Azel S. Hall, Jr.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Randolph, Vt. — Azel S. Hall, Jr., passed away on Wednesday morning, Oct. 10, 2018, at his home in Randolph. He was born in Fitchburg, Mass. on Oct. 22, 1922, to Georgia and Azel S. Hall, Sr. He spent his childhood years in Brookfield, Vt., and graduated from Randolph High School in 1940.

After working briefly for New England Telephone & Telegraph, in late 1942 at the age of 20, he reported for active duty in the U.S. Army at Fort Devens, Mass. He was soon assigned to the Air Corps, and in Great Bend, Kan., he was trained to operate and repair the remote-controlled gun turrets on the new B29 airplane. He went overseas with the very first group of B29s to be in combat. First stationed at airfields in India, his crew flew combat missions over Singapore, Sumatra, Manchuria, and Japan. They also flew gasoline-ferrying trips two or three days each week over The Hump from India to bases in China. In early 1945, his group was transferred to the area of the Marianas Islands. Following a serious plane crash just short of an island runway, he spent some time in a hospital before being discharged in June of 1945. He was a recipient of the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

After returning from the war, Azel again worked for New England Telephone Company as a repairman. In 1948 he left that job to start his own auto repair business, School Street Garage, which he operated for the next 38 years. For about 20 of those years he was a Jeep dealer, selling and servicing new and used Jeep vehicles throughout central Vermont. In the early 1960’s he worked with several partners to establish Valley Bowl.

Azel was predeceased by his brother Ralph Hall, his sister M. Lorraine Trask, and his half-sister Harriet Seaver. He is survived by Myrtle, his wife of 75 years, his daughter Sharon Liebert and husband Richard, his son Kim Hall and wife Joan, and his son Kevin Hall and wife Elaine. He was a wise, good-natured and generous spirit, with an ever-present positive outlook and a dry sense of humor, who loved spending time with family and friends. In earlier years, he enjoyed baseball, bowling, snowmobiling, fishing and deer hunting, and exploring the back roads of Vermont. He made several elk-hunting trips to Colorado, and sight-seeing trips to Alaska, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest. He was a member of the American Legion, the VFW, and the Masons. In his spare time, he rebuilt and restored many old Jeep CJ vehicles, often starting with only four wheels and a frame. He was a talented “Jack of All Trades” and problem-solver, a skilled electrician, carpenter and furniture builder. At every opportunity, he joined family members working on varied projects ranging from maple sugaring to restoring old houses to peeling apples for pies.

Contributions in Azel’s memory may be made to Last Mile Ride, Gifford Medical Center, 44 South Main Street, Randolph, VT 05060.

There will be no calling hours. A graveside memorial service will be held at Pleasant View Cemetery on Friday, Oct. 19 at 11 a.m., with Rev. Ronald E. Rilling officiating. Online condolences may be left at www.dayfunerals.com. Day Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.