspects of wood manufacturing.

During this time, he spent 15 years as the secretary of the town of Lisbon Advisory Board. In 1966, he accepted an appointment as assistant professor in the School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine at Orono.

In 1967, he married Janine Dumont and moved to Orono. A year later, they had a daughter, Heather. Over the next 24 years, Dick taught courses in wood processing, wood-drying and wood preservation. He had articles written in over 30 publications and it is estimated that Dick taught over 600 dry kiln operators for Maine industries.

He held positions in numerous committees and organizations, including adviser of University of Maine Woodsmen’s Team; director of New England Kiln Drying Association, as well as president in 1979; and senior reviewer, National Institute of Science and Technology.

After retiring in 1990, Dick continued to be a forest products consultant and became interested in Maine forest history. He served on the board of the Maine Forest and Logging Museum and in 2008, he was honored by the University of Maine Alumni Association with the Black Bear Award for designing and implementing the Galaxy of Stars Project. He has also written several forwards for many prominent books based on Maine logging operations.

He moved to Bethel in 2008 and served on the board of the Bethel Historical Society, and was a member of the American Legion Mundt-Allen Post 81.

Dick is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jan; his daughter, Heather and her husband, David Nivus, and their children, Corinne and Jocelyn; his brothers, Elliott and David; and many nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces.

Family and friends are invited to share tributes and condolences at www.chandlerfunerals.com.

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