Author Topic: Larry Hanna  (Read 1970 times)

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Offline Janet

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Larry Hanna
« on: December 04, 2013, 06:44:23 PM »


Larry Hanna




Larry was born in Maryville, Missouri on February 12, 1941.  He grew up on a farm near a little town named Pickering, Mo.  It was a farming community with only a very small business area with three or four stores.  “We were only about six miles from Maryville, which is a college town,” he added.

Larry’s only sibling is a sister who is three years younger than he.  Their parents were farmers on a small 90 acre dairy and crop farm.  “My dad took over his father’s insurance agency and ran it until he retired.  Mother worked at a dentist’s office; a five and ten cents store and at Montgomery Ward’s for years after my sister and I were teenagers and away from home.  She loved people and even in the early stages of her dementia she had a job as a sample person in stores that paid next to nothing, but she loved it.”







Larry and sister, Leslie




After high school, Larry obtained a BS degree in business education from Northwest Missouri State College of Maryville (now a university) and several years later he took 18 hours of graduate work at Northwest and at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.  “I decided not to complete the degree as it was taking too much time away from my family and I knew it would never help me in my profession.  I have always loved school and learning, and had hoped after retirement to monitor some classes at local colleges, but my declining health interfered,” Larry explained.

He had several teachers who were special to him, including his first grade teacher and several in high school and college.  Except for the first grade, when we lived in the little town, he attended a one-room school about a mile from the farm that had one teacher for all eight grades.  “I went to a very small high school and we only had six in our class (five boys and one girl.)  We were the last graduating class at that high school, as the next year it was consolidated with another town’s school,” he said.

“I have many good memories of childhood including our annual Christmas Eve dinner at my grandparents.  Also I have wonderful memories of visiting my grandmother on my father’s side.  She always greeted my sister and me with open arms and a big smile and never made us feel we were not totally welcome.  My sister and I were the only grandchildren and she lived only a mile from the farm in a house my dad built for his folks in the little town.  It was located right across the street from the high school so I would usually stop in most evenings to see her during my high school years.  Even after I was married and had a family and would go home for a visit, I often stopped to see her for a few minutes before going on to the farm to see my folks.  She greatly influenced my life,” Larry related.

For the first 19 years of his life, Larry’s family had an outhouse.  “I well remember the cold winters and hot summers in that little outhouse and how scary it could be at night!  When I was 19 my dad built onto the house and put in a bathroom and built two more bedrooms as the bath and laundry was put in the room my sister and I had as a bedroom.  I hadn’t had a room of my own before that and slept on a daybed in our combined living/dining room,” he relates.







The farmhouse where Larry grew up




Larry has no memory of ever going to the movies on Saturday and only a few times with his parents when he was growing up.  There was a drive-in movie in the college town and they went as a family a few times, and then when Pat and he started dating they often went there on date night.  “I can’t remember what the price was for the movie, but know they were low or we wouldn’t have been going there.  My folks never allowed me get a job other than the farm, except for a small part-time job in college that I could do during the afternoons after class.  Dad needed my help with the farm and my folks always saw that I had pocket money when I was in college and provided the car and gas needed when I got old enough to drive,” he said.

In grade school, Larry said they played softball, handy-over (otherwise called Annie-over)  He can’t recall what they did with the ball when they caught it but says there must have been more to the game than just throwing it over the top of the building!  His family always liked card games like Pitch and Canasta, and also played board games.

When he and Pat started dating, they would usually go after classes at the college to the Dairy Queen for an ice cream cone or go to the student union building and on a weekend night usually to the drive-in movie.  Pat usually came to the farm on Sunday morning and attended church with my family and then spent the afternoon at the farm.
Larry thinks the price of gas in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s was probably about $0.25 per gallon.







