Saturday, September 20, 2003

Thom Hanser was runner and writer

He worked 32 years for U.S. Postal Service

By Chris Mayhew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FLORENCE - Thomas R. "Thom" Hanser, a runner and a writer who worked as a real estate agent after retiring from the U.S. Postal Service in Cincinnati with 32 years service, died Saturday at University Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati. He was 63.

A health-conscious runner who tried his hand at writing just for fun, Mr. Hanser had many hobbies both before and after retirement, said his stepdaughter, Sara Barnett of Philadelphia.

"He enjoyed meeting new people and was really gregarious," she said.

He wrote for a local newspaper, The Dixie News, under the pen name Page Pennywit, because he just thought the name was funny, Barnett said.

"He wasn't writing anything controversial or anything," she said.

His stepdaughter said he wrote about movies and films.

"He saw everything that was out, from Hollywood blockbusters to art films," she said. "It was something while he didn't study it in school, he knew a lot about."

A runner for most of his life, Mr. Hanser was a former president of the Clifton Track Club in Cincinnati in the 1980s. Mr. Hanser organized the group's almost weekly 5-10K races, and would always come up with new routes for them.

"There is this whole subculture of racers in this area who do 5K or 10K races," Barnett said. "He developed a lot of really good friendships with those people."

Mr. Hanser also wrote for Ohio Runner Magazine, in which he profiled races and people from the Cincinnati area, said his stepdaughter.

After Mr. Hanser's retirement from the post office, he had a second career as a real estate agent for Sibcy Cline Realtors and for Star One Realtors.

Even with all his activities, Mr. Hanser made sure to put his family first, Barnett said.

"I think in his later years he really changed and became extremely family focused," said his daughter Sara. "His grandchild Noah was his whole universe. He would have wanted people to know that."

Other survivors include his wife, Carolyn Forrest Hanser; a daughter, Tara Hanser Gauvin of Plantation, Fla.; another stepdaughter, Shelley Barnett Pendley of Independence; three brothers, Ray of Erlanger, Richard of Florence and Roger of Covington; and two step-grandchildren.

Services have been held. Burial was in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Erlanger.

Memorials: American Cancer Society, Northern Kentucky Unit, Nicholas Center, Suite A-2, 6612 Dixie Highway, Florence, KY 41042; or Wellness Community of Northern Kentucky, 1717 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011.

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