John Davant "Jack" Hanahan, enthusiastic North Carolina mineral collector, was born in Charleston, South Carolina on August 5, 1924, the son of Elizabeth Hardin Davant and John Hanahan. He graduated from St. Andrews School in Middletown, Delaware, and went on to earn his BS and MA Degrees (1944) in Education from the University of Tennessee.
In 1952 he joined the faculty at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina, teaching Geology, Geography and Spanish, rising to full Professorship and Chairman of the Geosciences Division until his retirement in 1987. Following retirement he remained active as Professor Emeritus and as an effective fundraiser among the many alumni he had taught. He also served as curator at the National Science Museum in Charleston, was an active member of Eastern Federation of Mineralogical Societies, served as Rules Chairman and National Uniform Rules Chairman for American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, served as President of the Southern Appalachian Mineralogical Society, helped found the Friends of Mineralogy, received recognition for his work with the collection of the Colburn Museum in Asheville, and published several articles in Rocks & Minerals on North Carolina minerals. He helped to establish Wildacres as a learning center for the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical Societies, and also worked to establish the fine collection of North Carolina minerals at the Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum near Linville, North Carolina. He was also Executive Editor of Rocks & Minerals for many years, until his death on October 8, 2001, in Charlotte.
According to his Pi Kappa Alpha obituary: "A great joy in his life were his enduring friendships and his continued connection with former students. Throughout his life, Jack was a spirited individualist who pushed his students to excel and to taste `the good life.` His standards for himself were no less high as he strove to achieve complete satisfaction from whatever he engaged in - travel, music, reading, gardening, conversation or social evenings. Jack was generous with his gifts to others, which in some ways were exquisite, unique or exotic. He leaves a legacy of ‘Hanahan stories' that will be exchanged by students, friends and family for many years."
Social Security Death Index.
World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946.
Obituary, "John Davant Hanahan" (2001) The Gaston Gazette, October 12.
COOK, R.B. (2002) In memoriam: John "Jack" Hanahan. Rocks & Minerals, 77 (2), 132-133.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2018)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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