Richard Raymond Bale






was born March 22, 1919 in Fennville, Michigan to:
Freda and Lawrence Bale

Their Anniversary was celebrated with an open house on Sunday, Oct. 20 at the home of their daughter, Mrs. James (Margaret) Hartsuiker, east of Fennville on M-89.  Other children who attended were their two sons, robert of Gary, Ind., Richard of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and daughters Mrs. Max (Anna) Walker of Los Angeles Calif., Mrs. Lawrence (Helen) Hutchins, Mrs. Don (Ruth) Atkins, Mrs. Robert (Lois) Hartsuiker and Mrs. Richard (Mary Lou) Sisson, all of Fennville. They have 22 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.


Some time after Dick returned home, he was with some guys taking a ride in a convertible to Allegan. On their way back, at night time, they came home by way of the Allegan Dam. The German Prison Camp "Camp Lakewood", was still just west of there. Dick asked what those lights in the woods were and got his answer. Dick jumped up and shook his hands, "I hope you all starve you Sons of Bitches", remembering how he had to live on grass soup back in Stalag Luft 1. Those Germans in the U.S. camps were eating well. The German prisoners were working all over the Fennville area, some at the canning factory and some on the Todd Farm. LaVerne, your author, played around the railroad tracks a lot and remembers seeing the guards at the canning factory carrying machine guns.

In February of 1946, Dick re-enlisted as a master sergeant. He served in the Philippines, (probably at Clark AFB) from June 1954 until his assignment to Ent AFB in Colorado (Ent is named for Maj Gen Uzal Girard Ent, a well know war hero), in March 1956.

Dick was married on January 19, 1953. He married Dorothy Hutchins, sister to Irwin Hutchins. They were married in the study of Dr. Perry Gresham, pastor of Central Woodward Christian church in Detroit. Attending the couple were Mr. and Mrs. Jack Cuthbertson of Algonac. The men were buddies in a German prison war camp for several months in World War II. For her wedding Mrs. Bale chose a dressmaker suit of brown with a white orchid corsage. Her attendant was dressed in a brown suit with a natural colored orchid corsage. 

Sgt. Bale had recently re-enlisted in the Army Air Force for the third time and had a 30-day leave. He returned to Colorado Springs, Colo., where he had been stationed. His bride joined him as soon as a successor was found for her position in Detroit. That Saturday evening Sgt. And Mrs. Bale were feted at a family gathering at the home of brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Atkins. The occasion was also the fourth anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hartsuiker. Others who attended were Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Bale, Mr and Mrs. Lawrence Hutchins, Mr. and Mrs. James Hartsuiker and Miss Mary Lou Bale all of Fennville and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bale of Holland.

Dick retired in 1961 after completing 20 years of military service. His last assignment was sales store superintendent with the commissary Sales Store, 4600th Air Base Wing. He and Dorothy remained in Colorado Springs until their passing.

Go To Dick's Page