State acknowledges June Hannon | March 21, 2008 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Living - March 21, 2008

State acknowledges June Hannon

Energetic Republican recognized for her years of community service

by Meghan Neal

God, country, community. That's the mantra of June Hannon, who was recently named Woman of the Year for 2008 for District 15 by state Assemblyman Guy Houston.

"God through my church, country through the Republican Party and community, these days through the museum," Hannon explained, sitting on a park bench outside the Museum of the San Ramon Valley.

"I thought, yeah, those are the three main things I do," she went on. "And they tie together."

Hannon was named Woman of the Year for her extensive contribution to the community. She volunteers much of her time at the museum and served as its chairwoman up until last year. She founded the Danville A.M. Toastmasters, a speaking organization, 25 years ago and is still a member. She also attends and is an active volunteer at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Walnut Creek.

"She has strong principles," said Roxanne Lindsey, office manager for the assemblyman. "Everyone pretty much knows what she stands for."

Hannon is extremely devoted to the Republican Party, and has been since she was young. Sitting outside the museum she illustrates this point, motioning to an elephant pin - the party symbol - that's fastened to the front of her turtleneck sweater.

"I'm very, very patriotic," she said. "I always have been. I would see a flag as a child and just stop and look at it. I remember sitting at my desk (in school) looking at the flag. And I can remember Mrs. Flemming saying, 'June, pay attention!'"

"She always wears a flag," related Lindsey, who is also a personal friend of Hannon's. "She is just such a patriot and has given back to the community, so the assemblyman wanted to recognize her."

Hannon's favorite holiday is the Fourth of July and her favorite colors are red, white and blue. And, she carries the U.S. Constitution with her wherever she goes.

Her passion for politics started when she was in her 20s, in 1952. Dwight Eisenhower was running for president and had chosen a man named Richard Nixon as his running mate. Hannon said she was so impressed with Nixon after seeing him on TV, she called up the Young Republicans that very night and joined the group.

Her political debut was as an "I like Ike" girl - she and the other girls wore white dresses with "Ike" written all over them. She has worked on a political campaign every year since.

When Hannon was pregnant with her son she told fellow Young Republicans that she was "building the party - one person at a time." She joked she would name her son "Incumbent" so it looked good on a ballot. When the baby was born, all her friends called him Incumbent.

"So as you can see, my whole life - my adult life - was involved," she said, laughing at the story.

At St. Paul's church, Hannon volunteers her time as an usher, a greeter, and with the church's Good Samaritans service.

"St. Paul's is a very active community and June is very active in our community," said Bill Ennis, also a volunteer, who has known Hannon since they were kids. "I think June would do anything for anyone. A finer compliment I could not make and a finer lady I do not know."

From outside the museum, Hannon looks out over the town of Danville. She loves its "smallness," she said, and remarked on how it's evolved over the years. "I've seen it grow and change so much. I think it's changing nicely."

Last week, Hannon attended a ceremony at the state capital in Sacramento that honored the recognized women from each of California's 80 districts. Each woman was given a plaque in celebration of the award.

Hannon said she was excited and a little awed to receive the recognition.

"For heaven's sake," she said playfully. "I'm just doing what I'm doing."


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