Marion H. Hale attended Maury Elementary and Central High School. Upon graduation he enrolled at Christian Brothers College in 1924, in 4 years he had won 4 each of football and basketball letters, three in baseball and was on the soccer and boxing teams. Marion was All-Memphis twice in football and baseball. He also attended Millsaps College where he once again excelled in all sports. He came from a family of athletes and in 1925 he joined the ranks of the Memphis Park Commission as a basketball referee at 25 cents an hour. He became a full time employee in 1932. During his 43 years with the Park Commission he served in every capacity, and retired 1968.
In 1939 he formed the “Heavy Weight” softball teams, for fat men. The lightest weight member weighed 190 pounds and the heaviest weighed 240 pounds. He said they won’t be fast but they will have fun. It was just one of many successful programs he created.
Our class act park system is completely due to his work. He served our community by working with children and starting the Children’s Theater and was instrumental in working with the Cotton Carnival. In 1939 he served as the State Baseball Commissioner. He worked with the Optimist Club, the American Legion, and the Salvation Army. He was a 32 degree Mason, a Shriner and a member of the Scottish Rite.
He and his family lived in a house on the Fairgrounds property. He attended Lindenwood Christian Church and had two daughters. From 1950 until his retirement he served as the Memphis Parks and Recreation Superintendent.
He died at Oakville Health Care in 1986 after a long illness at the age of 80.
The Park Commission Building on Willow is named for him.