Obituary of Roy Hall
February 12, 2018
Roy Hall passed away December 20, 2017, and was born June 6, 1927. A single child, born in Stavely, Alberta (Canada) his love of trains started immediately as he grew up in the Canadian Pacific Railway station. He designed a multi-purpose play station for his kids that had electric train tracks secured to one side and when folded-up had a blackboard on the other side. He assembled an exact, functioning replica of a steam engine which he'd run down hallways of his construction office. He got to drive an actual steam engine (a "bucket list" item). Raised before television, his imagination was fueled by listening to the radio and reading. One night, while home alone, he was listening to an episode of the "Green Hornet" which was so scary; he ran outside on a very cold night, stood by a street lamp for hours and waited for his folks to return.
His travels began with moving to Edmonton (the nearest high school) and living in a boarding house. Early jobs included summers at Waterton Park (renting boats, riding horses to do backcountry trail maintenance), and replacing telephone poles along railroad lines. Later on he worked in radio stations (re-creating baseball games from teletype information), surveying, and construction engineer.
He met his future-wife (Terry Hall) while at the University of Oklahoma. They both migrated westward and eventually settled in San Francisco. They lived a "high-flying" lifestyle (prechildren) and frequented nightclubs, listened to jazz groups, and thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of the city. He worked hard, played hard, raised three kids (in the Bay Area) and spent nearly every day with the "love of his life," Terry. Always resourceful, he built exciting and unique toys for his kids (from "trainer" stilts using juice cans and rope to a life-size backyard cabin with electricity). When asked once, "How does Santa fit down the chimney?" by his daughter who wanted to still believe, he replied, "Don't tell your younger brother but we leave the front door open so he can come in."
Experiences and adventures always took precedence over sleep. Annual two-week vacations were always exciting. The "first aid" emergency kit in the car contained hard liquor (could be used externally for wounds and then internally). Lots of improvisational car repairs with my Dad securing critical parts with ropes or his belt. They were an inseparable couple. Lots of adventures, off-the-beaten-track adventures. Mishaps only heightened their travels and whetted their desire for more detours/ discoveries/and their "bucket list" never got finished. Tour of the U.S. in 1976; trips to Australia and New Zealand, Europe and Asia. Motorhome travels to Inuvik (Arctic Circle) among many other places.
He had a finely developed sense of humor. He enjoyed Gary Larson, Mike Nichols/Elaine May, British sitcoms and could tell some "whopping" stories. He loved the poems of Robert Service. Played trumpet in his youth; loved jazz, new age and big-band music. A determined, systematic problem-solver, his wife Terry might find him outside repairing sprinkler systems or working on their motorhome, oblivious that the sun had set hours earlier. He enjoyed dreaming-up, researching, and finding that perfect gift for someone. Retirement years brought them to their final home in Grass Valley, CA. where they happily lived for many years. A generous, loving man who is missed by friends and family. Roy was 90 when he passed
on 12/20/17. Written by his daughter, Randy Hall.