Roy Hale Inducted Into Holton Hall of Fame for 2014

February 07, 2014 –

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Roy Hale thanks the crowd after being inducted into the Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce last night.  (Special thanks to Brenda Catron and Joe Kennedy)

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During the ceremony Chairman Steve Ortiz (left) and Secretary Jim Potter honored Hale with a Pendleton blanket as a special gift.

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Left to right:  Tribal Council members Carrie O’Toole, Steve Ortiz,and Jim Potter (far right) with Hale.

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Other Tribal Council members that attended the event were Tom Wabnum (left) and Hattie Mitchell (right) who were photographed later with Hale.

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Speaking on behalf of Roy during his presentation were Cathleen Reed (left) and Jerry Tuckwin (right).  Reed is a longtime neighbor and friend and Tuckwin is a family member of Hale’s.

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We-Ta-Se veterans and other family members and friends were asked to stand as Prairie Band Potawatomi representatives at the event.

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Over sixty Prairie Band members and others were there to honor Roy.

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Another table of Hale supporters.

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MAYETTA: A great contributor to the Prairie Band Potawatomi and Holton community, tribal member Roy Hale was honored last night by being inducted into the Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame at the EUM Family Life Center. He, along with the late Dr. Carlos Chavez and Rich and Lynne Mulroy were recognized for their many years of work and contributions to the community.

Many members of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation attended the banquet including members of the Tribal Council, We-Ta-Se American Legion Post #410, Our Lady of the Snows Church and several other individuals from the community and surrounding area.

During the banquet a power-point presentation about Hale was featured before he was formally recognized. Interviews with Jim Potter, Tribal Secretary, Cathleen Reed, longtime neighbor and friend, and Laura Thackery from Our Lady of the Snows Church, were included in the power-point presentation. Following that, Reed and family member Jerry Tuckwin spoke on Hale’s behalf and then the PBPN Tribal Council came forth and presented Hale with a Pendleton blanket.  Hale then spoke at the podium and gave his thanks.

Hale was honored for his contributions to promoting the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and his past work as a military veteran who helped found the We-Ta-Se American Legion Post #410 in 1985. We-Ta-Se, which means “one who is brave” in the Potawatomi language, is one of the oldest American Indian American Legion posts in the country. In addition, Hale was instrumental in the construction of a building on the common land named We-Ta-Se that is staffed with two full-time veterans who assists other tribal veterans and their families. For many years, Hale was on the We-Ta-Se staff and also served as an elected officer within Post #410. He is still active in the organization that includes approximately 80 members.

Hale was also recognized for other contributions he has made. He is active with the Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church on the common land and was the primary caretaker for the Shipshee Cemetery for several years. It was also Roy who initiated placing specially-made military markers on the graves of Potawatomi veterans buried in cemeteries on the common land. He has also been an active member in the Jackson County Historical Society.

Chronologically, Roy Aloysius Hale was born on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Common Land in Mayetta, Kan. on Oct. 19, 1929 to Jane (Blandin) and Joseph P. “Shakey” Hale. During his youth, he and his brother Lawrence “Emery” were raised by their grandmother “Pit-ti-saw” who spoke only the Potawatomi language and lived on the Potawatomi Common Land.

In 1942, after the boys became teenagers, they left Kansas to attend Chilocco Indian School in Oklahoma until the 11th grade. Following that, they returned to Kansas and both graduated from Circleville High School in 1948.

In 1951 both men were drafted into the Army and became involved in the Korean conflict. Roy became a corporal and worked for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers of Europe (SHAPE) that was under General Eisenhower at the time and was headquartered in Paris, France. Emery became a platoon leader in the infantry and received several medals and badges for his service.

After the Army, Roy returned to Kansas and began working for the Sunflower Ordinance Army Ammunition plant near DeSoto, Kan. and shortly thereafter joined the Air Force where he served overseas and in the states until 1964.

When he returned he attended and graduated from Haskell College and then became employed there until 1989. Following that, he began his work with We-Ta-Se that is mentioned above.