First Responders 04

James Hale

May 13, 1940 ~ December 4, 2021 (age 81)


James Ray Hale, age 81, of Centerville, passed away Saturday, December 4, 2021 at Centerville Specialty Care in Centerville.

James was born on May 13, 1940 in Clarinda, Iowa, the son of Glade and Dorothy (Ford) Hale.  James enlisted in the United States Army, and served his country faithfully in Germany, Korea and France, before being honorably discharged.  James was united in marriage to Barbara A. Bench on October 1, 1961 in Clarinda, Iowa.  To this union, three children were born, Amber, Kari and Nanette.

James worked for NSK in Clarinda for 27 years as a machinist before retiring.  In the same time period, James was a member of the Clarinda Fire Department for 17 years, serving part of that time as the Assistant Chief.  He was a certified diver for the recovery team, and helped begin the Clarinda Underwater Rescue Team.  He was also an EMT/First Responder.

James enjoyed riding motorcycles.  He was in the Country Cousins Band, and played guitar, banjo, and wash tub.

Left to honor James’ memory are his wife, Barbara Hale of Centerville; his children, Amber (Tom) Slates of Centerville, Kari (Marcus) Casady of Maryville, MO, Nanette (Daniel) Bessey of Omaha, NE; grandchildren, Timothy (Tiara) Casady of Maryville, MO, Patrick (Aspen) Casady of Maryville, MO, Josyln Bessey of Omaha, NE; great grandchildren, Kyron Casady and Koa Casady, both of Maryville, MO; a sister, Anne Cox of Chandler, AZ; nieces and nephews, Joanna, Dianna, Brian and Jason, along with Merica and Vaughn Bench; sister-in-law, Marla Bench of Vancouver, Washington; as well as several extended family members.

James was preceded in death by his parents, Glade and Dorothy Hale; two brothers-in-law, Vern Cox and Allan Bench; and a niece, Brenna.

Cremation has been accorded.  There are no scheduled services at this time.  In lieu of flowers, Memorials have been established to either the Clarinda Volunteer Fire Department or EveryStep Hospice of Centerville, and may be mailed to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, ATTN: Hale family, 1900 South 18th Street, Centerville, Iowa 52544.  Condolences may be shared online at or on our funeral home Facebook page.

To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Hale, please visit our tribute store.


No services will be held at this time

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