OBITUARY: Clifton Ronald Hale

Clifton Ronald Hale

Rev. Clifton R. Hale, 88, of Portland, TN passed away on February 2, 2022, at White House Health Care and Rehabilitation Center after a lengthy illness.

Born in Tompkinsville, KY on September 10, 1933 to Oliver W. and Ora Gee Hale, Clif is survived by his wife, Geraldine, of Portland, TN to whom he was married for over 70 years.

In addition, he is survived by siblings Emogene Wallace of Old Hickory, TN and Naomi Lytle of Nashville, TN; son Ronald Steven (Carla) Hale of Adolphus, KY; daughter Sheryl (Ernie) Hale Dillard of Portland, TN; and son Terry Wayne (Mary Ann) Hale of Bradenton, FL. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and a granddaughter of his heart: Joshua (Renee) Hale of Richmond, KY; Johnathan Kenyon of FL; Jeremy (Beth) Hale of Keene, NH; Jennifer (Matt) Rowley of Jacksonville, FL; Kristin (Will) Eller of Bowling Green, KY; David (Kaylee) Hale of Taylors, SC; Leah (Eric) Espinosa of GA; and Jessica Frame of Portland, TN; and by 17 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by eight siblings and his grandson, Jordan Benjamin Hale.

Clif loved nature and enjoyed being outdoors hunting, fishing, or just sitting and enjoying a rest (especially after he told everyone Geraldine made him get rid of his “weapons” and took his keys so he couldn’t go anywhere). He loved telling stories, especially if they were funny, and those who knew him knew he often got himself so tickled in the telling that he either couldn’t finish what he was saying or it took him longer than expected. And that was okay – it was worth it even if the story never got told because Clif’s laughter was infectious enough that everyone laughed along with him each time, especially if it was a story he repeated often and we already knew the punchline.

He lived his life as a love song to the Lord and to his family, demonstrating what agape really means in the day-to-day moments that made up a life well lived. His legacy of sharing God’s love through connecting with people, preaching, and singing his favorite hymns extends well beyond his family to all the congregations he led and the lives he touched in his tenure of over 50 years as a pastor with the Church of the Nazarene. It’s a legacy that includes not only shepherding his home congregations but also short-term missionary work, working with the Billy Graham Crusades, mentoring young men entering into the pastorate, and two years of being Chaplain for the Glasgow Kentucky Scotty Band. He played a role in founding the Ministerial Association for Portland, TN, and was involved in it through the late 1960s and again in the 1990s. He was also proud to be an Honorary Kentucky Colonel.

The days ahead without him will be difficult, but the precious memories he leaves behind will still add a sparkle and a smile (and probably more laughs) to our days as we await the time when we are reunited once again. We can’t wait to hear the stories he’ll tell us of what he and Jordy have been doing since he got to Heaven.

Visitation will be Saturday, February 5, from 12 – 8 PM CT, and Sunday, February 6, from 12 – 2 PM CT at Wilkinson & Wiseman Funeral Home. The funeral will immediately follow Sunday visitation at 2 PM.