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James Slate Ale

December 1, 1939 — April 17, 2023

Kinderton Chapel

James Slate Ale


Mr. James Slate Ale, age 83, of Clemmons, North Carolina, passed away early Monday morning on April 17, 2023 at The Kate B. Reynolds Hospice House in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


 Mr. Ale was born on December 1, 1939 in Salem, New Jersey to the late Garth Dalmain Ale and the late Bertha Schultz Ale. He was preceded in death by his sister, Ms. Hannah Ale McDonough, as well as by cousins and many aunts and uncles.


Mr. Ale grew up in Pennsville, New Jersey and graduated from Pennsville High School.  He later earned a degree from Rutgers University where he was captain of the basketball team. While there he was also hailed as “the unsung hero” and was recognized by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association.


Mr. Ale was a proud veteran of the United States Air Force and was later also employed as a Department of Defense civilian for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. His job with AAFES took him and his family to many locations to live: Goldsboro, North Carolina; Marin County, California; Ankara, Turkey; Izmir, Turkey; Aviano, Italy; Melbourne, Florida; RAF Lakenheath, England; Monterey County, California; Las Vegas, Nevada and Anchorage, Alaska. Mr. Ale’s positive attitude was consistently reflected in his belief that his favorite place to live was always the place where he and his family were living. He viewed each new location as an adventure and open opportunity to serve our country’s troops, and he worked hard, wherever he was sent, to accomplish that goal.


 Though very content wherever he lived, Mr. Ale especially admired the state of North Carolina. He said that North Carolina has all the “greats”: great schools, great basketball, great golf, great beaches, great mountains, great people, great weather, and last, but certainly not least, great barbeque, great seafood, great pound cake, and great peaches. So naturally, after a successful career and retirement from AAFES, he and his family happily returned to North Carolina where both daughters had enrolled in college. And now, many years later, Mr. Ale often reflected that North Carolina was a wonderful place to call home.


Mr. Ale was a member of Clemmons United Methodist Church. He loved the Lord, his wife, his daughters and their families, golf, and all music. He also loved all things basketball and was an ardent fan of the Wake Forest team, always. He was known by his family and friends as steady in character, smart, strong, dependable, friendly, hard-working, and kind-natured. He was also humble and genuine, and he delighted many with his dry wit and ready sense of humor. He was very perceptive and observant, and his good heart never spoke ill of anyone. Mr. Ale was well-loved, well-liked, and well-respected by all who knew him, and he will be deeply and profoundly missed.


To his family, especially, Mr. Ale was and will always be affectionately known as “our tall gentleman”. He was a dedicated husband, a doting and supportive father, and a proud, adoring PopPop. He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Eva Bennett Ale; his two devoted daughters, Dr. Lauren Bennett-Ale Hull (husband Nathan) of Charlotte, and Leslie Waddington Ale Cavanaugh (husband Craig) of Raleigh, and his five grandchildren: Conard, twins Griffin and Lawton, Caroline, and Will, as well as many friends and family.


A Celebration of Life for Mr. Ale will be held on Saturday, May 20, at 2:00 at Clemmons United Methodist Church with the Reverend John Fitzgerald and the Reverend Clark Chilton officiating. This celebration will also be available online at The family will receive friends and family following the service.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Mr. Ale’s memory to Trellis Supportive Care, Clemmons United Methodist Church, or to your favorite charity. Online condolences may be made at


Please note: The family would like to publicly thank Mr. Ale’s devoted caregivers: Dawn Holder, Terry Jones, Trellis Supportive Care, and also Lilian Solis of Griswold Home Care. The family will be forever grateful for all that the caregivers have done for Mr. Ale and for them.


The family would also like to express gratitude and appreciation to their kind and supportive friends and neighbors, as well as many others, for their gifts, cards, notes, and calls of support, concern, and prayers.  Many heart-felt thanks are extended to each of you as we all remember, cherish, and celebrate the life of James Slate Ale.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Slate Ale, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Starts at 2:00pm (Eastern time)

Clemmons United Methodist Church

3700 Clemmons Rd, Clemmons, NC 27012

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