Glenn Hale’s legacy is that of a public-spirited benefactor who quietly worked behind the scenes to ensure Payson’s young athletes received the best the town and school could offer.
Last week in a brief ceremony in Wilson Dome, PHS school officials and Glenn’s family revealed a newly built trophy case that honors his contributions.
The $3,500 in donations that were received in Glenn’s memory following his death on Aug. 24, 2010 at 71 years of age paid for the PHS showpiece.
At the time of his death, which was due to chronic leukemia, his family — including wife Terry, son Jupe and daughters Niki Hale Price and Colleen Hale Cunningham — requested remembrances be donated to a fund earmarked for school improvements.
Due to several recent changes in PHS athletic directors, the money received sat unused in an account for almost three years before current Athletic Director Don Heizer led the charge to build the much-needed trophy case to house athletic trophies that previously were scattered around campus.
“It was something we really needed,” Heizer said. “And we wanted it to be in Glenn’s memory.”
Glenn’s son Jupe, a 1987 PHS graduate, deems the trophy case a fitting tribute to his father, saying, “This is the perfect place to remember him.”
Jupe is also grateful to all those who contributed to the memorial, “We’d like to thank all the donors, his friends from across the country as well as in Payson, who donated funds in his memory. All sent money to help make this trophy case a reality.”
Jupe indicates donations flowed in from his father’s home state of Idaho and also Texas, Minnesota and Washington, as well as Payson.
In addition to Heizer leading the effort to build the trophy case, he brainstormed and then supervised painting the wrestling room door — which is surrounded by the new trophy case — the school color purple. It originally was a drab gray rendering it as about as unappealing as a jar of Nutella.
With the trophy case, the new paint and the revamping of the area near the southwest end of Wilson Dome, PHS now has an eye-appealing sports complex entry of which students, teachers and townspeople can be proud.
While the project might appear to be completed, Glenn’s three children are designing a memorial plaque that will soon be prominently displayed near the new trophy case.
Knowing Glenn’s affinity for prep sports, it’s understandable all of his and Terry’s children were once dedicated student-athletes at PHS, encouraged by their parents to succeed on the playing field and in the classroom.
Jupe played baseball and basketball, Niki (PHS ’88) shined in basketball, softball and volleyball and Colleen (PHS ’95) participated in basketball, softball and track and field.
Colleen, possibly one of Payson High’s finest-ever basketball players, continues to hold five Lady Longhorn shooting and steals records.
Niki was Payson’s High’s first-ever recipient of the prestigious Flinn Scholarship, which she used to attend the University of Arizona.
Niki is also a former editor of the Payson Roundup.
All three children leave little doubt they harbor precious memories of their father and his contributions.
Jupe remembers his dad as the benefactor who, “Spearheaded the (building) of the baseball and softball fields, worked on the record boards, helped secure a travel bus and built snack bars, all to help Payson athletes.”
Niki remembers him as a shaker and mover and a man with tremendous foresight.
“He would head around town, asking contractors and building suppliers to help, and round up volunteer labor,” she recalls. “He had a gift for pushing the vision, encouraging people to look 10 or 20 years into the future, and enlisting community support to get the job done right.
“Dad and other volunteers of the 1980s started the ball rolling, and today’s Longhorns are reaping the benefits.”
Colleen remembers that as a PHS student-athlete, she had the honor of “playing on the fields he helped build and run on the new track ... he was very proud to have played a role in those improvements.”
In Payson, Glenn is fondly remembered as the man who devoted countless hours to volunteer coaching and doing whatever he could to improve the stock of young people.
In 1986, Hale stepped up to wholeheartedly back a school district bond vote to build a new auditorium on the PHS campus.
Taxpayers were obviously dubious about voting for the pricey bond, but thanks in part to Glenn’s backing, it passed in the final hours of the vote counting.
Following the passage, then-superintendent Sharkey Baker sent a letter of thanks to Glenn and other supporters that read, “The benefits that Payson students will receive from the bond package that you and others put together cannot be over emphasized.”
Glenn appeared Dec. 8, 1986 at a school board meeting where he was officially thanked for helping a once skeptical public vote for the bond.
As a project manager for Sun General Construction in 1985 and 1986, Glenn supervised a $2.4 million PUSD project that included building school additions such as classrooms, a library, kitchens, cafeterias and science labs.
While Glenn spent countless volunteer hours on project challenges, he always found time to remain a loyal PHS sports fan, especially when one of his children was involved.
“My parents attended every game I ever played and those were the years that we traveled to Parker and Wickenburg for division games,” Niki recalls. “No matter how far it was, they were there, in the stands cheering us on.”