F. Harold ‘Hal’ Creal
(May 18, 1931 – Sept. 3, 2017)
Our community lost a staunch visionary and philanthropist; Tibbits Opera House lost an important friend and supporter.
Many can speak more knowledgeably of Hal Creal’s business enterprises and service on community boards. Many can also tell of his support of causes and projects from the Naomi Davis Home and the AYSO Soccer Complex to the Coldwater Township Sunrise Rotary projects, the Branch County Community Foundation and countless other organizations and causes.
Hal Creal also supported Tibbits Opera House in a very large way. He shared with Tibbits a desire to truly help in areas that could easily be overlooked. He offered a deep understanding of all facets of business and did not miss the underlying intricacies of any operation or project. He generously shared a perspective, offered questions, sought to understand, and challenged ideas to make sure we were always doing our due diligence to find the best solutions. He offered suggestions always with a willingness to also help find solutions.
In speaking of his philanthropy, we need to change the pronoun to plural, for Hal and Lillian were true partners in every gift decision. Together the Creals supported the daily operations of the theatre through membership for more than 20 years. They have helped with improvements to the sound in the theatre including investment in loop system for hearing assistance. They funded the re-pointing of the north, south and west walls of the historic theatre in what became the lead gift for the beautiful façade restoration. While most people’s attention was on the front, the Creals understood having four solid walls was essential.
Hal and Lillian enjoyed theatre wherever they traveled and Hal always shared ideas and information on what they saw, what other theatres were doing, and made a point to re-affirm what Tibbits was doing well. Hal has been a valuable sounding board for many of Tibbits’ restoration projects.
The Creals’ unselfish generosity to the Coldwater community is without question a beautiful example of philanthropy which serves as an example to us all.
Services honoring the life of Hal Creal will be held at Tibbits Opera House, Sunday, September 24th, 2017, 5pm – 8pm