At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Racers for Christ
1250 Baseline Road, STE 101
Tempe, AZ 85283
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Lewis Hall, it is easy to see both his unwavering strength and his unconditional love for his family. Known for his spirit of determination, he was never afraid to stand up for what he believed in. Nothing brought Lou greater joy than spending time with those he loved, even in the simplest of moments. He was always willing to go above and beyond to serve others, and he was a shining example of hard work and honesty. Deeply loved, Lou will be forever missed by those who knew him best.
Clarence and Lucille (Britton) Hall announced the birth of their baby boy, Lewis, on December 22, 1936, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In a time of uncertainty in the United States, he was born when traditional values and hard work were valued.
Though Lou was a typical young man growing up, he faced a particular set of challenges throughout his childhood. With the divorce of his parents he moved to California, and then Oklahoma with his uncle before moving back, as a teenager, to his birth town of Kalamazoo. Due to circumstances surrounding his family, Lou was on his own at the age of 14. Though he never attended High School, Lou had a tremendous grasp on English, math, science, history, and anything mechanical. He excelled at common sense.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Lou as he met Betty Rop, the woman who would soon become the love of his life. The two first met on a blind date and hit it off immediately. Lou and Betty just seemed to click, and there was an instant spark between them. It didn’t take long for their relationship to blossom into something truly wonderful. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Lou and Betty were married at the Comstock Methodist Church on November 16, 1957.
All who knew Lou can surely agree that, of all the things he loved in life, he treasured his family above all else. Over their years together, he and Betty were overjoyed to welcome two beloved children into their hearts and home. Their oldest, Cindy, joined the family in 1958, followed by Ed in 1960. Lou thrived in his role as a father and strove tirelessly to provide for his new family. He always made sure that his children had what they needed, including a beautiful house in South Portage that he and Betty purchased in 1958. Lou offered Cindy and Ed lots of fatherly wisdom and plenty of dad jokes. He did his best to raise his children into kind and hardworking individuals. Later in life, Lou was thrilled to become a grandfather to Lewis, Genevieve, and Ellie, as well as a great-grandfather to Emery.
In order to support himself and his loved ones, Lou worked a variety of jobs over the years. At age 14 he exaggerated his age a bit and started working at Kalamazoo Produce. When the company relocated, he had a choice to move his family to Grand Rapids or commute. With his commitment to raise his children in Portage and get the education he was not able to secure, he resigned, and he and Betty bought the Citgo Gas Station near their home. At that Citgo station, every car in the neighborhood was serviced, and every kid who owned a minibike within 5 miles had access to the pop machine key and a no charge gas pump. Lou and Betty made a great team running the business. Lou worked tirelessly at the station. And after working her own day job, Betty spent evenings accounting for every penny in the business.
When gas stations stopped fixing cars and became convenience stores, Lou sold the station and took his beloved crew down the road and became the Service Manager at Pifer’s Country Motors. When a dear family friend offered him a career of selling trucks at DeNooyer Chevrolet, he accepted. Betty Lou then bought him a couple of neckties and he spent 22 successful years with DeNooyer Chevrolet, where he retired. To Lou, work was more than a job and a paycheck. He truly took pride in his job of serving others, whether it be his customers, his employer, or his fellow employees. He was dedicated to providing for his family, often working long days with little time off.
All throughout his life, Lou had a passion for engines and drag racing. Before local tracks existed, at the age of 18, he was a part of the Clockers Car Club, a club that worked to get racing off the streets and onto airport landing strips in Southern Michigan. He was a legend within the drag racing world for his various accomplishments. A member of the U.S. 131 Dragway Hall of Fame, Lou held National records, won his class at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, won track championships well into his retirement years. And to top it all off won the IHRA Division 5 Championship when he was well into his 70’s. He attended the first race at U.S.131 when they opened in 1962, and when the track was completely rebuilt in 2000 Lou held the honor of being the first man allowed down the track in a race car. Until the age of 82, he was not only racing at the track on Saturday nights, he was winning races there against competitors one quarter his age.
Never one to like sitting still for long, Lou pursued many hobbies to stay busy in his free time. He took meticulous care of his cars, always keeping them in amazing condition. Lou loved spending time with his friends around the track, and he enjoyed surrounding himself with people and growing close to those around him, no matter their age, status, or generation. As his family and friends can attest, weekends were for the racetrack. Later in life, Lou was able to share his passion for racing with his children, Cindy and Ed, and also with his grandson, Lewis, preparing and competing side by side.
Lou always said exactly what was on his mind, and his ability to put things in perspective and see the positive in his life allowed him to face all challenges head on. Lou seemed to have a one-line word of wisdom for any situation.
As his family and friends can surely attest, Lewis Hall truly understood the secret to a life well lived. He was a constant source of strength and encouragement, even in the most difficult of times. Fostering deep and personal relationships with those around him was Lou’s primary focus each day. A proud husband and father, he considered himself blessed to watch his family tree grow to include so many members. Though he will be dearly missed, Lou leaves behind a priceless legacy that his loved ones will be proud to carry on in his footsteps.
Lewis Hall, “Lou” age 85, of Portage died on Friday, November 4, 2022 with his family by his side. He is survived by his wife, Betty; Children: Cindy (Leon) Harter, Ed (Ann) Hall; 3 grandchildren: Lewis (Mariah Winchel), Genevieve, Ellie; and a great grandchild, Emery. Cremation has taken place. A memorial gathering to honor his life will be announced at a later date. Visit Lou’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Racers for Christ. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.