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Lt. Col. Alden George Hannum, Ret., died Wednesday, June 17, 2015, while walking in Colonial Williamsburg, which was one of his favorite pastimes. He died peacefully and quickly, which he talked about doing when the time came. He also wanted to end his life doing something he enjoyed. Both of these wishes were fulfilled. He was 82.
Al was the son of the late David and Rhona Hannum of Putney, Vermont.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Loretta Jeter Hannum; their two children, David Alden Hannum and Tamara Leigh Hannum Bizzell and her husband Jack; four grandchildren, Abigail Taylor Hannum, Zachary Alden Hannum, Jack Donald Bizzell and Jillian Leigh Bizzell; a sister, Martha Hannum O’Connor, of Brattleboro, Vermont; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Col. David Bentley Hannum.
Born in Brattleboro, Vermont, Al grew up in the adjacent town of Putney. He graduated from Brattleboro High School before continuing his education at the University of Virginia where he received his Bachelor of Science degree, later completing his master’s degree at The College of William and Mary. While at the University of Virginia, Al was part of the Army ROTC, gaining his commission as a second lieutenant upon graduation.
He entered the military service in June of 1955. In 1956, he served on the Dew Line Project in Alaska before attending flight school in Camp Gary, Texas, where he received his fixed-wing training followed by rotary-wing training at Ft. Walters, Texas and Ft. Rucker, Alabama. After a short assignment at Ft. Eustis, Al was assigned to a helicopter company at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, followed by assignment to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.
In 1960, Al traveled to Munich, Germany with his bride, Loretta, for an extended four-year assignment. Their son, David, was born in Stuttgart, Germany. The family returned to Ft. Benning, Georgia in 1964, where Al was assigned to the First Air Cavalry Division, before deploying to Vietnam in 1965. From 1968 to 1969, Al served a second tour in Vietnam where he commanded the 142nd DS Transportation Maintenance Company. He returned in 1969 to the Transportation Engineering Agency in Newport News where he served until 1973 when he went to Thailand on an accompanied tour with his wife and two children.
He served as transportation officer for the U.S. Army JUSMAG in Bangkok until 1976. While there, the family enjoyed visiting many countries, including Laos, Singapore, Malaysia and Burma. Al returned to the Transportation School and Post Headquarters at Ft. Eustis until being assigned to the Logistics Command at Ft. Lee where he retired in 1981.
Al was a master Army aviator and received the following awards while in service: the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with 18 Oak Leaf Clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.
From 1981 to 1986, Al was at Ft. Story with Bell Aerospace; however, Al spent much of his retirement as an associate broker with the former GSH Real Estate Company located in Williamsburg. The job suited Al to a “T” as he loved meeting new people and helping them in finding their dream home or in helping with relocation. In 2003, he was awarded the first Carolyn Moseley Ethics Award by the Williamsburg Area of Realtors.
After leaving GSH, Al spent time doing what he loved best: traveling with his wife and his grandchildren to national parks, New England, Hilton Head, Orlando and favorite Southwest locations such as Sedona and the Grand Canyon. When not traveling, he loved to garden and work in the yard. The deer, the birds and the animals around his Kingspoint home will surely miss him!
A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, 2015, at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg. A visitation with friends and family will take place following the service. Interment will take place at Cedar Grove Cemetery at a later date with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Army Transportation Museum Foundation, Drawer D, Fort Eustis, A 23604-0320 or to Williamsburg Montessori School, 4200 Longhill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23188.
Please leave online condolences for the family at Nelsen Funeral Home.
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