Phyllis Anne Delaney Hale

5 entries
  • "St. Phyllis, as she was known to many of the boys from..."
    - Richard Burton Peterson
  • "A great lady. Stayed true to her principles through a long..."
    - Rusty Reed
  • "Dear Anne, I was very sorry to hear about your mother...."
    - Margaret Wallace
  • "....she was an amazing happy that I got to know..."
    - Emily Singleton
  • "To All The Hale's So sorry from all of us to hear about..."
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Phyllis Anne Delaney Hale
AIKEN - Phyllis Anne Delaney Hale, 95, daughter of Gladys Root and Phillip Delaney, died peacefully Sunday, July 23, 2017 surrounded by her family in her beloved home among the Villas at Houndslake. She was born June 7, 1922 in Watertown, N.Y. Phyllis was the widow of Raymond Joseph Hale, also of Watertown, who died Christmas morning 1994. They were married on September 12, 1944, thus beginning 52 years of marriage that produced a remarkable brood of Children: Patricia Rae Hale, 72, of Aiken, Michael Francis Hale, 67, who is married to Mary Ann Collins Hale, of North Augusta, Stephen Delaney Hale, 66, Aiken, Marcia Lee Hale, 65, Washington, D.C., and Anne Marie Hale Miglarese, 57, of Potomac, Md. She married to John Miglarese of Hampton, S.C., on the 50th wedding anniversary of Raymond and Phyllis. Michael and Mary Ann have a son, Travis Hale, 47 and his wife Mica, of Greenville, and Phyllis' only great-grandchild to date, Collin Hale, 13. Anne and John have provided Phyllis with a beautiful granddaughter, Shannon Hale Miglarese, 23, also of Washington, D.C.
Phyllis grew up a good student (earning the four-year certificate for history and social studies among her class) and a natural athlete, playing center on her high school basketball team and was an ardent and successful swimmer, once having her best friend and first cousin Leo Stumpf, row his boat beside her as she swam from the United States to Canada across the mouth of the very cold St. Lawrence River.
Having lived in "the Frozen North" all her first 20 years, Phyllis and Raymond left their wedding reception for a train ride to 95-degree Birmingham, Ala. Raymond had landed a significant job with E.I. DuPont making smokeless powder in Birmingham while Phyllis became an authentic Rossie the Riveter, riveting wings onto B-24 bombers. Promoted to an office worker, Phyllis was typing away when the plant manager yelled out over the cacophony of secretarial chit-chat, "Quiet! Will you please be quiet and work? The only person getting any work done is Mrs. Hale, and she's a damn Yankee!" Raymond was soon called away to an urgent meeting, returning to tell her that he couldn't explain right now but he had been transferred to the mysterious Oak Ridge, Tenn., and that he would send for her as soon as he had secured boarding for the two of them. Now eminently pregnant, Phyllis took another bus, north this time, to have her first baby with her mother, but was sworn not to talk about Raymond's work. "That wasn't difficult," she would say. "At first I had no idea what he was doing or where we were."
Once getting used to camp life came new orders to travel to Richland, Wash. There Raymond was given a far superior position, but one even more secret. As revealed after World War II, Raymond was an early draftee by DuPont, which was operating The Manhattan Project to supply the fissionable products for the world's first nuclear weapons. They fashioned the Uranium and other fissionable materials at Oak Ridge which were used in the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and made the plutonium and other materials which devastated Nagasaki.
The couple and their children loved the desert West but in 1951 were offered a significant promotion to move to DuPont HQ in Wilmington, Del., where Raymond was among the chief designers of the "hot" sections of what would become the Savannah River (National) Laboratory. He stayed at the Lab for the remainder of his career into the early 1990.
It was another hair-raising cross-country trek for Phyllis. While Raymond and Mike drove to South Carolina, Phyllis hauled all the belongings they would arrive with, including Patricia, now 8, Mike, now Michael the Menace at 4, and Stephen, 1, who was rarely heard from as it was his delight to sleep in the closet. A stowaway, Marcia Lee, was 8-months in her mother's womb - exactly her mother's goal nine years ago at the altar - to have four healthy children by the age of 30 and that should be enough of that! (Marty was the first DuPont Operations baby born in Aiken.)
