TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

Harold Luther “Hank” Hiner

October 23, 1922 - August 17, 2021

Harold Luther Hiner, a lifetime resident of Ashland, Ohio, died August 17, 2021, just shy of reaching his 99th birthday. Known to friends as “Hank,” he was born in 1922 to Edith Norton Hiner and John P. Hiner.

Hank graduated from Ohio State University with degrees in Animal Science and Rural Economics. While at OSU, Hank was a member of the international award-winning University Livestock Judging Team. He was in his third year at Ohio State when he heard the news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on the radio, and immediately enlisted in the army and fought in World War II with the 301st Regiment of the 94th Infantry Division. During the Battle of the Bulge, his company spearheaded the attack on a German stronghold near Orscholz. They penetrated the Siegfried Line, but were trapped on a hill. After enduring heavy fire for two days, he was captured by the Germans and taken as a prisoner of war. After three months, he was liberated by the British Armored Division. He achieved rank of Corporal and was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Upon returning from the war, he married his sweetheart, Betty Lou “Liz” Wells, and finished his studies. After graduation, he worked as a farm compliance inspector for Pet Milk. Hank spent twenty years in the animal feed business, building and operating the Hayesville Feed Company and manufacturing Hanx Feeds. After completing a course at the New York Institute of Finance, Hank became a stockbroker with Prescott Ball and Turben, and spent twenty years in the business until his retirement in 1986.

He was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, where he served on the church council and the finance committee. He was president of the New Pittsburg Cemetery Association, and a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Former POW Organization, and the American Legion 749 in Jeromesville, Ohio. Hank and Liz established annual gifts for Trinity Lutheran Church, Samaritan Hospital, and the Ashland County Community Foundation.

Hank was a gifted drummer, winning the National Snare Drum Contest and playing in the Ohio State marching band. He enjoyed playing the drums into his later years, even after significant hearing loss, and would often entertain family and friends with his talent.

Hank was married to his adoring wife, Liz, for nearly 71 years. The couple had three daughters, three granddaughters, and three great granddaughters. Hank often joked that he was “surrounded by women” and laughingly lamented that he wished to see his genes in male offspring.

Some of Hank’s most cherished memories were of summers spent with friends and family on Lake Temagami in northern Ontario, Canada. Hank and Liz additionally enjoyed world travel including a trip to the Holy Land with his church, a commemorative World War II European tour with the 94th Division, and a trip to South America with family. In his retirement years, he wrote his autobiography. Hank had many friends, and no enemies. He will be missed greatly.

Hank’s granddaughters will host a virtual memorial service on Friday, August 20, where friends and family can share memories, celebrate, and toast Hank’s life.

Hank was a member of the marching band in 1941 and 1942. He played Snare drum.