Norene Hale of Collins, 89, died Saturday, April 13th after several years of declining health. Her final years were spent at The Life Center in Des Moines.

Norene was born in Colo on June 25, 1923. She attended a country elementary school in Collins, and graduated from Collins High School in 1940.

Norene married the love of her life, Harold Hale, on August 2, 1942. They shared 66 wonderful years together, displaying uncommon love and affection for each other on a daily basis. Harold passed away at age 86 in 2009. Norene’s life continued after Harold’s death, but—like the end of any lifelong partnership—it was never quite the same.

Norene was a woman whose life was built around support for others. She was a homemaker in the proudest sense of the word; providing a welcoming home for family, friends and neighbors. She was a woman of many talents; including a baker whose cookies, cakes, pies and cinnamon rolls were in high demand. She was a gardener, having the ability to nurture and grow plants and keep things living that others could not. She was an interior decorator with a special touch for making things look just right. She was a volunteer at Story County Hospital, ensuring that patients were provided with juice, a kind word, and a smile. She had many roles in life, but her most important were those of loving spouse, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.

Norene met the challenges of aging and loss in later life with courage, grace and an always present positive attitude.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Floyd and Ada Oswalt, and brothers Gale, Bill and Russ. She is survived by sons Jim (Linda) of Clive, John (Terri) of Ankeny, and daughter Judy of West Des Moines; 4 grandchildren, Tracy Jagim (Mike) of Waukee, Jeff Hale (Megan) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Kimberly Hale of Brooklyn, New York; Kristen Geisler (Mike) of Norwalk, 8 great grandchildren; Alex, Mikaela, Tanner and Keegan Jagim, Sydney and Maren Hale, and Eli and Logan Geisler, and two sisters, Marguerite Farren of Newton and Lola Dodd Whitaker of Story City.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, April 18th at 10:30 am at the United Methodist Church. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be left to the Collins Garden Club.

Fredregill Funeral Home in Zearing has been entrusted with the care of Norene and her family.