Then came the day, some seven and one-half years later, bringing the news of the imminent arrival of #5, Anne Marie Hale. Although perceived as a crisis at first, Phyllis often remarked at the scores of great times that the two of them had together after the others had all left the home for college and careers.
Phyllis later displayed many ways to enjoy herself: helping her dear friend Jocelyn Todd operate that wonderfully wacky Cloud Seven gift shop at the corner of Newberry and Richland (especially Josh's custom of dry Sherry at 5 p.m. which did wonders for sales). While helping put the middle three children through college Phyllis worked for "Maw Bell" as an operator and volunteered endless hours for St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church. Certainly, her favorite recreation was playing golf at Highland Park (ne. Aiken Golf Club) and many other surrounding courses, with friends and family. For eight years the young family lived along the 17th fairway of Palmetto Golf Club and, at the passing of Raymond, she picked out for herself a beautiful home behind No. 6 Dogwood at Houndslake. Attending the Masters was as big as Thanksgiving in the Hale Family, especially after the clan had amassed six Patrons Badges which were routinely bestowed upon the worthy. For this, two generations of her children's friends called her "St. Phyllis," as in, "You've heard of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Joan of Arc? Behold, St. Phyllis of the Masters Tickets!" The gift brought more than two fathers and sons back together after years of estrangement. No one could mistake the expressions of joy on the faces of father and son as they returned the badges, always exactly on time, after their first full day together in years. Three times Steve assisted friends with the spreading of their father's ashes around beautiful Amen Corner. Phyllis and Steve also enjoyed attending other tournaments: twice to the U.S. Open at Pinehurst and twice The Players at Pointe Vedras. She and Anne and Steve were together at The War by the Shore, The 1991 Ryder Cup on Kiawah Island, S.C., perhaps the greatest display of golf in history.
Raymond enjoyed playing bridge and he was often on the winning team - because his partner Phyllis was a predator. She loved to play bridge for nearly 90 years and it was leaving the bridge table when she received her final injury. She played nearly every game known to keep her brood engaged - and quiet - for Raymond, who needed some peace after making parts for H-bombs all day.
Due to her passionately Irish heritage, (Raymond too) Phyllis also played when it was grown up time. Raymond's and Phyllis' parties were renowned among the early DuPont immigrants to Aiken. The housewarming party for their dream home at the cul-du-sac at Grace Circle, built for them below the traffic light thoroughbred crossing at Whiskey Road, was a classic. Just a few weeks after they moved in Raymond and Phyllis chose to throw a memorable housewarming party. It was a Tuesday night in November 1960, election night between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. A Democrat since the age of 10 after meeting Franklin Roosevelt, and both Phil and Ray were ardent Irish Catholics and Kennedy was like a holy word in the house. All of the scientists and engineers at SRP, especially those who had served in the Manhattan Project, were invited to the house warming - a good number of them being for Kennedy but the better part were for Nixon. Marcia and Steve (both inspired to later take up political careers) sat unseen at the top of the stairs and marveled at the fun and conversation of their first election. At first Kennedy was ahead, (New York, Massachusetts) and then Nixon took the lead (primarily from the South). Nixon pulled ahead in the mid-west and many of the Democrats shook hands and went home a little after midnight. But, by about 2 to 3 a.m., Illinois and Texas - and not much later California - swung it for the Democrats. The Republicans wandered out around 4, shortly before daybreak, the Democrats came roaring (literally) back! "Happy Days were here Again!"
Phyllis lived a long, full life with a brilliant and loving husband, five "pretty good kids" as Raymond would call them, and a town full of friends wherever she went. And almost always, except when you deserved to be in trouble, with that impish Irish smile that was hard to read, but you knew she was up to something.
A Requiem Mass will be celebrated Friday afternoon, July 28th at 3 o'clock at the historic St. Mary Help of Christian's Church on Park Ave. with The Very Rev. Gregory Wilson as Celebrant.
Final prayers will be private in Calvary Cemetery.
Friends are invited to the home following the Mass to Celebrate the Life of Phyllis D. Hale.
Arrangements are in the care of SHELLHOUSE - RIVERS FUNERAL HOME, 715 EAST PINE LOG RD., AIKEN, S.C.
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Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on July 26, 2017