Hayden Ketchin Hale
August 30, 1926 – February 9, 2024
On February 9, 2024, Hayden Ketchin Hale, 97, went from his home on Lake Dorr in the Ocala National Forest in Florida to his eternal home with his Lord and a much-anticipated reunion with his wife, Betty M. Hale, and his youngest daughter, Alison Hale Curtis.
Born August 30,1926 in the family home in the Kelsey City Community (now Lake Park) of Palm Beach County, Florida to Warren Lester Hale and Pauline Ketchin Hale.
He is preceded in death by his parents and three siblings: Susan Hale Gelston, Ketchin Lester Hale, and Henry Ketchin Hale. He is also preceded in death by his wife, Betty, and his daughter, Alison.
Upon graduating from high school in Connecticut, Hayden enlisted in the Army Air Corps and proudly served during World War II. Following his discharge, he returned to South Florida and began a lifetime career as a general contractor and owner of Florida Construction Company, Inc. During this time, he was an active member of First Baptist Church Pompano Beach, as well as its mission church, North Pompano Baptist Church. He was a member of the Pompano Beach Rotary Club and the Pompano Beach Aero Club. He enjoyed camping trips with his family and friends, including a six-week circumnavigation of the United States and Southern Canada.
Upon retirement, Hayden moved to Lake Dorr in the Ocala Forest where he built “Our Last Resort” for himself and Betty, which was enjoyed for many years as a gathering place for family and friends. Both were active in their time and made many friends at First Baptist Church Umatilla and in the community.
Hayden leaves behind one son, Hayden Garrett Hale (Joann) and one daughter, Valerie Hale. He is survived by five grandchildren: Christopher Garrett Hale (Rachel), Jeremy Werner (Jennifer), Jennifer Werner Hammons (David), Jamie Curtis, and Janelle Curtis Aman (Charles) as well as 8 great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 16 at 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church Umatilla. Interment will be at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. The family will receive friends on Thursday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Beyers Funeral Home in Umatilla, FL. Memorials may be sent to Cornerstone Hospice or First Baptist Church Umatilla Building Fund, 550 Hatfield Dr., Umatilla, FL 32784.
The family wishes to thank Hayden’s caregivers, Bonnie White and her team, for making it possible for him to stay in his home on Lake Dorr until his passing.