Byline: Bart Hall
Editor’s note: Lois Hall, wife of the late boat and fishing show producer Fred Hall, has died. She was 88. The following article is a remembrance and celebration of her life by her son, Bart Hall, producer of the Fred Hall Shows.
She was always at the front desk at the Fred Hall shows when exhibitors were checking in. She knew thousands of people by name and knew what they did and where they came from. She had an incredible memory and an uncanny sense of organization. She was the backbone of the Fred Hall Shows.
My father, Fred, was the visible person with the creative ideas and the promotional ability, but it was left to Lois to implement those ideas — which she did, tirelessly. She had an incredible work ethic and gave the Fred Hall Shows 100 percent of her abilities, which were considerable.
She was born in 1924 to a modest household in Duluth, Minn. Her father was Roy Bartlett and her mother was Mayme LeBeau Bartlett.
At an early age, she wanted to learn to skate, but they couldn’t afford private lessons or private “ice time.” So, her father would take her to the shores of Lake Superior with a chair — and she learned to skate.
Without any formal training, she became so good that she was hired as a professional skater with the Shipstad and Johnson Ice Follies. This was the number one international touring ice show in the late 1930s and 1940s. She quickly moved from the chorus to become one of their featured skaters in duets with some of the leading men.
Lois and Fred met when my father was an usher at the Pan Pacific Auditorium, when the Ice Follies performed there in 1942. They were married in 1944.
I was born in 1945, and the first “Fred Hall” sportsman’s show was produced at Gilmore Stadium, across the parking lot from the Pan Pacific, in 1946.
By 1948 the sportsman’s show had moved to the Pan Pacific Auditorium — and after several stops, and name changes along the way, the ASA/Fred Hall Shows…The Ultimate Outdoor Experience ended up at the Long Beach Convention Center and the Del Mar Fairgrounds, where they have been for the last 38 years.
Lois was a great athlete who loved to fish from the Eastern Sierras all the way to Alaska and down to Mexico. She also played golf, and for many years carried a 180 average in a high-quality bowling league. That was an amazing average for a woman her age.
She was a great waterskier. And she loved the Lakers and the Angels.
For most of their married life, Lois and Fred lived in Sherman Oaks, before moving to Mandalay Bay where they had a slip and a 35-foot boat.
Lois loved Mexico. They had been going there since the early 1950s. Lois decided she wanted to learn perfect Spanish, so she went back to college and became a member of the National Honor Society for her skills in Spanish. She would travel throughout Mexico with her friend, who spoke no English, and my sister, Kristi. They traveled by Mexican bus. She was very comfortable in Mexico and loved to fish the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez.
For the first 30 years of their marriage, Lois raised the kids and stayed behind the scenes with the shows. But later, she stepped out of the shadows to stand alongside Fred as the co-producer of the Fred Hall Shows.
She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a professional athlete, a musician and a businesswoman — quite an accomplishment for a woman born in 1924 in Duluth Minn.
The energy of her life will be missed by her children, Bart Hall, Kristi Hall-Ayala and Rick Hall; her grandchildren, Morgan Hall, Travis Hall, Wendy Hall, Eric Hall and Cipriano Ayala; her great-grandchildren, Hannah, Hunter, Aidan and Samantha Hall; and her daughters in-law and her son in-law, Ginny Hall, Ricardo Ayala and Janice Hall.
A private mass and burial service took place Aug. 29, with a celebration of her life open to all of her friends and acquaintances at the Bart Hall home in Camarillo.