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Neighbors: Looking back with a long-time Kennett citizen

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ada McHaney has been a well-respected member of the Kennett community since the 1940's. Although, she was not born and raised here, she says that this is a community she has never wanted to leave.

McHaney was born in in 1926 to Arthur and Tennessee Hinson and grew up in Lexington, Tenn.. After graduating from high school, she came to visit her two older brothers who were living in Kennett at the time. While visiting, she learned of a secretarial position at a law office in town, applied for the job and got it. It was only a part-time position but she stayed at the firm for four years before moving on to another law firm in town where she worked as a secretary until she retired in 1959.

It was at this law office where she met her future husband, the late Flake McHaney, a well-respected judge in Kennett. Working together for many years, they finally married in 1959 and were married for 49 years until he passed away in 2008.

The McHaney's have two sons, Patrick, a Dunklin County commissioner, and Jim who lives in Denver, Colo. They were also blessed with three grandchildren, Sam, 17, Heath, 14, and Jack, 11.

As the years went by, McHaney became very involved with the community because she has always felt you need to make a contribution if possible. Her two brothers were also involved in community work in the city.

Some of the organizations she has been involved in include in the 1940's, the 20th Century Club (a federated club that is no longer in existence). McHaney noted that this club even pre-dates the Kennett Chamber of Commerce.

Regarding the Chamber, she remembers how exciting it was to be in Kennett when the Chamber was formed.

"The Chamber was so needed and it was exciting to be here when it began," she said. She added that another thing the 20th Century Club was involved in was a Fall Festival, and a week's festival which preceded the Delta Fair. Proceeds from this event went to fund the construction of Jones Park and the old swimming pool. She remembers that other civic clubs in town were also involved with this venture. According to McHaney, the Kiwanis Club was responsible for obtaining the park.

"All the clubs were very active here," she said. "People worked for Kennett."

Present and past affiliations with other organizations include being a member of the Kennett Tomorrow Commission which was a support group for the Kennett Chamber of Commerce in the past, past President of Chapter CY of the P.E.O. sisterhood, member of the Advisory Council for Drug Free Schools, past President for the Kennett Educational Foundation, member of the Advisory Committee for SEMO and a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce.

She has served as a Sunday School teacher at the First Presbyterian Church in Kennett as well on various committees and presently is Clerk of the Session.

Besides serving her community, McHaney has also found the time to work fitness and exercise into her daily schedule. She has been a member of Body Mechanics for 14 years now, working with owner Andy Jones. She is his oldest client. At first, she sometimes didn't want to go to the gym but now it is a daily regimen that she actually looks forward to. She now works out twice a week and also does cardio.

"I think [the exercise program] is really important and it has served me well," McHaney said.

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Body Mechanics ! See future column!

-- Posted by conovox on Sat, Feb 2, 2013, at 5:29 PM

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