Houk to give Memorial Day message

Lloyd Hook will be the keynote speaker at the American Legion Memorial Day service at 11 a.m. Monday at Highland Cemetery.


Local News

May 22, 2024 - 2:19 PM

Lloyd Houk of Moran will be the keynote speaker at Monday’s Memorial Day service in the veterans section of Highland Cemetery. Register file photo

Lloyd Houk sums up his message for Memorial Day with three words — serving, honoring, and remembering. The 74-year-old Army veteran is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the American Legion Memorial Day service in Iola.

“My prayer is that people will go away from the service with the thought ‘I need to be more a part of the American Dream,’” Houk said. “That’s a sacrifice that has been made.”

Houk knows first-hand about sacrifice, having served in the Vietnam War. “I served in the 25th Medical Battalion in Vietnam,” he noted. He has been a member of the American Legion for more than 50 years.

Born and raised in Moran, Houk describes music and faith as his “therapy” through the years. Combining the two, he has served as a chaplain for many of those years. “I was the state chaplain for the American Legion for 10 years when I came out of the military in 1985,” he said. “I just kind of hung on to that title.”

He has worked with the funeral home in Moran since he was 15. “I’ve worked with Reuben at Feuerborn Funeral Service since he purchased the funeral home here in Iola,” he added. “I love to serve people.”

Houk travels a lot of weekends, filling pulpits for churches and getting the opportunity to share his musical talent. He has played the piano since a very early age, beginning lessons when he was 10. Houk describes music and performing as his “quiet space.”

For many years, Houk performed with a group called Three Rusty Nails, playing in notable venues including the Jim Stafford Theatre in Branson, Mo., and the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Mo. 

“We had a lot of fun.”

He has been married to wife, Nancy, for 51 years this past December. They both were named City Marshals for the Farm City Days parade in 2022. The pair have two children, son Anthony and daughter Andrea. Anthony lives in Parsons and is employed as the head basketball coach, while Andrea lives in Humboldt and works in radiology. He and Nancy have seven grandchildren.

Houk hopes community members will attend the 11 a.m. Memorial Day service on Monday in the veterans section of Highland Cemetery, 1800 N. Cottonwood, in Iola. 

“I hope people come out to hear the message about serving, honoring, and remembering,” he said. He added that he wants to relay the message of sacrifice, which makes America “the free country that we live in.”

July 2, 2024
May 28, 2024
March 15, 2023
October 12, 2022