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 Dorothy Mae <I>Hake</I> Bales

Dorothy Mae Hake Bales

Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 8 Jul 1991 (aged 74)
Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Princeton, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 43168127 · View Source
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Dorothy Mae Hake was the daughter of George H. Hake and Margarett Doutt Hake. Her maternal grandparents were Joseph T. and Mary Upperman Doutt. Dorothy's paternal grandparents were David Miller Hake and Elizabeth Bond Hake.

Her husband was Ray Daniel Bales. Ray was born on 6 March 1915 and died on 11 November 2006.

"Dorothy Mae Hake, who started life as Mary Ellen Hake, was born on Thursday, February 22, 1917, just south of the city of New Castle in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. She was born in the midst of a tense world situation as the Great War (World War I) was raging across Europe. The United States was still officially neutral but that would change within a few months.

Mary Ellen was the second child born to George Hartman Hake and Margaret Matilda (Doutt) Hake, both of whom were descended from German immigrants. George and Margaret had met in the New Castle area, were married in Moravia in December 1914, lived at several nearby locations, and had a son named Alvie in April 1916.

Later that year, in November 1916, they took up residence on a farm (and operated a poultry farm) along the banks of Hickory Creek, just south of New Castle in an area known as Willow Grove. The property was rented from John McMillin, a popular and successful businessman from Mahoningtown. It was here that Mary Ellen was born in early 1917, followed by two more daughters, Mildred and Charlotte, in May 1918 and July 1919 respectively.

Mary Ellen was named after her maternal grandmother Mary Ellen (Upperman) Doutt, who was born in nearby Wampum in about 1869. But for almost all her life she went by the name Dorothy Mae. Her birth certificate gives her name as Mary Ellen Hake but why she started using the name Dorothy is a mystery. I know it happened when she was young because when she started school she was using the name Dorothy. She never spoke of it and it was not until after her death in 1993 that her family learned about the name change. Perhaps her father George had some issues with his mother-in-law Mary Ellen Doutt and decided to change his daughter’s name in retaliation? (NOTE: Any hope of getting to the bottom of this issue seems bleak.)

About six weeks after Dorothy was born the U.S. government, prodded on by the threat of German U-boat (submarine) operating off the Eastern Seaboard, declared war on Imperial Germany. This meant that Dorothy’s father George, then age twenty-eight, would face the possibility of being inducted into the military. He was ruled exempt from service due to a medical/physical reason, but the war mercifully came to an end in November 1918.

The Hake farming venture along Hickory Creek was short-lived as in late 1919 the family, after selling of all the livestock and farm equipment, began renting a house at #24 North Cedar Street in the Mahoningtown section of southern New Castle. Another son, Robert Henry, was born on North Cedar Street in September 1921.

Dorothy started the first grade in the fall of 1924 at the North Beaver Township Consolidated School in Mount Jackson. In the autumn of 1925, when she entered the second grade, she had Mary Douglas as her teacher and among her classmates she could count Evelyn Tindall, Wesley Hodge, Ruth McCord, Lyle Gibson, and her brother Alvie.

The Roaring Twenties was generally a time of great economic prosperity and Dorothy’s father George, holding a steady job with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company (B&O), was able to take advantage of that. In 1925, when Dorothy was eight years old, the Hake’s purchased a farm property back near Willow Grove and along the northern banks of Hickory Creek. The farm, about fifty acres in size on Million Drive off Route 18, was in an area between Willow Grove and another small rural community known as Sunnyside. They area today is known as Lawrence Junction. Returning to the country life George Hake once again delved into the poultry business.

Dorothy grew up on this farm where the family had many chickens and a few milking cows. The Hake kids would come to enjoy frolicking in a swimming hole called the “Stone Wall” and located in a stream on the back of their property. The family also attended services at the Madison Avenue Christian Church in Mahoningtown. Dorothy and her close siblings continued to attend schools in nearby Mount Jackson, while some of the Hake kids born in later years attended schools in West Pittsburg, Mahoningtown, and New Castle. Out on the farm the Hake family continued to grow as George and Margaret had six more children between 1927 and 1939.

Things would get tough for the all Americans, including the Hake family, following the historic Stock Market Crash of October 1929. That event set in motion a collapse of the world economy which led to the Great Depression. Dorothy’s father would only work sparingly on the railroad during the next decade but did his best to make ends meet. I am not sure about Dorothy’s later schooling. I believe Dorothy and her older brother Alvie may have completed the eighth grade, and then joined the workforce as many students did back then. Dorothy soon embarked on a career as a nurse, but I am really not sure of how or where she trained for that specialty.