Larry and Pat's Wedding




About two weeks after graduating from college, Larry started working in Kansas City, Mo., for the US General Accounting Office (GAO) as an auditor.  This involved two to three month assignments in places like Memphis, Lincoln, and then Oklahoma City, working at either Tinker AFB or the big FAA facility.  As there was always work there GAO decided to open a field office and assign several of the employees there permanently.  Larry applied and was accepted for the job and they spent a couple of years there living first in Midwest City, Oklahoma City, and then in Moore where they bought their first home.  That house was later blown away by a tornado, but thankfully, that was after they had left the area.  “Two of my major memories of Oklahoma were the births of our two children and the fact that the wind always seemed to be blowing.  After two or three years in Oklahoma the GAO decided to staff an office in Anchorage, Alaska.  When I learned of this event I called Pat and asked, “How would you like to move to Alaska?”  She said ‘Okay’ thinking I was joking, so I applied and about six weeks later we were on our way to Anchorage, where we spent two years.  I can still remember my mother’s reaction when I told her we were moving to Alaska, as she said “Oh, No!” as we were taking our two babies away from the family.  We loved it in Alaska but only stayed for the one two-year contract.  I spent one year with the GAO and then transferred to a job as an internal auditor with the FAA.  While we were back in Missouri on our turn around we had planned to go back for another two-year contract), I was offered a job with the Federal Highway Administration as an internal auditor in Springfield, Illinois, and we spent 15 months there.

Then I was offered a promotion to go to Frankfort, Kentucky as the auditor in charge.  Again we only stayed there for 15 months and then we transferred the first time to Washington, D.C. and stayed for two years where I was in charge of the agency’s auditor training program.  From there I was transferred to Kansas City as a Management Analyst and we stayed there for nine years.  The next assignment and promotion took us to Atlanta and we were here for five years where I served as the Executive Officer for an eight-state region in the Southeast.  Then I was promoted to the Washington headquarters where I spent five years as a Division Chief and suffered two heart bypass surgeries and a heart attack from the stress of the work.  At that point I knew I was going to have to retire and so applied for and was granted a disability retirement.  My old boss in Atlanta heard that I was going to have to retire and he called me and asked me to come back to Atlanta, at a reduced grade, to do staff work for him with no one to supervise and a job where I could pretty well set my own work schedule.  I jumped at the opportunity to return to Atlanta as we love living here and will probably spend the rest of our lives here.  I was able to work for another 5 years, with the last 18 months primarily in an office they set up for me at my home, but then I did have to retire on disability.  That was 18 years ago.

After his retirement Larry did some volunteer work including helping at a food bank for a while, then was involved in the early stages of SeniorNet as a web host, and then a year or so later as an instructor and officer of his local SeniorNet computer learning center.  He was able to do this for 10 years.  At the same time, he volunteered to help with the Senior Golden Games, which occur annually, by doing the paperwork conversion to the computer database and printing of the various reports needed to run the games.  He finally gave that up just a year ago as it became too stressful.  “For many years, I sang in our church choir but had to give that up almost two years ago as it was too energy draining.  I had also served as webmaster for our church for several years,” Larry said.

Larry and Pat met at college where she was rooming with one of Larry’s first cousins.  They have been married for going on 52 years. “She has been a wonderful, supportive wife.  We have had an interesting life.  It hasn’t been all a bed of roses due to some family situations but we have worked together and supported each other.  Things have not turned out with our family as we had hoped but this is life and we make the best of things as we can.  We have only one granddaughter and four great-grandchildren who live in New York state so we don’t get to see them.  Our son had a son who died of SIDS at about 7 or 8 months of age many years ago.  Our daughter married but it didn’t last and she has no children,” he says.

Larry thinks probably the biggest difference in the world today from when he was young is the loss of innocence of our children from their childhood, beginning in the 1960s and beyond.  “Television has brought so many of the world’s problems into our living rooms.  When I was a young child I was protected and had time to play and then was taught to work and be responsible.  I didn’t have time to get into trouble.  The 1940s and 1950s were a wonderful time to grow up on a farm and in a small community where we knew our neighbors and neighbors helped each other.”

“The moral tone of our country and what is acceptable in society has changed drastically.  I respected my wife-to-be and would never have considered compromising her in any way.  Of course, I wasn’t bombarded with the blatant, in-your-face moral decay we see on television and in the movies today.  I would never have considered living with my girlfriend outside of marriage.”

