William Guy Hanna Jr.

Published 4:18 pm Monday, April 11, 2011

Sept. 11, 1935 –

April 7, 2011

The service celebrating the life of William Guy Hanna Jr. 75, of Crestview, Fla., was held on Monday, April 11, 2011 at First United Methodist Church of Crestview officiated by pastor Bruce Sheffield, and according to his plan, included son Redge, son-in-law Mark, brothers-in-law James and Ralph. Burial followed in Hannatown, Ga.

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William was born on Sept. 11, 1935, in pecan tree shaded Hannatown, Ga.—a community named after his own family—to mother Amanda Rebecca McDaniel and father William Guy, Sr. He died Thursday, April 7 at North Okaloosa Medical Center in Crestview, Fla.

He was one of five children; siblings included Mary Watson, Bernice Olivent, Sterling Hanna and Becky Nix. At an early age, William developed attributes that later distinguished his consistent behavior of assessing situations, defining directions, making goals and facilitating action.

While growing up in Hannatown, William believed the best job in the world was to be a rural mail carrier; it was extremely special to receive mail and there was a great freedom to ride in a car all day. This was a personal goal—a goal that was never realized specifically, but instead came to fruition through his management skills that allowed for millions of others to deliver and receive mail.

At the age of 20, he discovered his same valued attributes in a young stunning lady, Leverne Lastinger. William subsequently chose his wife to partner with to create a loving life filled with success and commitment. Gathered with friends and family, William married Leverne Lastinger on March 15, 1958 in Tallahassee. It would be an understatement to call his wife a support system throughout their entire marriage.

With Leverne’s input and support, William began his career with the United States Postal Office as a substitute clerk in Tallahassee in 1961. The role of this position involved a process where he would wait often more than fifteen hours through the night to be selected to work. He applied his motivational attribute to set himself apart and progressed to a regular clerk, then eventually received a promotion to a night supervisor. Simultaneously when living in Tallahassee, William practiced golf to enhance his position and association with business-minded competent peers. His relationship with people on the golf course served as a vehicle to facilitate many steps in his amazing life. He was soon afforded the opportunity to be tested for efficiency in how he manually sorted mail.

As a result of this test, William was sent from Tallahassee Post Office to Washington, DC as a Postal Analyst. This position was a national position where he was often called to utilize his logical skill set to improve teamwork, race relations, and efficiency in mail processing. In 1971, he was assigned to Jackson, Mississippi, where he was asked to be the District Finance Director, a position which he held for one year. The following nine years he was Sectional Center Manager for the state of Mississippi and dually the Postmaster of Jackson. While maintaining a family home and still delivering upon his commitment in Jackson, he simultaneously expanded his role to be the Regional Director of Finance for the Southern and Central regions of the United States, thus successfully navigating three executive positions at once.

In 1980, he moved from Jackson after he accepted a position as the Eastern Director of Finance in Philadelphia, Pa. In 1984 William and Leverne made a decision for William to accept a lateral transfer to become Sectional Center Manager of Georgia, and the Postmaster of Atlanta. Following a two-year stay at Atlanta, he and Leverne moved after he was called upon to take another national position in San Francisco as the Director of Finance for the Western United States.

William received multiple special recognitions and was asked to participate in many international executive forums and courses, including those at Harvard University and University of Southern California, where his peers elected him to be president of the class.

On July 1, 1989, William retired after 30 years of dedicated service to the United States Postal Service at the young age of 53. Initially, they used their beloved California as their base for travel and exploration of life. As the family grew, the couple felt compelled to relocate to be close to friends and family and moved to Crestview, FL. Upon moving to the Panhandle, he increased his activity investing financially in stocks and providing venture capital, with a focus specifically attending to developing people and their dreams. He personally viewed money in the stocks and investments as a way to facilitate more opportunity for his friends and family. William also continued to foster his passion for family, travel and golf; he proudly made four hole-in-ones during his lifetime. In Crestview he created Pacemakers Senior Golf Association to improve utilization of golf courses in North Florida, promoting a sense of community and purpose for many. Additionally, he was proud of the accomplishments and improvements made during his time as majority stockholder at Foxwood Country Club.

William, with his wife, looked for success each day, even as they enjoyed their daily word puzzles, devotionals, mutual spiritual growth and routine competition with family and friends in cards, golf and chess.

Even in his end, his strengths were exemplified; he utilized his refined behaviors to work with his healthcare professionals as he respectfully assessed his situations and tailored plans for a successful goal that matched his individual circumstance. Over the last few days and with God’s help, he gathered friends and family and directed his medical care team to achieve what was a peaceful completion of his last plan.

In his memory, William requested tangible expressions of love for the family in the form of flowers and/or donations directed to the Family Life Center at First United Methodist Church of Crestview. William requested that we thank and acknowledge the collaborative medical team at North Okaloosa Medical Center consisting of Dr. Shalit, Dr. Koszuta, Dr. Kolmetz, Dr. Christopher, the care team, specifically that of ICU nursing and respiratory, and especially his primary care partner, Dr. John Johnson.

It was a motivating force in his life to be fair; he was a motivating force for all those who knew him. William had a gift of logical thought and he assessed situations and tailored plans for success, and challenged all of us to embrace his proven process in our individual circumstances. He had a steadfast faith in the Lord that he set as an example for his family, and his faith in those surviving him will continue to motivate as memories of him are reminisced instead of newly formed.

William is survived by wife of 53 years Leverne Hanna of Crestview; daughter Rhonda and son-in-law Mark Fieger of Toms River, N.J., daughter Regina and son-in-law Reggie Crutchfield, Crestview, and son Redge Hanna of Atlanta; grandchildren Jhanna and her husband, Ryan Gilbert of Gainesville, Fla., Bethany and her husband, Evan Reynolds of Eatontown, N.J., Philip Crutchfield, of Crestview, Leah Fieger and her fiancé, Luke Purpuri, Toms River, Bailey and her husband, Luke Franzen, Omaha, Neb., Kara Fieger, Toms River, and Paige Crutchfield of Crestview; great-grandchildren Jase Franzen, Grace Reynolds and newborn Jackson Franzen, born 10 hours before William’s passing; siblings Mary and husband Ralph Watson, brother-in-law James Olivent, Sterling and wife Wanda Hanna, and Becky Nix.

William was predeceased by his mother, father, and sister Bernice Olivent.

Whitehurst Powell Funeral Home in Crestview, Fla., was in charge of the arrangements.