Register-News November 21, 2001 Harold W. "Hank" Hannah, 90, of Texico passed away 12:56 a.m. Nov. 20, 2001, at Crossroads Community Hospital in Mt. Vernon. He was born Jan. 16, 1911, in Monticello, the son of Roy Hannah and Mary Elizabeth (Jones) Hannah. He was a practicing lawyer and served as counsel for the Illinois Veterinary Medical Association and for other lawyers.
He taught law at the University of Illinois and SIU Law School for 61 years. During this time, he wrote a very successful book, "Law on the Farm." Until just recently, he wrote a monthly legal brief for the AVMA Journal. Kay Shipman, writing in "Farm Week" called him a "freedom fighter on two fronts...in the war and also in education for setting up the Land Grant University in India."
He married Verna "Bowie" Buffinger Webb June 5, 1965, in Mt. Vernon; she survives. In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children, John Hannah of Tulsa, Okla., Richard Hannah of Virginia, David Hannah of Idaho, and Lyn Hannah of Wappinger Falls, N.Y.; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; his wife's two sons, Grover and Richard Webb of Tanglefoot Ranch in Pope County and their children, Julie Webb, Ginger Reynolds, and James Aaron Webb, all of whom considered him a second father and grandfather, as well as blessing him with another great-grandson. He was preceded in death by his parents and a son, Bill Hannah. A memorial service will be held 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Vernon. The Rev. Robert F. Freytag will officiate. Mr. John Turrel will also speak at the service. The family will greet friends after 1 p.m. on Sunday at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Rotary Foundation or the American Veterinary Medical Association and will be accepted at the services or may be mailed to Hughey Funeral Home at P.O. Box 721, Mt. Vernon, Ill., 62864. Hughey Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements and you may call at 242-3348 for information at any time.
Mr. Hannah was the son of a central Illinois tenant farmer. He was educated at country grade schools, at Monticello Community High School, and at the University of Illinois Colleges of Agriculture and Law. He held several positions at U of I, including assistant to the dean, associate dean, and professor of agriculture and veterinary law. After retiring from there, he taught agricultural law at SIU-C for several years.
His service at U of I was interrupted by World War II, during which he served as a paratrooper, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in Normandy in 1944. He was wounded in Holland in 1944 and was retired for disability a year later.
Returning to the University, he was placed in charge of their veterans program. His foreign assignments were many, chief among them his role in helping establish an agriculture university in India 1955-57, following that with two on-site-researched books on universities in developing countries. He also served on a commission on post-secondary and high education in Nigeria. He directed a project in Michigan for a legislative committee on the reorganization of state government. His publications include several books on agricultural and veterinary law, as well as university bulletins and numerous articles in professional journals. For many years he authored a regular column in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
In recent years he has published a number of reminiscences: Academic Interlude and Military Interlude among them, as well as a popular volume on Mules and Law! His most recent article, on the role of professional farm managers, appeared just this week. His memberships and activities have included Jefferson County Bar Association, the local historical society, World Affairs Forum, Mitchell Museum, Rend Lake College Foundation, and of course, Rotary, of which he is a past president of the local club and past governor of the district. He was responsible for the establishment of an agricultural law course at the University of Illinois and had a leading role in the formation of a national ag law association, and later, a national veterinary law group. He has been honored with many prestigious awards, the most recent just last month by the U of I Extension Service.
Mr. Hannah was married to the former Bowie Buffinger, who survives. He has five children. His hobbies have included growing, sawmilling, and making things from wood, as well as vegetable gardening, photography, music, meteorology and nature study. He had friends throughout the United States and the world. Hank was truly an international man, and a renaissance man too. Hank, we salute you on a great life!