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Most of the following biography was quoted from different news items that were published in the Hutchinson News, Hutchinson, Reno County, Kansas. Graciously contributed by Phyllis Long
WILLIAM HOWARD “HOD” HUMISTON
Mr. Humiston was born in Mitchell, Kansas on October 11, 1911 to Frank S. and Sallie Tilden Humiston, his mother being Sallie Hickman, the daughter of John Hickman. The family moved to Hutchinson, Kansas when he was 2 years old. Being one of eight children, he left high school after his father died to help support the family.
Less than a month after his marriage to Delcie Darleen Wray in 1942, Mr. Humiston was inducted into the U. S. Navy and became the first recruit at the Hutchinson Naval Air Station. After 33 months, he left the Navy as a first class petty officer. After returning home, he and his wife adopted two children. Dixie Wray, and Howard Scott who died in 1989.
From 1947 to 1959, Mr. Humiston was the American Legion club manager at the Bisonte Hotel in Hutchinson and was the master of ceremonies for the traveling swing bands that came to play here. It was after his stint with the Bisonte that he began his career in radio and television.
Mr. Humiston was the first television sportscaster in Kansas, working for KTVH, the former name for Channel 12. He also covered sports and news on radio, and was instrumental in bringing the national junior college basketball tournament to Hutchinson, where it has been played since 1949, and was the volunteer publicity director and master of ceremonies for the tournament. During his years as a radio announcer, he covered Big 8 and high school sports events, as well as spot news events from a mobile unit. In 1979, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters honored Humiston by inaugurating an award for Kansas Broadcasters in his name. The Hod Humiston Award, of which Humiston was the first recipient, is bestowed yearly.
Mr. Humiston served on the Hutchinson City Commission from 1961 to 1967, including a year as mayor. The city’s Sports Arena has an office area named for him known as the Humiston Center offices, dedicated in late 1981. His picture hangs in the Sports Arena next to a plaque that reads:
“This plaque is dedicated to the memory of William Howard Hod Humiston, who served on the American Legion-NJCAA basketball committee from the first committee in 1949 through 1987.”
In his later years, Mr. Humiston was a volunteer at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, trained to give student and adult tours. He played Santa Claus to the city of Hutchinson for 30 years, riding up and down Main Street on his mini bike and passing out candy to children.
William Howard “Hod” Humiston departed this life on December 28, 1987 at the St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Wichita and is buried in his beloved town of Hutchinson at Fairlawn Cemetery. Quoted from The Hutchinson News, “He was a good man who made a difference in his community.”
By Phyllis Long
Above items originally appeared in THE HUTCHINSON NEWS, Hutchinson, Kan.
Last update: Sunday, January 19, 2003 21:22:47
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