About hobbies, Larry says, “I took seven years of piano lessons as a child and have a great love of most types of music.  I have never been much of a collector, except for music.  I also have always loved to read and did acquire a small library but we moved so often we had to dispose of a lot of the books.  I do have a pretty large digital music library and love to listen to music and have an extensive digital book collection, most of which have been by Amazon for Kindle, or Barnes and Noble for the Nook.  There is no way I will ever read them all but sure have a nice selection from which to choose, and enjoy looking at the book covers.  This year I have started listening to many audio books, something my wife has done for years.  Of course, this cuts into my reading time!”

Larry’s and Pat’s travels have been pretty much limited to going back to see their families in Missouri and their adventure of moving to Alaska.  They did have a timeshare in Florida for about 20 years and
went there each year, except for times they traded with someone and went to other places in the U.S.  They had hoped to do some traveling when they retired but their health issues dictated staying pretty close to home.  Larry has been on a train three times in his life.  The first time was when he was 16 and went with his grandmother to California to visit her sister. “It was the El Capitan Santa Fe train and I remember it was a great trip but the car swayed a lot, as we were in the elevated part of the car.  One time I needed to go to Chicago from Kansas City and decided to take the train, which turned out to not be a great experience as it was winter and the door to the passenger car didn’t close properly and it was cold.  My last train trip was a short, early evening trip up the Royal Gorge in Colorado.  It was a dinner trip up and back and was enjoyable.”

Larry feels good about having been able to have a very successful career and thus retire with a nice pension; and that he was always able to provide a nice home and adequate food on the table for his family.







Larry and Pat's Present Home




A valuable lesson he would like to pass along to our younger readers is this:  Live each day of your life and don’t worry about past mistakes or what tomorrow might bring.  He said, “I spent many years of my life reliving the past with such wasted thoughts as ‘what if?’ or ‘I should have done this or that.’  Then I would worry about what the future held.  Life has taught me that we cannot change the past nor can we ever know the future as that is totally in God’s control.  I have also learned that I don’t have responsibility for another adult or have any right to try to control their life or decisions.  My job with others is to accept them as they are and to let them know that I love them and do not judge them.”Larry isn’t sure what time period of his life he would say were his best years, as life is so complicated.  But in many ways it has been retirement and just being granted another day of life.

In the early years of his working life, he didn’t think much about saving up money.  The first big purchase he made after college was his first car, a used Olds 98, for $600.00, based on a bank signature loan at his hometown bank.

The strangest thing he did to earn money was the part-time job he had in college where he worked mostly making duplicate keys for the maintenance department.  He was always a good and thoughtful person, so he had no weird or wild teenage stories to share.  He had great respect for his parents and grandparents and did not want to dishonor them in any way.

When he was a kid, Larry says the family always ate three meals a day together around the dining room table.  “My mother was a great cook and always managed to provide wholesome food for us, even if sometimes I didn’t like some of the vegetables.  As far as I know she never made a dessert I didn’t like, with the exception of rhubarb!  We raised most of our food on the farm and my mother canned a lot during garden time and we had our own beef, pork and chickens,” he added.

After the REA brought electricity to the farm, his mother always had some type of wringer washing machine; but she had to heat the water in the house and carry it out to the tool shed where the machine was located.  They always had a clothes line.

During his Junior and Senior years of high school they had a play each year and Larry got to act in several of those.  They were always little comedies and just were fun and enjoyable.

Larry’s favorite food is apples and favorite dessert is ice cream.

He doesn’t really have any regrets, as he always did the best he could at the moment.  Money was always a consideration while they were raising their children.  But he wishes he had been able to travel more with the family.

His dad taught Larry to drive the tractor when he was about 13, so learning to drive a car wasn’t much of a challenge.  He got his drivers license when he was 16.  There wasn’t any traffic congestion where he lived in those days, so driving was much simpler than it is around a big city today.

