Fern Hale


Fern Hinkley Hale, 86, made her final journey on Sept. 7. She passed quietly at home after battling several serious medical issues for decades which she faced with grace and grit. She was born on June 20, 1937 to Carroll G. Hinkley Sr. and Fannie Stahl Hinkley of Roxbury.

Fern loved life. Her laugh was unmistakable and infectious. Her friends and family were the center of her life. Her one wish in the last six months was to have her family together one more time and to have the opportunity to celebrate five generations. This dream was realized on the weekend of Aug. 26.

Fern held various jobs over the years. In early days, she helped out on the family farm in Roxbury where she met her now ex-husband, Edward Hale, who was working as a hired hand. Later she waitressed and held other odd jobs to help her growing family. After 23 years she retired from Marvin & Sholes Insurance in 1998 and served as Colchester tax collector beginning in 1992 for 14 years.

Fern had many interests and volunteered in her community even with declining health. She enjoyed reading and was an avid card club player. Camping in the early years, traveling with family/friends, flowers, and sightseeing were some of her favorite pastimes. She was also an active member of the Colchester Senior Citizens. Over the years, she volunteered in the Downsville Firemen Ladies Auxiliary, was a member of the Colchester Republican Club, and historical society. Her passion and longtime membership in the Colchester Community Church was steadfast as she volunteered to help with many fundraisers and served on several committees.

Survivors include her four sons, Gregory (Florence) in Downsville; Jeff (Donna) in Arizona/Idaho; Ken (Lori) formerly from Amenia; and Steve (Nancy) in Rochester. She was blessed with 10 grandchildren (Wendy, Brian, Jeff Jr., James, Jeanine, Blake, Jerilyn, Dustin, Zachary, and Nicholas) as well as 11

great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandson, two sister-in-laws, and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her father and mother, all four of her brothers (Edward, James, Carroll Jr., and Francis) along with a grandson in-law (Michael Brown).

The family and Fern were grateful for the cards, phone calls, and visits by family and friends as well as the support and care of her Hospice team. Arrangements have been entrusted to Courtney Funeral Home in Walton. A celebration of her life will take place at the Colchester Community Church at convenience of the family. Memorial donations may be made in Fern’s name to the Colchester Community Church, PO Box 305, Downsville, NY 13755 and the Downsville Emergency Squad, 15166 NY-30, Downsville, NY 13755.