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Published: Wednesday, 8/1/2001

Bowling Green attorney known for his compassion

BOWLING GREEN - Martin Shad Hanna, a long-time lawyer here, was killed Monday when the sport utility vehicle he was driving went out of control and rolled over several times on I-90, about four miles west of Columbus, Mont.

He was helping move his youngest daughter, Katharine, 26, who was a passenger. She was hurt slightly.

Mr. Hanna, 60, of Grand Rapids, Ohio, was a partner with his brothers, Harold and Drew, in the family law firm they started with their father, Martin L. Hanna, in 1971.

He was a member of the Bowling Green State University board of trustees from 1976 to 1986, serving as chairman in 1985-86.

Harold Hanna said his older brother was eager to help his three children, especially when they were moving. He drove to Iowa City, Ia., Saturday to help his daughter pack for a move to Seattle.

They were towing her car when he lost control of his Chevrolet Blazer. It rolled over several times and came to rest in the median.

“It's just typical of him to be doing something for the kids and, unfortunately, there's too much tragedy on the highways,” Harold said.

Katharine was treated for minor injuries after the accident about 4:30 p.m.(MST). Harold said she had gotten a job in Seattle, where her older sister lives.

Mr. Hanna's death came as a shock to the local legal community.

Max Rayle, a long-time friend and colleague, said news of the accident was devastating.

“I thought he was a skilled trial lawyer, a compassionate man, someone whose word was his bond,” Mr. Rayle said. “You could trust it when he told you.”

Mr. Hanna had called him last week to see if he could handle a case for him in Hancock County because the magistrate didn't want to grant a continuance and he wanted to help his daughter move. Mr. Rayle said he'd take care of it.

“I'm really going to miss him. I've had a lot of close friends over a short time. I've never had a better friend over a long time,” Mr. Rayle said.

Harry Roebke, 86, remembers when Mr. Hanna joined his firm right out of law school.

“I was with him at the beginning,” Mr. Roebke said. “I couldn't say an unkind thing about Shad Hanna. He was a good lawyer. You could trust Shad, and he was a smart lawyer. He was well-educated.”

Harold Hanna said his brother's work in recent years primarily involved civil cases, including wrongful death and personal injury accidents.

“He liked to try cases and he also liked to write articles and lecture and instruct. That was something he got a kick out of,” Harold said.

Mr. Hanna lectured at BGSU, Kent State University, the Medical College of Ohio, and for various associations. In recent years he worked with the Ohio State Fire Commission, lecturing on legal liability for emergency responders.

Mr. Hanna received his bachelor of science degree from Purdue University and his law degree from American University.

He was active in the Republican Party and the Young Republicans locally and nationally. He was active in the Ohio Jaycees and was an elder and lay minister in the Presbyterian Church.

Surviving are his wife, Ann, whom he married in 1998; his daughters, Jennifer Ott and Katharine Hanna; son, Jonathan; stepchildren, Jenny Ginn and Kelly Asmus; brothers, Harold and Drew, and sister, Caryl McCormick.

The body will be in the Peinert Funeral Home, Tontogany, after 5 p.m. tomorrow. Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in First Presbyterian Church, Bowling Green.

The family requests tributes to First Presbyterian Church or to a charity of the donor's choice.



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