Larry and Pat had a very simple but beautiful wedding in the little Christian church he was raised in and where he and Pat went to church wile they were dating.  It was held at 7 PM and there were a few flowers, Pat had a beautiful wedding dress, and the reception was cake and punch.  The church was full and they had a great time.  He is really glad they had a church wedding.

If he could do anything over, Larry says he would spend more time with his children and try to be more childlike with them.

His scariest time was one weekend when they had gone from Kansas City to visit his folks, about 100 miles.  As they were returning on a two lane highway the car in the oncoming lane hit the car in front of them, went around them without putting a scratch on their car, and slammed head-on into the car behind them.  The driver who caused the accident was killed and the people in the car behind were hurt.  Later his grandmother told Larry that she had felt great unease when they left from having stopped to say goodbye to her and had covered them in prayer during their trip back home.  Thank God for the prayers of mothers and grandmothers!

“I am very concerned about the future of our country and what our children and grandchildren face in the future living in a bankrupt country, both monetarily and morally.  I do not agree with the ever expanding reach of government at all levels and the blatant corruption that is occurring with our tax dollars.  I am so saddened to see our ‘redistribution of wealth’ beyond caring for those who are unable to work due to illness or age.”

“We ought to get back to where the Constitution has some meaning and
where the Executive obeys the laws.”

The person who most inspired or influenced Larry was, without a doubt, his grandmother.  There are many people he knows or knows about who he admires.

The single biggest change he has seen in his lifetime is, sadly, the breakdown of the family and our society.

He doesn’t really remember if the first one he cast a vote for as president was Eisenhower or Nixon.

The most terrible crime he has known of was the bombing of the World Trade Center which has caused our country to change so much.

He feels the greatest achievement of the USA is to have given anyone willing to work for it the opportunity to have a successful life and have economic stability.

“Seldom do I remember eating out when I was a boy unless it was a hamburger at our local drug store lunch counter.  I still remember how great those burgers tasted and the mustard that made them special….along with an RC Cola!”

“I took piano lessons for seven years with a country music teacher.  Each lesson was an hour, once a week and cost fifty cents.  I took some Clarinet lessons and then later had a few voice lessons by a coach at our local college.  I often played piano for our church and school programs.  While I can read music well, I never learned theory or became very accomplished.  I knew I did not want to major in music in college.  Until the last couple of years, when I realized I no longer had the strength to sing, I sang in church choirs over the years in the different places we lived.”

In high school, Larry had to play softball and basketball or the school could not field a team as it was such a small school.  He wasn’t asked to participate in sports his first two years of high school due to a problem with his knee.  He had grown so fast it caused water to develop on his knee.  As a result he says he never gained much skill, but he does love sports as a spectator.

Larry loves reading and says he’s read so many books he really can’t pinpoint one as his favorite, but has always liked John Grisham, and in his late teens read all of the Earle Stanley Gardner books their library had to offer.

While he was growing up, there were few changes in that area, but in his adult life, having lived in many places, he has seen great changes occur when he has gone back to those areas.  The most dramatic has been where he has lived the last 17 years (Atlanta area.)  “This was a sleepy little town with few businesses and two lane roads.  Since then it has gained many businesses and has four lane roads in many places.  In close driving range we have all the big box stores and several shopping malls.  One of the big changes is the deterioration of a lovely mega mall that I saw the groundbreaking for in 1980.  Now it is mostly a ghost facility with only a couple of major retailers left,” he added.

Larry’s mother started taking him to church when he was three years old and he has continued to attend all these years.  “I grew up in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), when we married we joined the Baptist Church, then became Methodists and finally Presbyterians.  I basically found the message the same in each and that was what was important to me,” he said.

He said, “I now realize God has been doing miracles for me all my life although I failed to recognize them as such at the time.  However, the last seven years have been special as I was impacted by some else’s drinking/addictions and I was led to a wonderful organization called Al-Anon.  My life is no longer wracked with guilt about the past or fears for the future as I have learned to live only one day at a time and that over the years I have done the best that I could.  In these years I have seen miracles occur and know I had nothing to do with them other than keeping my hands off the situations and letting each person live his/her own life.”

