WOODSTOCK, Ga. – Valery Elizabeth Hale, 93, passed away peacefully on Feb. 21, 2024, at her home in Woodstock, Ga.

A proud New Jersey native, Val was born on March 6, 1930, in Jersey City, the first of two daughters born to the late Willard Minto and Hannah Ruth (Cranmer) Bell. She grew up in the idyllic borough of Fanwood and graduated from Scotch Plains High School, where she was Captain of the Twirlers. She later graduated from Trenton State Teachers College, now The College of New Jersey, and taught elementary school in New Jersey and Florida.

Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s, Val raised three children and established a home primarily in Basking Ridge, N.J. In 1974 she and her family relocated to Cumberland Foreside. In 1987 she purchased a historic home on Main Street in Yarmouth, transforming it into a warm and inviting space for her children and grandchildren. During this period, Val worked as a substitute teacher in the Cumberland and Yarmouth schools and as a customer service representative at the L.L.Bean call center. Additionally, she volunteered at Maine Medical Center and the Portland Symphony Orchestra, playing an active role in the orchestra’s cookbook sale.

In her later years, Val moved to the South, first to Hilton Head, S.C. in 1995 and then to Georgia in 2014. At her 50th high school reunion Val reconnected with her high school sweetheart, Bob Kraus, and the two were inseparable until Bob’s passing in 2012.

Val was an enthusiastic reader and a lifelong night owl who loved movies, literature, travel, and the arts. She was a Trivial Pursuit whiz who had a knack for uncovering humor in everyday moments. She was a skilled cook, and she had a love of interior design, antiques, and collectibles. Val had the delightful ability to form meaningful connections with both people and animals. Her legacy is one of love, laughter, and thoughtful consideration for others. As a wonderful mother, grandmother, and friend, she will be dearly missed by all fortunate enough to have known her.

Val was preceded in death by her sister, Judith Dombroski of Westfield, N.J.

She is survived by her three children, Kimberly Hale of Woodstock, Ga., Allison Keegan (Charlie) of Celina, Texas, and Raymond Hale, Jr. (Pamela) of Falmouth. She is also survived by her six grandchildren, who affectionately knew her as “Mimi” and of whom she was immensely proud, Ben Davis (Margaret) of Athens, Ga., Elizabeth Sluder (Dennis) of Canton, Ga., Jason Davis (Anco) of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Sam Keegan of Houston, Texas, Eliza Keegan of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Hannah Davis of Washington, D.C. Val is also survived by five great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be officiated by the Rev. Margaret Davis and held on March 22, at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 185 E. Hancock Ave., Athens, Ga.

The family would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to the warm and loving staff of Amedisys Hospice.

In lieu of flowers,

memorial contributions may be made to the

Shriners Hospital for Children,

2900 Rocky Point Drive,

Tampa, FL 33607, or the

Hilton Head

Humane Association,

10 Humane Way,

Hilton Head, SC 29926

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