In June 14 issue, Russell County NewsBy Derek AaronRussell County News Editor
If you’ve lived in Russell County long enough, especially in Jamestown, chances are you’ve been touched by the kindness and generosity of one of its finest citizens, Mrs. Grace Hall, and that, along with her year’s of service to the community, make her this week’s “Russell County Hero.”
Born and raised in neighboring Wayne County, Hall first made the move to Jamestown in 1964 after meeting and subsequently marrying the late Jamestown businessman, Loui Foley, whom passed away in 1985.
“He had a grocery store in town, Foley’s Grocery, on the square,” she said.
Hall worked as a do-it-all employee at the grocery for many years alongside Loui, fellowshipping with the customers. Hall said she made many friends over her years of work at the grocery.
“That was the only time I worked out in public,” Hall said. Hall met her current husband, Melvin Hall, in 1988 and was married shortly thereafter. Melvin is a retired railroad worker from Somerset who has four children from his previous marriage. Before marrying Loui, Hall, one of five siblings, stayed at her mother’s home in Wayne County, helping take care of her in her last years.
“I never did move but one time and that was from Wayne County down here,” she said.
Her and her husband’s home in Jamestown stands out around Christmas, Easter and Independence Day as Hall decorates the outside of her home to fit the season.
“I do that for the children of the community and they really enjoy it,” Hall said. “And I get a blessing out of doing it for them.”
Around Christmas her home is decorated with angels, Santa Claus, reindeer, many lights and to top it off, a Nativity scene. “That’s my main point and I dedicate the decorations to the Lord so that he may receive all the glory from it,” she said.
“You just wouldn’t believe it, everybody comes by and stops and some even take pictures,” Hall said of her outside displays.
“I don’t know how many more years I can do but I will as long as I can.”
Hall is a longtime member of the Jamestown United Methodist Church and is a key member there in many of the church’s activities and functions.
“I taught Sunday School class to youngsters for years and am president of the United Methodist Women (at the church),” she said. “I’m involved with the ‘Young at Heart’ (at Jamestown First Baptist), and am the chaplain of the Russell County Sportsman Club and lead a prayer when I go with Melvin. And, I am in the Order of the Eastern Star at the Masonic Lodge Hall also.”
The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world that both men and women can join. It is based on teachings from the Bible.
She is also a longtime member and former president of the Jamestown Homemakers.
As a homemaker, Hall deeply enjoys planting and nurturing a flower garden each year.
“I like to be out early in the morning and water and prune the flowers and just be with nature,” she said.
Some of her more favorite flowers include geraniums, petunias and marigolds.
“I’ve loved flowers all my life,” she said. Custom sewing was also a passion of hers for more than two decades.
“I made anything,” she said. “I stayed behind a month at a time, and I made six garments a day.”
She said she sewed a lot over the years and enjoyed the work as well as all of the smiles it brought to people’s faces.
“I could start back right now if I wanted to but I don’t want to be tied down,” Hall said.
So for now, Hall is enjoying these years as she reflects back on what she calls a “blessed” life.
“At the time (in 1964) I needed a home and a husband the Lord prepared that for me,” she said.
“And with Melvin I’ve been blessed again with another good husband.
“I’ve just been blessed so much.”