Dorothy was deeply involved with the Madison Avenue Christian Church and led church meetings of a group of teenaged kids called the Young People from at least 1933-1935. I believe it was during this time that she met and started dating a young man from New Castle named Ray Daniel Bales. Ray was probably living with his older brother Roy off of Dewey Avenue, while his parents lived out in the country near Harlansburg.

Ray, who graduated from New Castle High School in June 1933, worked for the National Radiator Company near Cascade Park and along with his family belonged to the Croton Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church. During the mid-1930’s, Ray and his brother Roy were heavily involved in church-sponsored adult sports leagues such as softball, and one of their regular opponents were the men’s teams from Madison Avenue Christian Church. I am guessing this is how Dorothy met him.

It is known that Dorothy married Ray on July 22, 1936, and they took up residence just off of Croton Avenue at #213 North Mulberry Street. They soon started a family and their first child, Dorothy Jane (“Dottie”), was born on December 18, 1937.

At about that same time (mid 1937 to early 1938) Dorothy’s father was faced with mounting debts and forced to sell off the farm. The Hake family moved into a house at #502 Montgomery Avenue Extension on the extreme southern edge of Mahoningtown. In June 1939, when Dorothy was twenty-one years old, the last of the Hake children, a daughter named June Ilene, was born.

Dorothy and Ray’s family continued to grow as two more children, sons Ray Daniel Jr. and Robert Gary, were born in May 1940 and March 1943 respectively. Sometime in 1944-1945 they moved into a house two blocks away at #215 North Scott Street where they lived for the next twenty years. Another son, James Jeffrey, was born on February 1946. The kids attended various nearby schools including the Oak Street School, Croton Elementary School, Harry W. Lockley Elementary School, Benjamin Franklin Middle School, and New Castle Senior High School.

After an eight-year break Ray and Dorothy had two more kids, Charlotte Debra (“Debbie”) born in January 1954 and Margaret Ann (“Betsy”) born in March 1955. Two months after Betsy was born Dorothy’s father George was tragically killed in a railroad accident back in Mahoningtown.

The next year, in August 1956, eldest daughter Dottie was married and moved out of the house. In the coming years the other older kids began to grow up: Ray was married in July 1961 and settled in New Castle, Gary was married in May 1964 and settled for a while down to Arlington, Virginia, and Jeff was married in 1967 and was soon off to travel the world as a member of the U.S. Navy.

Ray and Dorothy began to have marital differences and spilt up in about 1965. Dorothy took her young daughters Debbie and Betsy and moved down to Arlington, Virginia. She had a support system down in the Washington D.C. area, as her older kids Gary and Dottie and her brother John Hake all lived down there with their own families. Dorothy had an apartment on Walter Reed Drive and her two girls attended a local elementary school and Gunston Middle School.

Although they were officially divorced in June 1966, Dorothy and Ray never really drifted apart. They decided to get back together and Dorothy moved back with Ray in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Ray had previously moved down to Latrobe after having taken a job with the Elliot-Turbo Company in nearby Jeanette. Meanwhile, Dorothy lost her mother Margaret, who had moved down to Texas to live with her son John, as she died in Houston in September 1969.

In 1970, Dorothy and Ray moved into the Brooklane Manor Apartments in nearby Greensburg, where Ray served as a building superintendent during the day while continuing to work the night shift at Elliot-Turbo. Daughters Debbie and Betsy, who soon finished high school in Greensburg, were married in December 1972 and January 1974 respectively.

Dorothy and Ray continued to live in Greensburg until Ray retired from Elliot-Turbo in 1980. At that time they bought a twenty-acre plot of property next to son Ray Jr. outside New Castle on Princeton Station Road in rural Slippery Rock Township. Ray, with his son Ray Jr. and grandson Ray “Danny” III, cleared the land and built up a nice little homestead there. Ray even carved out a nice little pond in his front yard and stocked it with “friendly” bass.

They settled into the country life in Slippery Rock Township. Ray enjoyed retirement and continued to fish, hunt, play cards, and garden on a regular basis. Dorothy continued to work and served as an in-home nurse for the cantankerous Elsa S. Huff, a rich and elderly widower who lived nearby on Kennedy Mill Farm. Dorothy continued to work there until Mrs. Huff passed away in November 1988 at the age of ninety-seven. Dorothy, who stayed on for a few months as the affairs of the Huff estate were settled, retired in early 1989 when she was almost seventy-two years old.

