DOWNEY – Thomas Sherman Hale, born Aug. 19, 1922 in Fort Collins, Colo. 15 minutes before his twin sister Margaret (Jean), passed away May 20 at his home in Downey. Tom grew up on various family farms in Colorado and Wyoming. As a young man he served in the Cavalry for two years and later served four years in the Marine Air Corps in the South Pacific during World War II. When he returned from service he obtained his engineering degree at Iowa State College.
After college, Tom enjoyed a 26-year career at North American Aviation, playing an instrumental role in the success of the Apollo Space Program.
After retiring in 1977, he embarked on a second “career,” volunteering at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. He spent 32 years assisting countless patients by designing and creating devices and tools to help patients with specific challenges and needs.
Tom was also an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Downey, serving for many decades.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Marjorie Marie; his sons, Tom, Dan and Don; daughter, Ann Laher; eight grandchildren, Kristi Halenkamp, Hollynn Mattson, Danny Hale, Andrew Hale, Alec Hale, Abby Laher, Elena Hale and Hannah Laher; and two great-grandchildren, Noah Ramon and Madison Halenkamp.
He is also survived by his sister, Daisy Gorduyn of New Mexico.
A memorial service will be held this Saturday, May 31, at First Presbyterian Church of Downey at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations to the Rancho Los Amigos Foundation or First Presbyterian Church of Downey.
Published: May 29, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 07