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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Ralph E. Hale remembrance


Ralph E. Hale passed away on June 7, 2024, at the age of 70, at the James Quillen Veterans Affair Medical Center in Johnson City, TN, after a brief, terminal illness. 

Mr. Hale was born in Dante, VA, on August 7, 1953. Part of his early life was spent in Kingsport, TN, but he returned to Virginia to complete his high school years. He played varsity football and graduated from Castlewood High School in 1971. After high school, he attended Clinton Junior College (now Clinton College) in South Carolina, a Historically Black College (HBCU), earning an associate degree. After college, he joined the United States Army, serving at Fort Leonard Wood, MO with the 2nd Platoon.

After the army, Mr. Hale returned to Kingsport, TN, where he lived in an off-and-on pattern for the remainder of his life. He loved to dress in matching outfits and had a great collection of baseball caps. If you saw Ralph not dressed, you knew he wasn't feeling his best. He was an avid, die-hard sports fan. His favorite sports teams were the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves in baseball, the Cleveland Cavaliers in basketball, and the Cleveland Browns in football.

Mr. Hale had several accomplishments in life, but his most precious was the birth of his children: his son, Jermeil Tarter, and his daughter, Alexis Tarter Essuman. Another precious accomplishment that was the highlight of his time on earth was Ralph accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Savior about a week before his death. After accepting Christ, he requested to be baptized because he could not remember if he had been baptized earlier in life. The VA medical and support staff worked together on this life-changing event, and Ralph was baptized on May 29, 2024, with the medical team and family members in attendance. He was baptized, which was an outward manifestation of the inward decision he had made earlier in the week.

Although we were all praying for physical healing, the Lord provided spiritual healing and gave Ralph time to accept Him and make Heaven his home. In the short time Ralph had left, he prayed and requested prayer and to have the Bible read to him. God is good, and His mercies are everlasting.

Ralph was preceded in death by the mother of his children, Venita Tarter; his parents, James Hale and Violet Davis; brother, William Hale; niece, Georgette Hale; and nephew, Edward "Sweetman" Long.

Mr. Hale leaves to cherish his memory and mourn his passing, his son and daughter, Jermeil Tarter and Alexis Tarter Essuman; grandchildren, Aleryia Venita Robinson, Anajah Venice Neiba, and Jabari Jordan Tarter; siblings, Virginia Dianne Long, James Hale, Elder Sharon Comage, Deborah Hale, Caron Hale, Vickie (Theodore) Hale-Brown, Robert (Sharon) Hale, Terry (Tonya) Hale, and Timula (Charles) Hale, who was his niece but was raised as a sister; and many aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.

Clark Funeral Chapel and Cremation Service is serving the family of Ralph Hale.   The visitation will be held on Friday, June 14, 2024 at the funeral chapel at 802-806 East Sevier Avenue, Kingssport from 11 AM to 12 PM.  The Celebration of Life will be held from 12 PM to 1 PM also in the funeral chapel.

The cortege will depart the Clark Funeral Chapel on Monday, June 17, 2024, bound for the Mountain Home National Cemetery, 215 Heroes Drive, Mountain Home, TN 37684.

Burial will be on Monday, June 17, 2024 from 11 AM to 12 PM at the Mountain Home National Cemetery.