SPAM Post volunteer keeps on serving

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 26, 2003

American Legion SPAM Post 570 has been established for 50 years. It was organized after WWII with women from the area who were from all branches of the Armed Service. Most Legion Posts are named after a

veteran who has died. When SPAM 570 was organized, it was made up of women veterans that were alive. One of the founding members of this organization, Madonna Hanf, was honored for her continuous contribution to women in the military service and for her outstanding contribution to this program.

Hanf was a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy. She was an active duty Navy Corps nurse from 1942 to 1945. She worked at the U.S. Navy Hospital in Corona, Calif. and Philadelphia, Pa. She was in the Seventh Fleet in the Pacific, was part of the U.S. Mobile Hospital, was stationed in Brisbane and Queensland, Australia and the jungle of New Dutch, New Guinea. She loved the South Seas very much and has a photo on the wall in her apartment of women in their sari wraps washing clothes in the river as she often saw them do during her stay there. She was later part of the Mayo Clinic surgical team.

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Her husband of 56 years, Bill, was in the Army during WWII and he was in active duty in Germany, France, Belgium and Holland. The two met in Rochester before the war.

"Madonna wrote me a letter every day during the war. At the end of the week she sent me seven letters in one envelope," he said.

The couple moved to Austin in 1963 and later to Rochester. They had two sons, Brent and Mark, and they each have two sons.

"Madonna was the one who was adventurous. She has done more traveling than me and went through more exciting times. She instilled this in our sons. One lives in Cleveland and the other in Washington state," Bill Hanf said.

Madonna said she has enjoyed her 50 years with the American Legion SPAM Post. She says the group started with 37 members and now there are 15. Commander Norraine Handke, Belva Fiala, Gretchen Wangen, Fern Branle, Melba Tracy and Ihlene Keating presented the plaque to Madonna Hanf at the Charter House in Rochester where she lives.