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Martha Dean Dickson Hare

Funeral services for Martha Dean Dickson Hare will be held at 2:00 P.M., Friday, February 27, 2015 at the First Baptist Church of Mount Vernon with Clay Dixon and Jimmy Rogers officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery with Trey Brazil, Drew Conley, Mike Elliott, Wayne Foster, Jerry Hughes, Phillip Mattek, Billy Slaton, Jody Stanley, and Ryan Thompson serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Rody Alden and Shane Stanley. Visitation will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. Thursday evening at Sam B. Harvey Funeral Home in Mount Vernon.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that donations be made to the Franklin County Genealogical Society or the Fairview Cemetery.

Martha Dean Dickson Hare was born September 20, 1933 in Mt. Vernon, Texas.She was the oldest of four children born to Clay Dean Dickson and Beatrice Williams Dickson. She departed from this life on February 22, 2015 at Titus Regional Medical Center after a courageous four year battle with cancer. She was a member of the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Hagansport.

She finished high school at Sulphur Bluff, where she was captain of the basketball team. The team advanced to state and participated in the first Girls Championship University Interscholastic League Tournament in Austin in 1951. She was editor of the Bear year book and FFA Sweetheart her senior year. She married her sweetheart, Isom Heglar Hare, Jr. (Jr. Hare) on Dec. 20, 1950. They shared more than 50 years of marriage. The couple had three children, Deaneth Ann Hare Stanley of Hagansport Community, Mark Hare of Bogata, and Marcia Dewiece Hare Slack of Tyler.

The Hares began a dairy in 1953 on 76 acres and shortly after built their first Grade A Dairy Barn. The family grew the operation to include dairy barns at three sites on 1,100 acres. The family milks between 230 and 250 head of dairy cows and has a beef cattle operation of about 100 mother cows. The farm is in its 62nd year of operation.

In the early years of the family dairy operation, Mrs. Hare worked to supplement the family income. She was employed at the Wells-Lamont Factory (glove factory) in Mount Vernon and later at the H.D. Lee Jeans factory in Sulphur Springs.

Mrs. Hare began a long history of community service in 1968 when she helped to establish a rural water system. Spurred by the need for water for the dairies and other rural residences, the North Franklin Water Supply Corporation was chartered in July 1969. Six months later, January 1970, water began flowing to rural customers in northern and eastern Franklin County.

For 30 years Mrs. Hare was the secretary/treasurer of the North Franklin Water Supply Corporation. She served until it consolidated with the Cypress Springs Water Supply Corporation, now Cypress Springs Special Utility District in 1998. In 1969, she received a plaque for Outstanding Service to the Hagansport Community for helping to get rural water to that area.

In 1970, Mrs. Hare helped to organize the Hagansport Saddle Club and was involved with the Hagansport Community Center. In 1975, she was on a committee that planned the Franklin County Centennial celebration.

Martha joined the Franklin County Historical Association in 1992 and continues to serve as a member of the organization’s board of directors. She formed a genealogical division under the umbrella of the FCHA. In 1997, the fledgling genealogy organization was ready to stand on its own as the Franklin County Genealogical Society.

Shortly after that, the historic Parchman-Meredith Dry Goods building was purchased by the FCGS with donations and a loan. The refurbished building now serves as the organization’s headquarters and research center. Mrs. Hare was president for a total of 10 years before taking a sabbatical and is the current president of the organization.

Mrs. Hare is as a member and supporter of the Hopkins County Genealogical Society, the Texas and General Divisions of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Charles Buchanan Harris Chapter #2531 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Sulphur Springs, the Captain David Philips Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the First National Bank First Explorers, and the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.

In 1993, Martha petitioned the Public Utilities Commission to help bring toll free calling to the surrounding area and distributed many signed petitions to successfully help that cause.

Mrs. Hare took a leadership role in the family business as well. She was named to serve the remaining portion of her late husband’s term on the Southeast Area Council of Dairy Farmers of America Board in 2001. She was subsequently elected to three more two-year terms of her own. On the board, Mrs. Hare represented the east Texas portion of the council that includes 16-17 states.

In 2002, Mrs. Hare was appointed from the SEAC to the Dairy Max Board, which is part of the National Dairy Management, Inc. Board. She served as the board secretary until 2007.

She was named an Honorary Chapter Farmer by the Mount Vernon FFA Chapter in 1992. The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce honored Junior and Martha Hare in 1991 as Agriculturists of the Year. The Chamber also honored her as Woman of the Year in 1998 and as an inducted to the Franklin County Hall of Fame in 2007.

Her later projects have included the creation of two books. Mrs. Hare surveyed the Mount Vernon City Cemetery and published a book listing every marker and a map showing where the person is buried. Her second book was on Fairview Cemetery in northern Franklin County, near her home.

Martha was honored to be selected as Grand Marshal of the 55th Annual Hopkins County Dairy Festival and led the parade in June of 2014. She has always been a staunch and faithful supporter of the dairy industry as a whole.

She was preceded in death by her husband, I.H. Hare, Jr. her parents, Clay Dean and Beatrice Williams Dickson, her brothers Jack Dickson and Royce Dickson and her son in law, Tom Slack.

Martha is survived by her sister and her husband, Marjorie and Butch Jaggers of Mt. Vernon and a sister in law, Jeanette Elliott and husband Oscar Elliott of Mt. Vernon. Her children, Deaneth Stanley and husband, Van of Hagansport; Mark Hare and wife, Debbie of Bogata; and Marcia Slack of Tyler. Her grandchildren include Jody Stanley and wife Amy of Hagansport; Deanna Stanley and Billy Slaton of Hagansport; Katie Elliott and husband Mike Elliott of Lexington, Kentucky, Lacy Mattek and husband Phillip Mattek of Tyler, Molly Thompson and husband Ryan Thompson of Sugarland; Bliss Taylor of Plano and Trey Brazil of Tyler, and Sarah Hare of Bogata and fiancé, Drew Conley of Cooper.

Her great grandchildren include Rody, Breanna and Macy Alden and Savanna and Shane Stanley all of Hagansport; Amelia and Caroline Elliott of Lexington, KY Lauren Mattek of Tyler, Anna Kate Thompson of Sugarland and Baby Thompson due in May. Martha is also survived by her faithful friend and employee of 41 years, Wayne Foster and Vadie Foster and family. She also leaves to cherish her memory a host of extended family and friends.

Martha Hare loved her children, her grandchildren and the Lord. She also loved her community and her many, many friends.

Author: Staff Reporter

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