Her nephew Walter Ridenbaugh Jr. said this about Dorothy’s love of animals:

“I was thinking last night about your grandmom. I remember how she loved animals (pets). Once when I was young mom and I walked over to Scott Street and she had all these fish bowls all around the living room. That time she was raising guppies. She told us how fast they would reproduce if she would separate them… I remember another time when she was living in DC. My dad, mom, and Donna (Walter’s sister) went to visit her. When they came back they told us that she had a pet monkey that she let run through the apartment.”

Her niece Lynda (Ridenbaugh) Powers had this to say about Dorothy’s fixation on home remodeling:

“I have so many fond memories of your grandmother. We visited quite often. Aunt Dorothy’s favorite line was, “I’ll just tear this wall down and Ray can fix it up when he gets home.” She always had some remodeling project going.”

Her granddaughter Pamela (Bales) Riddle said this about Dorothy’s generosity and her clever dishwashing strategy:

“My most favorite memory of Gram was how generous she was. She would give you the shirt off her back! Anything you wanted was yours! Another awesome memory that I get a chuckle over is at any family get-together when dinner would be over and dishes would pile at the sink. All would get a dishcloth in hand and roll up their sleeves to no avail. Gram would say, "Let them go, Ray loves to do the dishes." Pap (Ray) would wander over and start the dishwashing, while Gram and the women would sit around and talk and watch Pap wash the dishes.”

Her granddaughter Rachel (Duff) Tinsley added this:

“I remember Gram saying, “We don’t need a dishwasher. That's what Ray is for!””

Her brother John Hake said this about the crazy relationship Dorothy shared with Ray:

“Once I was at a family gathering and sitting outside at their home. Dorothy asked me and a few others (but not Ray) if we would like some pie, then she turned towards the house. Her husband Ray said (in his best deep drawl), “Rrrrrraaay would like some of that pie.” Dorothy turned and without missing a beat replied, “Oh, get your own!” She had a way with words.”

Her granddaughter Alison (Bales) Delendeck tells another story that elaborates on the nature of that relationship:

“I remember being on the porch with Jennifer I believe and Gram was yelling at Pap about something while he was down in his garden. He was down there just with his hoe just tending away. Then she says, "He is just a deaf old bird, can't hear a darn thing." Right then he looks up at me sideways and winks! Then he goes right back to what he was doing. She continued going on and on about how deaf he was. I think he just tuned her out. I’ll never forget that day. It made me laugh so hard and she never got it!!”

Her granddaughter Patty (Bales) McKee said this about Dorothy’s driving skills:

“I remember Grammy driving Pap's old Ford Truck with the cap and the flowered curtains on Route 30 in Greensburg. She would say, "looks like now or never" and then just take off! One time the truck was parked in the GeeBee's (department store) parking lot. We got in and she turned around to back up thinking she was in reverse - she was actually in drive and we hopped over the parking median with a thump.....she laughed like crazy! Her laugh was quite infectious, wasn't it??”

Her retirement was unfortunately short-lived as Dorothy suffered a heart attack on the early morning of Monday, July 8, 1991. Her son and daughter-in-law Jeff and MaryAnn Bales were visiting at the time and helped tend to her. Her son and daughter-in-law Ray Jr. and Sue Bales, who lived just across the street, also arrived to assist. Unfortunately, she passed away at about 3:30am before an ambulance could reach the home. Her death caught everyone off guard and was totally unexpected. She was seventy-four years old.

A viewing was held at the R. Cunningham Funeral Home in New Castle at 2:00-4:00pm and 7:00-9:00pm on Tuesday, July 9. A memorial service, presided over by the Reverend Kenneth Kaufmann, was held in funeral home at 11:00am on Wednesday and afterwards she was interned near her home in Mount Hermon (Hermon-Union) Cemetery. Her pallbearers included her grandsons Ray “Danny” Bales III, James “Jeff” Bales Jr., Gary Bales, Steve Capan Jr., and Joseph Capan. Her husband Ray lived alone on their property for his remaining years until he passed away in November 2006. He was subsequently buried next to Dorothy at Mt. Hermon Cemetery."
Source: J.J. Bales website.

The children of Ray Bales and Dorothy Mae Hake were:
1. James Bales
2. Dorothy Jane Bales (Sawyer)
3. Charlotte Debra Bales (Jim Wyle)
4. Margaret Ann " Bales (Edward Hela)
5. Ray Daniel Bales Jr.
6. Robert Gary Bales
7. William Bales (Carol Jean Gierlach)

Family Members






  • Created by: Anonymous
  • Added: 16 Oct 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 43168127
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dorothy Mae Hake Bales (22 Feb 1917–8 Jul 1991), Find A Grave Memorial no. 43168127, citing Hermon-Union Cemetery, Princeton, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Anonymous (contributor 46930290) .