Dorothy Cameron Hales, 92, of Lillington, died peacefully at home on Thursday night. She was the daughter of the late Thomas Watson and Addie Holder Cameron of Lillington.
She was fondly called Mrs. Hales and Dot by many, but the names that she held in highest esteem were Mother, Grandma, and then Great-Grandma. She was a proud mother to Debbi Hales Thomas, who showed her mother great love and faithfulness. Dot delighted in her grandsons and their achievements, and she loved her great-grandsons with her whole heart.
Dorothy was a devoted educator, lifelong reader, and avid conversationalist who never stopped learning and teaching others. She loved teaching and found joy in seeing both of her grandsons become educators. She briefly taught science and then home economics in the Harnett County School System for over 53 years. Mrs. Hales touched many lives at Angier High School, Boone Trail High School, Lillington High School, and Western Harnett High School, twice, before permanently retiring in 2009.
During her years of teaching, Dorothy was involved in many activities beyond the classroom. A longstanding member of the North Carolina Association of Educators and other professional organizations, she served as the second president of the Home Economics Division of North Carolina and as an advisor to the local and district Future Homemakers of America (now known as Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America), receiving an award from the state council for her work. She proudly served Alpha Delta Kappa (Gamma Pi Chapter) as chaplain and Delta Kappa Gamma (Eta Chapter) as state president. She also served as the chairperson for the R.A. Gray Scholarship Fund. In recognition of her exemplary career, she received The Order of the Long Leaf Pine upon her second retirement.
Dorothy was a faithful and loyal member of Barbecue Presbyterian Church, and she considered the congregation to be her family. One of her great joys was serving as the pianist and then organist for over 60 years. Given her love for education, it is no surprise that she taught the young adult Sunday School class for 57 years and was the Presbyterian Circle Bible teacher for three decades. She served on the worship committee for 20 years and was a moderator and district president of the Presbyterian Women. She thoroughly enjoyed the lively discussions with her fellow members of the Lillington Tea and Topics Book Club.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph Perry Hales, many beloved brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, and her dear friend, Homer Allen Lanier. Surviving include her cherished daughter and son-in-law, Deborah Hales Thomas and Benjamin Ray Thomas, Sr, of Lillington; grandson, Benjamin Ray Thomas, Jr and his wife, Kristen, of Fuquay-Varina; grandson Cameron Watson Thomas and his wife, Mary, of Hampstead; beloved great-grandsons, Patrick Benjamin, Daniel John, William Perry, and James Mac; her cherished Hales siblings-in-law; many nieces and nephews and Cameron cousins, and her faithful friend, Annie McDonald.
Well done, Dorothy Jean, a good and faithful servant. Beloved, may joy and nothing less find you along the way, may you be blessed, may you always continue to be a blessing. May love’s own light, love’s own crucified and risen light, guide us, Dorothy, and countless others guided by her example, all the way home.
Friends are invited to visit O’Quinn-Peebles-Phillips Funeral Home on Sunday, October 31, 2021, between the hours of 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM and Barbecue Presbyterian Church Monday, November 1, 2021, between the hours of 12:30 PM and 2:30 PM to sign the guest register book for Mrs. Hales. The family will not be present during this time.
A graveside service will be held at 3:00 PM Monday at Barbecue Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Sanford with Rev. Dr. David Sherrod and Rev. Cameron Thomas officiating. The family will be available after the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Barbecue Presbyterian Church, 124 Barbecue Church Rd., Sanford, NC 27332.
In accordance with current North Carolina COVID-19 guidelines, the funeral home requests that everyone in attendance practice social distancing and wear a face covering.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dorothy Cameron Hales, please visit our floral store.