Richard's Story

BETHEL - Richard "Dick" Augustus Hale died peacefully Sunday morning, May 17, 2015 after a short period of declining health. He was born in Lewiston, Me, October 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 post graduate year at Philips 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 1st Lieutenant, Armor 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 then went on to Yale School of Forestry to get his M.F. 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 ten 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 Orono.

In 1967, he married Janine Dumont and moved to Orono where, 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: Advisor of University of Maine Woodsmens' Team, Director of New England Kiln Drying Association (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 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, their children Corinne and Jocelyn; his brothers Elliott and David; many nephews, nieces, grand nephews and grand nieces.

Family and friends are invited to share tributes and condolences at

Visitation will be held, 6-8PM, Thu., May 21, 2015 at the Chandler Funeral Home & Cremation Service Greenleaf Chapel, 37 Vernon St., Bethel. Funeral services will be held, 11AM, Fri., May 22, 2015 at the Middle Intervale Meeting House, 757 Intervale Rd., Bethel. Committal services with military honors will be held, 1PM, Wed., June 10, 2015 in the chapel of the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 163 Mt. Vernon Rd., Augusta. Gifts may be given in Dick's memory to the Bethel Historical Society, 10 Broad St., Bethel, ME 04217 and/or the Maine Forest and Logging Museum, 54 Government Rd., Bradley, ME 04411.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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Greenleaf Chapel

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