John Lawrence Hall
The Muncy High School would like to announce the induction of their newest member of the Academic Hall of Fame, Mr. John Lawrence Hall. John Hall, a graduate of Muncy High School class of 1945, is being inducted into the Hall of Fame for his service to our country and outstanding service to the environment.
John Lawrence Hall is a part of what Tom Brokaw has dubbed “The Greatest Generation”. He made a commitment to his country at a very young age. Mr. Hall turned 17 on January 1st, 1945, that is the day he reported to the United States draft board and told them it was his 18th birthday. Being in the midst of World War II the draft board did not question him about his age nor did they ask for any proof. The principal of Muncy High School, Mr. Engelhardt, did not question the academic credentials of John Lawrence Hall, allowing him to leave school early that year for his induction into the United States Army in April of 1945. Mr. Engelhardt still granted John Hall his diploma at the end of the school year despite the fact that John’s graduation night was spent in basic training.
John Lawrence Hall’s life was probably saved by President Truman on August 6, 1945 when the president decided to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and three days later on Nagasaki. In total John spent two years in the United States Army, he never saw front line combat, but he sure did not take that into consideration when he made the decision in January of his senior year to join the fight.
After John’s service to our country, education became his priority again. Over the course of the next five years he would earn a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State in June of 1951 and a Master of Forestry degree from Yale University in June of 1952.
Throughout John’s summer months during his college years he worked in places such as; The Sierra National Forest in North Fork, California, The Allegheny National Forest in Northwestern Pennsylvania, The Alaskan Highway in Chistochina, Alaska and the Alaska Forest Research Center in Hollis, Alaska. John would continue to work for the U.S. Forest Service and serve the environment for which he so deeply cares about for the next 60 years.
John worked as a forester, district ranger, and assistant forest supervisor for the National Park Service in the beginning of his career in the states of Alaska and Montana. During that time he supervised a 50 year timber sale of 8.5 billion board feet of lumber. Early in his career Mr. Hall also acquired a Coast Guard skipper’s license, was active in the ski patrol, became an avalanche instructor for the National Ski Patrol, and participated in a brown bear survey with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Juneau, Alaska. His work involved timber management, wildlife management, and forest fire prevention.
The late 1960’s took John Lawrence Hall to places like Milwaukee, Wisconsin as a Deputy Division Chief for the U.S. Forest Service and Washington D.C. as the Assistant Executive Director for The Wilderness Society. Although these moves brought success and promotion to the career of John Hall he was not long for a desk job by 1971 he would return to his home away from home Alaska and he would spend the rest of his life there. John worked for the U.S. Forest Service in various supervisory roles until his retirement in 1979. Mr. Hall chose not to retire at this point in his life rather he decided to start a second career that he is still doing today. In 1980 John founded Taiga Resource Consultants, in his home of Girdwood, Alaska. John has been the owner and president of this company for over 30 years now.
John married his wife Carol in July of 1954. In their 58 years of marriage John and Carol have stuck together despite the multiple moves they had to make as a result of John’s career. They have five children and four grandchildren. All five of their children have jobs in which they serve their communities where they live. They undoubtedly learned that trait just by watching their father Mr. John Lawrence Hall.
The 2012 inductee into the Muncy High School Hall of Fame- Mr. John Lawrence Hall was unable to make the long trek from Girdwood, Alaska to Muncy. John’s sister, Mrs. Rita Dugan, accepted her brother’s induction into the Muncy High School Academic Hall of Fame on June 8, 2012.