Remembering John Hales

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Marilynn Kulieke
John Hales
John Hales

By Marilynn Kulieke, vice president, Urantia Foundation, Illinois, United States

John came from a long line of Hales who were committed to the Urantia Book project—first his grandfather and grandmother, and later his mother and father. His father, William Hales, became the first president of Urantia Foundation. Later his mother, Mary Lou, served as a charter member of First Society and on Urantia Brotherhood committees. Some of the earliest pictures of Forum members were at the annual picnics hosted by the Hales family.

After spending time in college, in the Navy, and as a social worker, John faithfully followed his family’s legacy. He began his career as the resident director of Urantia Brotherhood during a pivotal time in its history. For almost 40 years, he was the bridge between an organization led by a close-knit group of Forum members in Chicago to a national and later an international organization.

I think that one of John’s most remarkable qualities was his pleasure in helping others. He loved to talk to people. Anyone really. He was a good listener, a talent which was likely facilitated by his background in social work. He was loyal and rarely missed an opportunity to spend time with a friend. John seldom drove directly to a destination. He was a man of detours. He would pick up a Urantia Book reader who needed a ride, or even drive a few hundred miles out of the way to visit with a friend. It is no surprise that John had many friends, since most people who got to know him would eventually call him their friend.

John was a man of many talents. His cooking was legendary. His cheesy grits casserole was always a favorite at First Society events. And I understand he was greatly missed at church events if he wasn’t there to share one of his favorite dishes. I still use his recipe for “make ahead” mashed potatoes and gravy each Thanksgiving. I am sure there is a cookbook in the making with some of John’s most treasured recipes.

Almost fifty years ago Emma "Christy" Christensen, one of the human contact commissioners, gave a speech to the Triennial Delegate Assembly of Urantia Brotherhood about God’s vision and call to service. Every time I read her words I think of John and the others, both human and divine, who have committed their lives to serving the Urantia Revelation. She wrote:

We have been called to the great work of taking the first step of offering to mortal man a new light, a new revelation of the love of God. Following Jesus’ way of life calls for an act of complete commitment, a dedicated intention, a resolute purpose, and a trumpet call to a life that will not compromise.

God has provided the vision and the call. The answer must be ours.

We must cultivate the power to envision our share in bettering the world.

We must believe that God can speak to us, that he can use us and our talents, and that he calls us to our place of service.

And we must be willing to be used for the fulfillment of his vision.

My dear friend John, you were called, you came, you did your share in bettering the world, you used your talents, and yes, you were willing to fulfill God’s vision.

His was a life well lived.

Meredith Sprunger, John Hales, Bill Hales, Ticky Harries, Mary Lou Hales, Irene Sprunger
Back: Meredith Sprunger, John Hales, Bill Hales
Front: Ticky Harries, Mary Lou Hales, Irene Sprunger

Foundation Info

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Urantia Foundation, 533 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Tel: +1-773-525-3319; Fax: +1-773-525-7739
© Urantia Foundation. All rights reserved