Major General Francis E. Hazard (Ret.), 88, of Urbana, died on Monday, July 3, 2017, at Mercy Memorial Hospital, OH. He was born May 20, 1929, in Gloversville, NY, the son of Francis A. Hazard and Clara E. (Smith) Hazard.
Throughout his life, he had a dual career in the military and higher education. Following high school graduation, Hazard entered the U.S. Coast Guard Academy as a cadet in New London, CT. He served a part-time commitment for 33 years in the USAF Reserves as an Ohio Air National Guard fighter pilot (16 years) and airlift pilot (16 years). Earning a direct commission as second lieutenant in 1955, he was rated fighter pilot in 1957. After flying airlift for the 145th Aeromedical Squadron, Hazard transferred to the 164th Tactical Fighter Squadron in Mansfield, OH, where he flew fighters and later airlift. At State Headquarters, he rose through the ranks as director of operations, deputy chief of staff, and chief of staff. General Hazard was a command pilot with more than 4,800 flying hours in the C-46, C-47, C-119, T-28, T-33, T-34, F-84F, F100D/F and C-130B aircraft.
Concurrent with his military career, he devoted 45 years of professional service to the field of higher education. Dr. Hazard was the founding dean of the Kent State University Tuscarawas campus in New Philadelphia, where he served for 18 years. In 1980, he became the dean and director of The Ohio State University Marion campus for 12 years, and concluded his career as president of Urbana University for 10 years. Dr. Hazard, president emeritus, retired in 2001. The institutions he led experienced positive financial growth as a result of his utilizing community leadership and corporate support. Dr. Hazard authored numerous publications, six of which appear in Research in Education, and one in The Journal of Extension.
A lifetime of community service included chairman of the board of The Marion Bank, chair of Marion County Youth Services Advisory Committee, regional vice president of American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, USAF Academy Liaison Officer, United Way director, president of the Ohio Outdoor Historical Drama Association Inc., producer of “Trumpet in the Land,” congressional adviser to the Military Affairs Committee, National Vice President of Symposiarchs Fraternity, decades of Rotary membership, Grimes Foundation trustee, board member of the Family Services Agency of Clark and Champaign County, and member of the Johnny Appleseed Foundation. He was an avid reader, and enjoyed skiing, fishing, golfing, travel and spending time with grandchildren.
Dr. Hazard was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Virginia (Beck), of nearly 60 years, and is survived by three daughters, Rebecca (Michael) Inkrott, Valerie (Jay) Mueck and Laura Brockway; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; sisters, Esther (Carl) Looman, Irene Mang and Carol Traylor.
A gathering of family and friends will be held Monday, July 10, 2017, from 4-7 in the Urbana Vernon Funeral Home and one hour prior to funeral services to be held on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at the Urbana United Methodist Church, with Jim Lillibridge officiating. Burial will follow at Oakdale Cemetery, Urbana.
Memorial contributions may be made in Dr. Hazard’s memory to the WhereHouse food pantry and outreach, Urbana United Methodist Church, 238 N. Main St., Urbana, OH 43078.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.vernonfh.com.