The worst thing to happen to Larry was the loss of a baby grandson of SIDS at the age of seven or eight months and seeing the hell his son experienced and which is still impacting his life.  The continued breakdown of our daughter’s health has also been a tough thing to watch.  But he has had many good things happen in his life, too many to mention.

From these experiences, Larry has learned that God is in control and that He has a plan for his life.

He would like to be remembered as a kind and gentle man who loved his God and his family and his friends.

While growing up, Larry’s family always observed certain traditions for the holidays including Christmas Eve at his grandparents home and also special family meals for Thanksgiving and birthdays.

The greatest lesson for Larry is learning that in life things that looked impossible or very worrisome at the time don’t seem as daunting the following morning and that it is a waste of time to worry about things.

He likes Easy Listening music, Gospel, Country and Classical.  He has never cared for poetry, other than a few short poems written by his grandmother.

Larry’s favorite scripture is John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

On their wedding day, Larry’s soon-to-be sister-in-law told him she needed his car keys for some reason and then he didn’t see his car again until they walked out after the wedding to find it in front of the church all decorated with ‘Just Married’ etc.

Larry says that as a child, if he misbehaved his mother wouldn’t put up with it and neither would his dad.  When he needed it, he was spanked on his little backside.  They had spirea bushes beside the front porch and he was often required to go select a willowy branch for the spanking.  He says, “I am very glad that my parents disciplined me.”

Regarding pets, he says each pet they had was special and he doesn’t think one was better than another.  They did have a loveable little poodle for 14 years.  Unfortunately he barked a lot.  Their last pet was a cat they had for at least 12 years.

About being bullied in school, Larry relates, “When I was in the 7th grade I had the only actual fight I ever had as a youth, with my cousin who kept bullying me until I just snapped!  I didn’t like him very much for a long time after that but we finally made up.  When in high school, we had played a basketball game with another school and as we w
Re getting on the bus a kid from the other school came and attacked me and gave me a black eye.  I had given him no reason as I was not an aggressive player and think I just happened to be a handy target.  He later went on to get into a lot of trouble in his life, including being sent to prison.”

Larry loves all flowers and appreciates them as God’s gift to man, but he guesses the rose is his favorite.

A special trip he remembers is when he lived on the farm and it was difficult to get away for a trip, but they did once go for a week long trip the Black Hills and Denver.  In Denver his uncle took them out to a seven course meal at a very nice restaurant, something they had never experienced before and never have again.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t afford to bring his own family along.  At the time, Larry was small and didn’t think of that but his mother sure did!

“As an adult our trips were usually back to visit family, with one trip as a family to Denver.  After the kids were gone from home, Pat and I had a timeshare next to Disney World in Florida and enjoyed trips there over a period of 20 years.  We also had some nice trips when we exchanged our timeshare and went to Ocean City, Maryland, the Fred Waring Resort in Pennsylvania, and Punta Gorda, Florida.”

Abut what he does if he starts to get depressed, Larry said he can only think of one time he has been depressed for more than a day or two and that was when dealing with his mother going into the nursing home and his dad having a heart attack the next day and being hospitalized for several months.  Larry also had a heart attack during this time.  He took medicine for depression for two or three months but didn’t like the way it made him feel as he had no emotions and he hasn’t taken it since.  He is seldom depressed for more than a day and not very often at that.

The most important decision he has made in his life was probably to get a good education.  Another would be asking his Pat to marry him, and now they have shared 51 years of marriage and all the turbulent times during those years.







Larry and Pat
Photo taken in 2010






He feels the worst decisions were probably the many moves they made as he advanced in a career and the impact it probably had on his wife and the kids.  However, he made the best decision he could at the time to provide a good home and an interesting life for his family.  The positive side of it is that he had a very successful career that allows them to have a sound retirement--at least so far.

