HALL, Donald Roots, BA, MA, PhD Born June 20, 1930, Little Rock, Arkansas, passed away on April 30, 2017, son of Graham Roots Hall and Louise Boaz Hall of Little Rock; grandson of Walter Graham Hall and Emily Roots Hall of Little Rock; grandson of Bishop Hiram Abiff Boaz of Dallas, Texas, co-founder of Southern Methodist University; and grand-nephew of Bishop Logan H. Roots of the Episcopal Church. Dr. Hall was graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, N.H. He received his BA with honors in Social Science from the University of Chicago in 1958; and received his MA and Ph D in Political Science from the University of Colorado in 1963 and 1966 respectively.
Before completing his undergraduate program, Dr. Hall enlisted in the United States Air Force shortly after the Korean War began. He graduated from Radio Operations School prior to starting pilot training. He completed Pilot Training in the Class of 52C, then B-26 Training, Escape and Evasion School, Combat Crew Training, and left for Korea. After his Korean service (for which he was promoted and awarded the United Nations Service Medal, the American Defense Medal, and the Korean Service medal with one Battle Star), he volunteered for another overseas tour immediately, in England. He flew B-26's and L-19's as a tow target pilot and for antiaircraft gunnery training and weapon calibrating. Much of his off- duty time was spent in France, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Spain, and Portugal. He was asked by the Commanding General of 3rd Air Force to become one of his aides-a position requiring the aide to make the Air Force a career, but Hall declined and took his honorable discharge in 1965.
On returning to the United States, Hall resumed his college education. At the end of his junior year he met and married Alice Anne Coates (also of Little Rock), daughter of John Eastman Coates and Anne Bodman Coates of Little Rock. The couple moved to Chicago where Hall completed his BA in Social Science. After graduation, the couple began residence in Little Rock where Hall worked in industrial development for the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce starting in 1958. As part of his work for the Chamber, Hall was assigned to create and head the first Better Business Bureau in Arkansas. Then, in 1961, he began serving as the Executive Secretary of the Committee for the Two Party System, a political organization founded by Winthrop Rockefeller to promote the Republican Party in Arkansas.
In 1962, the Halls moved to Boulder, Colorado where Hall began graduate studies at the University of Colorado. He received hi MA in 1963, and after three more years (and a summer of research at Brookings Institution, Washington, DC), Hall received his Ph D in Political Science. The Halls immediately moved to Tucson, Arizona where Hall had accepted a position as Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona. From 1966 to 1990 Hall served as Assistant and Associate Professor of Political Science, retiring in 1990. His favorite courses to teach were American Presidency, Political Parties and Elections, and State and Local Government. He was known as the toughest grader in the Liberal Arts College (now College of Arts and Sciences) and for his insistence on the correct use of language. He was often nominated by his students for teaching awards. As one of the very few Republican members of the Political Science Department, Hall was often called on to make public appearances to present the conservative point of view. He also helped the Libertarians start their party in Southern Arizona.
Don was intensely interested in election law. He was a charter member of an Election Law Study Committee created by the legislature to study and then propose changes to the Arizona Revised Statutes to modernize the election code. He published several articles on both Canadian and American election law. This work led to his involvement in local Republican Party politics. In 1974 he was elected Chair of the Pima County Republican Party and served two stormy years in that post. He resigned under the fire when he urged the county party to support the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1968, Dr. Hall began his coverage of presidential nominating conventions and state politics for various Tucson media. He covered both parties' national conventions in 1968 and 1972 (for the Arizona Daily Star), in 1976 for KCEE Radio, and in 1980 for KVOA-TV. Hall also served as an election analyst for state and local elections for Tucson radio and television stations.
Until the end of his teaching career Hall was openly critical of the publish-or-perish system adopted by the University of Arizona in the early 1970's. Hall's only book, Cooperative Lobbying, was long considered an outstanding investigation of the power of pressure groups to influence national legislation (he was co-author several times of the Arizona Academy's Town Hall reports and published frequently in Arizona newspapers. His 1973 series of articles on presidential elections was published in the Australian Financial Times to wide acclaim there. Dr. Hall's political involvement included opposition to the Rillito-Pantano Freeway proposal and the Supervisors and business leaders who supported it, his endorsement of the moderate Republican Women's Caucus in supporting the Equal Rights Amendment, and his attempt to recruit more African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans to the Republican Party. He was a co-founder of the Memberships on Merit Committee that led to acceptance of Jews as members of the Tucson Country Club. While living in Arkansas, Dr. and Mrs. Hall were highly visible and active in opposing then-Governor Orval Faubus and his segregation policies.
Don was an amateur composer of ballads and country music, winning several national awards but unsuccessful in having his work recorded. His best-known songs in Tucson were "Three Putt Jones" and "Hank the Shank". He was an avid banjo and piano player and loved to play at sing-a-longs. Don maintained his single digit golf handicap for much of his last thirty years at Tucson Country Club, Pinetop, AZ Country Club, and Aspen Valley Golf Club in Flagstaff, AZ. His interest in election law carried over to form his interest in handicap rules and regulations in golf. He chaired the Handicap Committee at Pinetop Country Club and assisted in forming handicap committees at White Mountain Country Club and Tucson Country Club.
Dr. Hall was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Alice Coates Hall in 2012. He is survived by his son, David G. Hall and his children, Bryce and Kylie; his daughter, Alison Baity (Kab) and her son, Jameson; his daughter, Ashley Gruber (Marty) and many nieces, nephews and cousins.