Henry H. 'Buddy' Hanna Jr., 89, legislator and Shore businessman


Henry Harlan "Buddy" Hanna Jr., a former state legislator and Eastern Shore businessman, died of Parkinson's disease June 8 at his home in Pompano Beach, Fla. The former Salisbury resident was 89.,

Mr. Hanna was born and raised in Salisbury and graduated in 1939 from Valley Forge Military Academy.

He attended the University of Virginia and during World War II served with the Army in Europe.

After the war, Mr. Hanna returned to Salisbury and began a long career as an entrepreneur.

In the late 1940s, he was a founding partner of Hanna Kremer & Tilghman Insurance Co. and another business, Hanna Real Estate, which built housing developments on the Eastern Shore.

A Democrat, Mr. Hanna was elected to the Salisbury City Council in 1948, and two years later to the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served three terms.

From 1955 to 1958, he was chairman of the 26-member Eastern Shore delegation in the House.

Mr. Hanna's political career ended in 1962, when he made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for Wicomico County's Senate seat.

In the early 1960s, he joined with business partner Milford Twilley and established the Wicomico Building Supply Co., which built post offices in Ocean City, Fruitland and throughout Delaware.

"In the 1960s, when local bus service ended, he and several partners formed Salisbury Bus Service, which provided service to Salisbury, Delmar, Crisfield and Ocean City," said a daughter, Virginia Lee Brassel of Annapolis.

Other business interests included ownership of the Virginia Lee and Nancy Clair apartment buildings on Ocean City's boardwalk.

He was the former owner of the Surfside 8 Motel in Ocean City, and later became part owner with a son of the Marina Deck Restaurant there.

Mr. Hanna was a member of the Salisbury Jaycees, Elks Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He had lived in Pompano Beach since 2003, and enjoyed hunting and fishing.

He was a communicant of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Salisbury, where a memorial service will be held at noon June 30.

Also surviving are his wife of 23 years, the former Jacqueline Vigor; two sons, Henry H. Hanna III and Frank B. Hanna Sr., both of Salisbury; another daughter, Nancy Clair Godwin of Spruce Pine, N.C.; two stepdaughters, Tracey Aljabaari of Fort Myers, Fla., and Sallie Gordy of Ocean City; 10 grandchildren; and a great-grandson. His marriage to the former Mable Brown ended in divorce.

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