- NW Foundation
By Natalie Ehrhardt, Communications Specialist
The Emmette and Evelyn Hale Memorial Endowed Scholarship has been lovingly established at Northwest Mississippi Community College by the Senatobia couple’s sons, Buster, Steve, David, and Tim.
Emmette Franklin Hale, Jr. passed away in 1989. Born to Emmette Hale, Sr. and Nannie May Hale in 1928, he was stricken with osteomyelitis in his early teens, with his parents given little hope that he would reach adulthood. However, thanks to surgery and modern medicine, he was completely healed and went on to lead a very productive life.
Hale, raised in Senatobia, graduated from Tate County Agricultural High School in 1946. After a stint in the Merchant Marine, he returned home and attended what was then Northwest Mississippi Junior College, followed by the University of Tennessee and William R. Moore School of Technology, where he studied drafting and design.
After completing his studies, he became associated with his father in the lumber business. He primarily spent his time designing and building custom homes. He married his wife in 1950, and the couple went on to welcome their four sons.
A group of Tate County leaders had observed the young businessman and encouraged him to run for office. This kicked off a career of public service that would span 30 years. First elected to the Tate County Board of Supervisors in 1959, he went on to serve as president of the board until the time of his passing. He was elected president of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors in 1968, presiding over all the supervisors in the state of Mississippi.
Hale was a member of the Senatobia First Baptist Church, a Mason, charter member of the Senatobia Volunteer Fire Department, and president of the Rural Area Development Association. He was also a Rotarian, past director of Back Acres Country Club and Senatobia Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the board of the Community Action Program for Tate and DeSoto counties. He also represented Tate County on what was then the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Commission.
A golf enthusiast, Hale was a golf champion at Back Acres for four years. A plaque in his memory can be found on the practice tee at the club, where he helped many young golfers perfect their swing. He also spent many years as a little league baseball coach and is still remembered fondly by many of those who played on his teams. Because of his dedication to the youth of Tate County, the little league field on Gilmore Street in Senatobia was named Hale/Oakley Field, in honor of Hale and Bill Oakley.
In his later years, Hale raised cattle and enjoyed his six grandchildren.
Evelyn Savage Hale, born in 1930 to Raymond and Eula Scott Savage, passed away in 2019 at the age of 88. Raised in Hernando as the oldest girl in a close-knit family with seven siblings, she graduated from Hernando High School in 1948.
Upon marrying, she moved to Senatobia, which would be her home for 68 years. She was a homemaker, and as a longtime member of Senatobia First Baptist Church, she also taught children’s Sunday School for many years and was an active member of the WMU Flower’s Circle and the Grace Sunday School class. She and her fellow Sunday School class members polished the nails of residents living at the Senatobia Convalescent Center every Wednesday afternoon. In addition, she volunteered as a member of the church’s Homebound Ministry, delivering meals to homebound church members.
After the death of her husband, Hale stepped in and served the remainder of his term as a Tate County supervisor for District 4. She also worked with her sons in the family business, Hale Lumber Company. In her later years, her greatest joys were her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom she would often babysit, waiting with a bowl of chocolate ice cream and a hug when they arrived.
The Emmette and Evelyn Hale Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a student from Tate County. Recipients must maintain a GPA of 2.5 while enrolled at Northwest.