Meet Dick and Mary Hanson, 2023 Parade Marshals.
Dick and Mary met while working at Boeing Manufacturing where Dick worked as an electrician, wiring planes. He worked on KC135s and may have even worked on the President’s plane. Mary worked in the blueprint office at Boeing. They would go bowling at 3:00 am after their shift at Boeing. They married in 1958, became parents to Patti and Judi while living in Seattle, then decided to move back home to Touchet. There they enlarged their family with three more girls: Traci, Jenni and Polli. They farmed in the Touchet-Gardena area for a few years before Dick went to work on the Walla Walla County Road Department.
There he became the District Foreman for 30 years before retiring in 2000. While he was foreman, he and Mary became members of the local volunteer fire department. Mary was the Dispatcher and Dick the Fire Chief until they retired. Mary was also a Tri Community homemaker, Department of Ecology Air Quality Monitor and Walla Walla County Burn Control Officer. She volunteered as Open Class and 4-H Superintendent for several years, as well as a 4-H leader of a sewing club for 50 years. Mary is also a past Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days board member and an 1866 Club member.
Dick was a member of the Touchet-Gardena Lions Club and Walla Walla Elks Club. He was a Touchet School board member for 20 years and was honored in 2010 as the Touchet Hall of Fame Inductee. After retiring from the Road Department, he became a Touchet school bus driver for 20 years before he retired in May 2022.
Dick and Mary were the Southeastern Washington Fair (now Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days) Parade Chairs from 1977 to 1997. They have volunteered countless hours for the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days. Until recently, Dick and Mary made all the unique barnwood frames for the Fair Court portraits displayed in the Pavilion. They had two daughters that were on the Fair Court and three daughters participated in the Wagonettes Drill Team. They continue to sponsor several Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days Special Awards for exhibitors.
Dick and Mary now spend their days keeping up with their ten grandchildren and two great grandsons. Everything from school events to sporting events and traveling all over to support them all. They hardly ever miss anything.