Viewing will be all day on Friday, April 13 at Steward & Williams Funeral Home, with the family greeting visitors from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. The Rosary will be prayed starting at 7:00 p.m. Friday, also at the funeral home. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Ellensburg on Saturday, April 14 at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow Mass in the Parish Hall and Dr. Hall will be laid to rest in Indianapolis, Indiana later next week.
Dr. Raymond Anthony Hall died peacefully at home on April 7, 2018 in Ellensburg, WA at the age of 69. He was born on March 18, 1949 in Indianapolis, Indiana to James and Roberta Hall. He was a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Dr. Hall was also a proud alumnus of Indiana University, where he graduated with a PhD from the internationally renowned Folklore Institute in 1999. While at IU he met Diane Fishel, who, after a considerable amount of smooth talk, agreed to marry him on June 6, 1990. After receiving his PhD, Dr. Hall became a beloved professor who taught African American Studies, Folklore, and Cultural Anthropology at DePauw University, the University of Central Arkansas, the University of Tennessee, and Central Washington University, where he retired on April 1, 2018.
Dr. Hall lived a life of great adventure from beginning to end and if he were here, he would be happy to regale stories that were seemingly too amazing to be true---yet they were. He would have told about growing up in a time when there were separate fountains and counters for Black folks in Indianapolis. Perhaps about being a skinny kid who dropped out of high school and had to pad his weight to become an Airborne Ranger in Vietnam or maybe about traveling to Mexico on a whim and staying, working as a deep-sea fisherman and an English teacher. How he started his quest for a PhD later in life and along that journey became a Master Diver and an Underwater Archeologist. Then there was the time he was invited by the Totonac Indians of Veracruz, México to learn the traditions surrounding La Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flying Men), as a participant observer. Maybe it would be about the several study abroad trips, where he took under-represented students to his beloved second home of Veracruz, to learn research methodologies while studying Afro-Mexican Folklore. Most certainly though, he would have told stories about his brilliant students, who he sincerely loved and with whom he was honored to share his knowledge, experience and love for learning about folk.
Dr. Hall is survived by his wife and two sons; Raymond Hall, Jr. of Seattle, WA and John James Hall of Ellensburg, WA; a daughter, Tanya Watson; a grandson, Devin Hall; a great granddaughter, Harper Hall; three sisters, Bonita Hall, Bettina Hall and Janet Newson; three brothers, Richard (Kathy), Jerry (Cheryl), and Daymond Hall all from the Indianapolis metropolitan area, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews around the country. He is preceded in death by his mother and father.
Viewing will be all day on Friday, April 13 at Steward & Williams Funeral Home, with the family greeting visitors from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. The Rosary will be prayed starting at 7:00 p.m. Friday, also at the funeral home. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Ellensburg on Saturday, April 14 at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow Mass in the Parish Hall and Dr. Hall will be laid to rest in Indianapolis, Indiana later next week. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Dr. Hall's life.
Memorial contributions in Dr. Hall’s honor are suggested to Hospice Friends, 302 S. Main Street, Ellensburg. Steward & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Dr. Hall’s family. Online condolences may be left at www.steward-williams.com