Steven Allen Hale, 71, passed from this life to his heavenly home Monday, March 5, 2018, at his home in Shawnee.

Steven Allen Hale, 71, passed from this life to his heavenly home Monday, March 5, 2018, at his home in Shawnee.

He was born Aug. 27, 1946, to Benton Norwood Hale and Elizabeth Jean (Allen) Hale in Cherokee, Oklahoma. Raised in Cherokee, Oklahoma, and Billings, Montana, he graduated from Cherokee High School in 1965. During his high school years, he excelled as football linebacker and as a tenor soloist in music competitions. After high school, he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Vocal Music from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

Steve married Deborah K. Heath on June 10, 1967, in Clinton, and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year with family and friends.

The most important decision in his life was accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of his life at age 19, and that was followed later by a call to serve his Lord in the music ministry. Nothing gave him greater joy than to see someone come to love and follow Jesus Christ and mature in their faith. He was compassionate and kind. Friendly smiles, hugs and handshakes were given freely. His laugh was infectious!

He was ordained to the ministry by the First Baptist Church of Hollis, Oklahoma, where he served as the minister of music and youth from 1978-1992. Prior to that, he served as the music and youth minister for First Southern Baptist Church, Liberal, Kansas (1972-73); First Baptist Church, Woodward, Oklahoma (1973-1978); First Baptist Church, Cordell, Oklahoma (1969-71); and his first ministry position, Custer Avenue Baptist Church, Clinton, Oklahoma (1968-1969), where his father-in-law, William H. Heath, was pastor. He was a longtime member of the Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma.

Steve was proceeded in death by his parents, Benton and Betty Hale; maternal grandparents, Mervyn and Katherine (Ward) Allen; and paternal grandparents, Marvin and Lena (Norwood) Hale.

Family members left to cherish his memory are his three adult children and their spouses, Candace (Hale) Roberts and her husband Larry of Shawnee; Carrie (Hale) Boelke and her husband Brian of Mazeppa, Minnesota; Matthew Benton Hale and his wife Amy of Del City; grandchildren, Lyndsy Aguirre and her husband Lawrence of Castle Rock, Colorado; Ashley (Roberts) Pratt-Cordova and her husband Quinn of Morrison, Colorado; Loryn Perkins and her fiancé Riley Hovelson of Chatfield, Minnesota; Steven Boelke, Vientiane, Laos; Nathan Roberts, currently at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Christopher Allen Hale, Del City; Crystal Gibbs and great-grandson Noah Caldwell, Carrollton, Texas; Miranda, Veronica and Veronica Roberts, Shawnee; his brother, James Benton Hale and wife Sharon of Tulsa; brother-in-law Daniel Andrew Heath and his wife Donna, Enid; sister-in-law Rebekah (Heath) Smith, and her husband David, Clinton; nephews, Andrew Heath and his wife Christen, Tulsa; Julia (Heath) Reneau, Enid; Kody Fuller, Clinton, and a host of cousins and loving friends.

The family will welcome friends during a visitation from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, March 8, at Walker Funeral Home, Shawnee.

Services will be at 2 p.m., Friday, March 9, at Immanuel Baptist Church, 1451 E. 45th Street, Shawnee, with Dr. Rex Horne, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Dr. Todd Fisher, Immanuel Baptist Church, officiating.

In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, the family requests donations be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association or to the Immanuel Baptist Church Music Program.