1923 – 2015

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — Bud Hale passed away in the comfort of his home in Plymouth, N.H., on Friday, July 17.

He was born in Lewiston, the second of three sons of Geraldine Rideout Hale and Elliott Kidder Hale. They were raised in Lisbon Falls, where his father managed the Worumbo Woolen Mill. He entered college at the University of Maine at Orono in 1941, Class of 1945. His studies were interrupted by World War II, and he trained as a Navy pilot and eventually became an ensign.

He never really saw active duty as a pilot due to timing of everything, plus he was hospitalized twice with a collapsed lung. Nonetheless, he told many stories of his military experiences and has recorded them in his autobiography.

After the war, he returned to the University of Maine, where he made many lifelong friends and met Patricia Ruth Ludwig, who became his bride on July 3, 1948, in Washington. They honeymooned at the family camp at Rangeley Lake after his graduation in February of that year.

Bud and Pat went on to have three sons, Jeffrey, David “Rick” and Peter, and they were “raised on skis” in the paper mill town of Rumford. There, Bud was employed as a purchasing agent at Oxford Paper Co. The three boys were introduced to skiing, as the ski program there became well-known and respected throughout the country. This instilled a lifelong passion of the sport into all three boys. Bud and Pat continued to ski well into their 70s.


Bud was active in the Chisholm and Junior Chisholm ski clubs, serving as president for a term. There was only a boys’ team at the time, but he noted that there were a lot of girls skiing, too, so he was instrumental in starting a team for them. Other towns with ski clubs soon followed suit.

In 1974, he accepted a position with Boise Cascade in St. Helens, Ore. He and Pat lived a very happy life for 12 years there, making a lot of friends, many being much younger than they were. Many trips were made back to Maine for summer vacations, and they also enjoyed traveling to Telluride, Colo., where they visited their son, Peter, and his family as often as they could.

While in Oregon, the mill there went on strike, and it was kept running by salaried employees from other mills like Rumford, which had been acquired by Boise Cascade. Thus many old friends and acquaintances came to Oregon.

Bud retired in 1985 and they moved back to Washington, into the house that Pat grew up in. They lived there for the next 20 years. During that time, always having been an avid reader, Bud was instrumental in acquiring a grant to build a beautiful library in this small town, where his father-in-law had owned a general store and was the postmaster for decades. The Gibbs Library has been touted as the best small-town library in the state, and Bud served as the chairman of the board, as well as the janitor.

Bud and Pat were both very active members of the community. In 2005, they moved to a condo in Plymouth, N.H., to downsize and to be closer to their two sons on the East Coast, Jeff and Rick.

Bud and Pat continued to enjoy frequent trips to Rangeley and less frequently, to Colorado. They and their sons built a new log home at the family property at Rangeley Lake, construction commencing in June 2007. They both got to enjoy some great family gatherings in the new place in winter as well as summer. Bud was able to contribute greatly to the construction, which took about six years to finish.


Bud made friends wherever he went and continued to do so in recent years. He was great at keeping in touch with people, calling them up or stopping to see them, even if it had been 20 years or more. He liked everyone and everybody loved him.

Besides his love of family, skiing and reading, Bud also enjoyed fishing in the Rangeley region and in the Northwest.

Bud is survived by his three sons, Peter (and Rayna) of Dolores, Colo., David “Rick” of Moretown, Vt., and Jeffrey of Plymouth, N.H.; his brother, David Hale of Concord, N.H.; his sister-in-law, Jan Hale of Bethel; six grandchildren, Noah, Ryan, Rebecca, Sara, Shelly and Bridget; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Bud was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Patricia; his brother, Richard “Dick” Hale; and his sister-in-law, Laura Hale.

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