Advice to 18-year-olds:  Don’t get so involved in something that you forget to live life each day and one day at a time.  Also don’t worry about the past as it can’t be changed and don’t spend a lot of time thinking about tomorrow as tomorrow never gets here.  I would also advise them to be very careful with decisions regarding drinking/drugs as these things cause havoc in a family.

Larry feels the smartest thing his parents ever did was to shield him as a child from things he didn’t need to know at a young age, teach him a good work ethic and to know that work is a good thing.

On photography, Larry says he is absolutely not an expert in any area.

He is usually the one taking pictures at family gatherings if he can remember to do it!

He is not really so interested in photography but participated on Christian Photographers site because he likes the people.

He enjoys seeing the pictures on the site but they aren’t the primary reason he participates.


« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 02:10:45 PM by Janet »
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Offline JudyB

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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 07:32:44 PM »
Very interesting Larry!  Good to know you!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 10:58:56 AM by Pat »


Offline Paul

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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 12:22:03 PM »
Thanks, Larry, for sharing your life story with all of us, and Janet for writing the Biography!



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Offline Ruth

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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 02:38:35 PM »
Thanks Larry for sharing your story.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Proverbs 3:6


Offline Jane Walker

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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 05:45:43 PM »
Fascinating. Reading, and learning, about the life and times of people we know.  Interestingly written by another good friend whom I've never met personally. 

Larry, I have met you, once long ago, but this is really a good look into your life and a great testimony to the kind and gentle man you are.  Thank you for sharing with us.

Janet, I admire the way you are handling these biographies and your ability to make these people "come alive" for us.  Thank you, so much, for your work.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass .... it's about learning to dance in the rain!

Offline Janet

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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 05:58:00 PM »
Thank you so much for the kind words.  I am honored to be trusted with your stories and really enjoy getting them on paper.  With yours here, you do a good share (some most!) of the work, when you write out the answers to the questions I sent.  And, anyone who hasn't gotten the questions, it is because I do not have your email addresses!  So if you will send them to janet@pld.com, I can get them sent to you!  Thanks.
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Offline Carol

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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 02:05:26 PM »
A very nice writing from Larry.  Thank you for all that information. 

We are dealing with the dreadful garage door that refuses to open when it is cold.  It takes two of us to open it and then Don has to hold it open while I drive out of the garage.  A high of 5 degrees this early afternoon.  We were minus 17 at one point.  This too shall pass. 

Blessed news from a neighbor who had cancer and his numbers were normal!  I had a physical today and my stuff is good, above average and all will be good unless I get "hit by a truck" as we always say.  Or, lose my mind as some days feel like that and it is interesting to say the least. 

I will try to find some pictures. 

Offline Marilyn

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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2013, 04:43:13 PM »
What a great window into Larry's life. I enjoyed reading  about you Larry.
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Offline Jeanne Lee

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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2013, 05:34:31 PM »
Wonderful life story, Larry.  Thanks for sharing with us.

Thanks, Janet, for presenting it for us to read.
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Offline Ruth Ann Bice

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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2013, 08:31:05 PM »
Yes, I've enjoyed sharing in your life, Larry. Thanks, Janet.

Ruth Ann
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Offline JohnB

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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2013, 09:27:28 AM »
Interesting story Larry. thanks for sharing. Janet you are a gifted writer thank you for your time to do it.
Phil. 1: 21. For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.



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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2013, 11:19:09 AM »
 8)   ^-^  Thank you, John.
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Offline Larry Hanna

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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2014, 06:09:11 PM »
Janet, I had met to come here and read your writeup right after you posted it and kept forgetting.  Of course I knew the story.  You did a good job.  Also thank you to all my friends for your kind comments.  Jane, I do remember meeting you at the Marriott for the SN bash back in 1998 (if I recall the date properly).  I was never able to make it to another Bash but sure would have like to do so. 

Offline Ruth Ann Bice

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Re: Larry Hanna
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2014, 04:59:59 PM »
It's great to learn you're feeling better, Larry. We'll keep praying with you about your health and that of your family members.

Ruth Ann
...his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.


 


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