Old Settlers’ Day grand marshal Roger “Bud” Hannaford has long been a mainstay of the Marion community, but there was a stretch in his life when he strayed from home.
During the Korean War, he spent three years serving in the armed forces. He also spent three years studying at Emporia State University, and five years teaching in El Dorado before returning to Marion to work in the family business.
“Moved back in 1962, been here ever since,” Hannaford said. “I love it.”
Since returning home, he has always tried to be involved in the community. A lot of that involvement has been as part of the Marion club of Kiwanis International.
“I’ve been in a Kiwanis family,” he said Friday. “I’ll tell you who really got me going: Bill Meyer, a good Kiwanian.”
The Marion club was founded in 1921 or 1922, less than a decade after the organization was founded in Detroit. Hannaford’s grandfather was a charter member of the club, and his father held leadership positions in the group.
Hannaford said he followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, and was eventually elected club president and district lieutenant governor.
All of the projects Kiwanis has been involved in over the years have been very rewarding, but they haven’t been the best part of his involvement, he said.
“Mainly the fellowship we have with the members,” he said.
Hannaford said organizations like Kiwanis, the projects they do, and the fellowship they provide are important to the health of a community.
“I feel when you lose your civic club, you lose the heart of your community,” he said. “It’s happened other places.”
He said he has some concerns about the business climate in Marion, especially the retail climate. He said the closure of Duckwall’s really hurt.
“Another thing, I want to save this stone building,” he said while gesturing to the J. Bowron Building that neighbors Hannaford Abstract & Title Company.
He said he thinks Kiwanis must have made a mistake in selecting him as grand marshal for Old Settlers’ Day.
“I think you have to be 100 years old to be grand marshal,” the 79-year-old said. “They must have gotten to the bottom of the barrel.”
Hannaford has recently had some health issues, but he wants to reassure people he is feeling better.
“Back in December, I could not get out of my chair to go to the kitchen,” he said.
He is feeling much better now. On Friday, he planned to have a tube that made IVs easier taken out of his arm.