Jack Hastings


September 11, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Former longtime Mayor Jack Hastings died Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, at Allen County Regional Hospital. He was 90.
Hastings served as mayor from 1965 to 1980 and was instrumental in seeing Iola secure a new library, fire station and city hall.
It was also during his tenure that Gates Corporation, Berg Manufacturing and Intercollegiate Press came to town. Those years during the 1970s have come to be known as the second heyday for Iola, surpassed only by the gas boom days of the 1920s.
Hastings was born Feb. 9, 1924, in Douglas, Wyo., the son of Philip Lewis and Flora Melinda Wellner Hastings.
As a child he also lived in Washington and Colorado before the family settled in Joplin, Mo., in 1931. After he graduated from Joplin High School in 1942 he joined the Navy and trained to be a pilot.
He served aboard the USS Nashville and the USS St. Paul as senior pilot. He crashed in the South Pacific but was rescued uninjured.
He was honorably discharged with the rank of ensign in June 1946. He was awarded the Victory Medal for his service in the Pacific Theatre, the American Theatre and the Philippine Liberation.
On Feb. 17, 1946, he and Alice Garcelon Lincoln were married. He went back to work at Fox Theatres, a job he began in high school. He served as the manager of The Orpheum in Joplin.
From there Jack and Alice moved to Marysville, Kan., then to Iola on Flag Day, June 1949, where he worked as manager of the Fox Iola and Uptown Theatres until 1950. He also purchased and managed the Pic Theatre for several years.
Hastings was instrumental in building the 54 Drive-In Theatre outside of Gas with partners Dr. Gerald Pees and John Krupp. Hastings managed the drive-in until 1975.
Hastings worked in the advertising department of The Iola Regiser from 1952 to 2012.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Charles, in 1988, a daughter-in-law, Kathy, and four grandchildren, Eric, Reuben and Cara Hastings, and Philip Hastings.
Survivors include his wife, Alice; two sons, Ladd, and Mark and Chardel Hastings; six grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be announced Monday.

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