Leonard Arthur Hales, 100, of East Shelby, left us on Sunday, May 29, 2016 to go be with the Lord and his family who had predeceased him.
Leonard was born at home near West Barre on April 1, 1916, the son of the late Robert and Alice Maud (Batchelor) Hales.
Leonard was a very successful dairy farmer in Barre Center for many years. He started farming in 1937 and retired in 1978. He was innovative in bringing food to the cattle rather than turning them out to pasture which saved money by having much less land tied up as pasture. Leonard was president of Milk for Health for several years and was among the top leaders in herd production in the area. He was a charter member of the Barre Fire Company and also was an interim supervisor of the Town of Barre for a short time.
He traveled for farm business organizations. His vacations were first in New York State, then around the United States, then many places in the world. One particular trip was to Russia, an agriculture tour, in 1963. On the way home he met up with his family and toured England, Scotland and Ireland. While in England, he visited relatives he had never met because his parents had immigrated to the U.S. in 1910. As he became more successful, he and his wife, Grace, traveled to over 101 countries and all 7 continents of the world. Among their favorites were Kenya and India. Many of these trips would not have been possible without the help of the late Wilbur Hill, who took care of the cows.
Leonard was also an excellent amateur photographer, taking thousands of slides on each of his trips. Once home, he often shared them with groups like the Lions Club, Rotary Club, senior citizens, church groups and school classes.
Leonard and Grace were both excellent gardeners, growing flowers, vegetables and berries. What they and their family did not use, they gave to friends and neighbors. There were many years Leonard picked 500 quarts of strawberries and over 300 quarts of raspberries.
Leonard attributed their longevity to healthy eating and good exercise. When weather did not allow them to garden, they walked daily at the Oak Orchard School in Medina.
Besides his parents, Leonard was predeceased by his loving wife, Grace; his brother, Edwin and 3 sisters, Dorothy (Milford) Heye, Margaret (Alburton) Brundage and Elmarie Hales; 1 granddaughter and 2 great-granddaughters.
He is survived by 2 sons, Robert (Betty) Hales of Albion and John (Anne) Hales of Virginia Beach, VA; 6 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; niece, Sally (Everett) Hunt; nephew, Richard Heye; also several cousins and relatives in England.
There will be no prior calling hours. A memorial service will be held at 2PM on Sat, June 4th at the West Barre United Methodist Church, 5377 Eagle Harbor Rd., Albion, NY 14411. Leonard’s son, Bob Hales, will officiate, which was Leonard’s request. Burial will be in Millville Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the West Barre Methodist Church or the Barre Fire Co.- 4709 Oak Orchard Rd., Albion, NY 14411. Arrangements were made through Cooper Funeral Home, 215 West Center St., Medina.