TRIBUTE TO LENN HANNON-HON. GREG WALDEN (Extensions of Remarks - February 25, 2004)
HON. GREG WALDEN
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2004
Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise today to pay special tribute to a fine American, a true gentleman and a good friend of mine, Lenn Hannon, on the occasion of his retirement from the Oregon State Senate. It is a pleasure to honor Lenn and his lovely wife, Dixie, who have stood together in public life for more than 30 years and together have made invaluable contributions to the State of Oregon and its people.
Mr. Speaker, Lenn Hannon traces his interest in public service to 1960 when, as a high school junior and member of the school band, Lenn had an opportunity to shake hands with a young Senator campaigning for President named John F. Kennedy. Inspired by Kennedy's call to public service, Lenn would go on to live his life by Kennedy's famous admonition: "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."
Lenn began his career in public service in 1974, when he won a seat in the State Senate by a mere 37 votes. During his first years in the Senate, Hannon developed a reputation as a smart, open-minded and fair lawmaker whose concern for the people he represented was far greater than his concern for himself. In 1980, Lenn switched parties to become one of only seven Republicans in the State Senate. Over the years he gradually built up seniority to become the Senate's senior Republican and Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. During this time, he devoted himself to a wide range of issues, from strengthening education and arts programs to combating substance abuse and managing federal land issues. One of his greatest accomplishments in the State Legislature was his success in helping to develop Southern Oregon University into a premiere educational institution for southern Oregon. The reverence his name inspires among SOU faculty, staff and alumni is a testament to his enduring contributions to the university.
Mr. Speaker, now that Lenn's service in the State Senate has come to an end, Lenn will serve on the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision, a role that will allow him to continue serving the citizens of Oregon. He and Dixie will move to Salem for the new job, but their hearts will always remain in the community where they are so well loved.
Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in congratulating these extraordinary Americans, Lenn and Dixie Hannon. I would like to thank them both personally for all they have done for the people of southern Oregon, the Second District, and the State of Oregon. I wish Lenn and Dixie and their entire family all the best in future endeavors.