Joseph Levings Hanna
March 24, 1924 – April 4, 2019
Joseph Levings Hanna, of Spring Harbor in Columbus, Georgia, passed away on April 4, 2019. A graveside service to honor Mr. Hanna and his wife Alice Hanna will be held on the grounds of Fort Mitchell National Cemetery at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 30, followed by a reception for family and friends at the home of Gail and Nick McNair.
Joe Hanna was born in Herndon, Georgia on March 24, 1924 to Joseph Stevens Hanna and Cecile Reddish Hanna. The only brother of three sisters, Joe remembered the family moving many times, as his father worked in the numerous lumber mills throughout the Southeast. Joe attributed his work ethic to his parents, who taught him to earn his own money by doing odd jobs at the mills, delivering newspapers, milking cows, and assisting a local doctor. At fourteen, he met Alice his first day of school in Crystal River, Florida. He thought, "That's the one for me." The couple married in 1946, and in 2018, celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary.
In high school, at only 115 pounds, Joe made first string in every sport. Soon after graduation, on his seventeenth birthday he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served as an aviation radio operator on reconnaissance missions in the vicinity of the Panama Canal.
After the end of WWII, he and Alice were married, and Joe joined Florence Saw Works, the family business in South Carolina. He began his apprenticeship in the maintenance of industrial knives and saws which developed into a field sales career with Simonds Saw Company. Twelve years later, he returned to Florence Saw Works, bought the business from his father and changed the name to Hannaco Knives and Saws. He steadily built up the family company and in 1970 took on a European partner that provided him with the ability to manufacture products and distribute them through international sales channels. Joe traveled to many countries never losing sight of the necessity of innovation and improving his customers’ bottom line. His small family operation grew from 2 employees to over 500, and when he retired from the company in 1986 it was an international enterprise conducting business in over 50 countries.
In his younger days, Joe was a private pilot, flying his family to schools and family reunions. He was also an avid golfer, voracious reader, weekend farmer, and amateur ornithologist. After retirement, with the care and education of three children behind them, the Hannas moved to St. Augustine Beach, then to the Columbus, Georgia area.
Joseph Levings Hanna is predeceased by his wife Alice Burgess Hanna (2018). He is survived by their children: Gail McNair (Nick), Cecile Goding (Dave) and Yorke Hanna (Barbara); grandchildren: Hanna Webster (Clark), Joshua Goding, Alison Whitley (Josh), Noel Hanna, Joseph Hanna (Deanna) and Lillian Hanna; great-grandchildren: Emma Webster, Ross Webster, Jake Whitley and Elizabeth Whitley; and Jess Dixon, his sister.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Columbus Hospice (https://www.columbushospice.com) at 7020 Moon Road, Columbus GA 31909 would be much appreciated.
Graveside Funeral Service
Fort Mitchell National Cemetery
553 Hwy 165