Payson’s Todd Hale has many titles — including Reigning Scrabble champion

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Todd and Aleesa Hale have lived in three different neighborhoods in Utah County and have been happy in each one. “We love the not-too-big and not-too-small feeling Payson has,” Todd says.

Todd and Aleesa Hale have lived in three different neighborhoods in Utah County and have been happy in each one. “We love the not-too-big and not-too-small feeling Payson has,” Todd says.

I was born in Idaho and raised in San Jose, Calif. I had the amazing experience of serving an LDS sign language mission in areas including Rochester, New York and Indianapolis, Indiana. I spent six months with my first companion, who was deaf, and that helped me learn sign language quickly.

Like many Utah transplants, I came to Provo to attend BYU. I decided to study computer science, and now I’m a senior web developer at Xactware in Lehi. The commute is a 35-minute drive from my home in Payson, but it goes by fast when I listen to talk radio or podcasts.

I enjoy my position at work because I get to build products and programs from the ground up, and I focus mainly on mobile development. I’m proud to be a total nerd and have always been interested in fixing things and figuring out how they work.

I’m a word nerd, too. A co-worker and I recently represented Xactware at the Salt Lake County Corporate Games, and we won the Scrabble tournament.

As far as my family goes, my wife, Aleesa, and I recently celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. It’s a second marriage for both of us, and we each brought five kids to the table. We met in an LDS family ward in Payson. I was going through a divorce, and a few years later she got divorced. After that, we clicked.

I admire her for being such an amazing wife, mother and homemaker. She is extremely sharp and always stays on top of things. Plus, she is outgoing, fun and kind. She is always looking for ways to help others.

Meshing our two families has had its moments. Kids don’t want to see their parents split, and there has definitely been disappointment. But because we had been in the same ward, some of the younger kids already knew each other and got along well.

Aleesa and I both had the every-other-weekend set-up with our previous spouses. This meant that one weekend we would have all the kids with us and the next we would be temporary empty nesters.

Today, six of our children have moved out on their own and we have four still at home. They keep us busy with lacrosse, soccer, basketball and volleyball games. We also spend a lot of time with Aleesa’s extended family. She is the youngest of 13 kids and it seems like every  weekend we are at a wedding, a missionary farewell or a baby blessing. We have great kids and now we get to enjoy being grandparents to four cute grandkids.

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Kate Lehnhof Nash first joined Bennett Communications as a summer intern in 2009. Now, as an associate editor, she writes for magazines including Utah Valley Magazine, Utah Valley Bride and Prosper. Kate lives in Springville with her husband Steve and enjoys running, reading, sushi and her french bulldog, Chief.

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