Vinetta Oelrich Hale was born April 6, 1922 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She passed away on May 26, 2018 in Tucson, Arizona at the age of 96.
Vinetta’s parents were Vinetta Roughten Mann and Herman August “Gus” Oelrich. She grew up in Danville, Kentucky, not far from the Wilderness Road.
She received a BS in Biology and English from Centre College, also in Danville. She taught science and was working on her Masters’ degree at the University of Chicago (her thesis involved the life cycle of the newt) when she met Edgar Brewer Hale (known as Brewer). They were married on September 14, 1946. Vinetta then worked as a teacher's aide in Chicago. She and Brewer moved to State College, Pennsylvania when Brewer was hired as a professor at Penn State.
Vinetta and Brewer’s children grew up in State College. Vinetta had two daughters and two sons: Vinetta Jean Hale Suzettis (who goes by Jean in the family), currently living in California and a member of Fresno Friends Meeting; Betty Gwen Hale Gonzalez living in Tucson, William Brewer Hale in Pennsylvania, and Edgar Oelrich Hale in the state of Washington. At the time of her passing, Vinetta also had 4 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. She was married to Brewer for 65 years, until his passing in 2011. A Friend described their marriage as “one of mutual respect and love, a true marriage of equals.”
In addition to her science background, Vinetta excelled in art. Colored pencil drawing was her preferred form of expression. Her drawings were very realistic; many looked like photographs. Her talent was recognized by receiving “Best of Show” at the Pima County Fair one year, and one of her works was displayed at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. A friend wrote a children’s book and asked Vinetta to do the illustrations.
Although Vinetta was raised as a Presbyterian and Brewer was a Southern Baptist, they decided to worship at State College Friends Meeting. After a long time of being active attenders (about 15 years), they joined that Meeting in the late ‘60s. Vinetta was active on committees and as a First Day School teacher. She and Brewer moved to Tucson in 1978 upon his retirement from Penn State for a climate more conducive to better health and for the close proximity to the University of Arizona. Her membership was transferred to Pima Meeting on May 13, 1979. Vinetta became deeply involved in the life of the Meeting, serving in a great variety of capacities. She was Meeting Clerk, described by one Friend as “an old-time Clerk— by-the-book. She never had her mind made up, she clerked with a scholarly detachment. Nothing flustered her; she stayed on a very even keel. She was able to walk over nonsense lovingly.” In addition, she was on Ministry and Oversight (including as Clerk of that committee). Vinetta served many years as Pima Meeting’s Recorder. She helped as a Recording Clerk as well. She contributed her skills on the Communications/Newsletter Committee, on Membership and Marriage, and on Nominating Committee. She was also a representative to Church Women United. Her impact on the life of the meeting was considerable.
Vinetta Hale will be easy to remember. Pima Meeting is grateful to have had her spirit among us for so many years.