Howard C. Hanning, 79: Veteran also served others as teacher, scout leader

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PORTLAND — Howard C. Hanning, 79, died Dec. 13 at his home in Portland.

He was born Aug. 5, 1935, in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Brooklyn College, of the City University of New York. He then earned a master’s degree in history from Columbia University and taught in New York City public schools.

In January 1959, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and after a deployment to West Germany attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Commissioned as a second lieutenant, he was eventually assigned to the 24th Infantry Division in Germany, and then served in Vietnam with the 1st and 25th divisions. Upon his return to the U.S., he was stationed with the 6th Army headquarters at the Presidio in San Francisco.

Hanning then left active duty for five years, and worked in Flagstaff, Arizona, as a district executive of the Boy Scouts of America, of which he was a longstanding supporter and a boyhood member – earning the Eagle Scout award with Bronze Palm. He also worked as a civil service employee with the Army Reserve.

In 1977, Hanning returned to active duty with the reserve in New England. He served as part of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Infantry, until his retirement as a lieutenant colonel.

In retirement, he continued to assist the Army as an employee specializing in mobilization readiness at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. He also served as a disaster mitigation specialist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and brought that expertise to help improve community disaster readiness in Maine. During retirement, he also earned a master’s degree in public administration.

Hanning was a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association, and was selected to receive the District Award of Merit from the BSA Pine Tree Council. He also was active in retired veterans’ programs, and served as co-chairman of the Maine Army Retiree Council. In addition, he was a life member of the Military Officers Association of America and of Disabled American Veterans. By order of the secretary of the Army, Hanning was named a distinguished member of the Second Infantry Regiment.

Hanning is survived by his wife, Barbara Anne (Court) Hanning, and by three children from his previous marriage to Daphne E.R. Stephens: son Charles Hanning, his wife, Janet, and their son, Jacob, of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania; his daughter, Ruth Hanning Roche, and her sons, Kiernan, Aedan and Mateo, of Ashland, Massachusetts; and a son Akel Weld, his wife, Mahalet, and their daughter, Yididiya, of Baltimore. He is also survived by three stepchildren, Try L. Henckel, of El Paso, Texas, Lorinda Nelson, of Scarborough, and Peter Henckel, of Portland.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated on Dec. 20 at St. Pius X Church, in Portland. Interment with full military honors will be at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Grand Central Station P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163-4777.

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