A friendship that led to a career in engineering later launches a scholarship
Guy Hackman’s decision to study engineering and the decision by he and his wife Louise to endow a University of Missouri mechanical engineering scholarship share a common thread: Both were influenced by Guy’s association with the family of Paul Doll, BS Ag ’36, MS ’37, Honorary LL D ’86.
Guy grew up in Jefferson City working in the dairy business. His father Ben and his uncles, Noel, Sam and Leo, all worked for Central Dairy. His cousin’s son still manages everyday operations at the dairy, including its extremely popular ice cream parlor in Missouri’s capital city.
One of Guy’s high school classmates in Jefferson City was Mary Beth (Doll) Huser, BA’63, MA’66, whose father, Paul Doll, was and engineer and head of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers.
“I was good in math and science, and after several conversations with Mr. Doll, I decided to study engineering,” he said.
Guy’s father encouraged him to attend the University of Missouri. He took his father’s advice and earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1964 and a commission in the U.S. Army Reserves through MU’s ROTC program.
Louise grew up on a 460-acre farm in Gasconade County. She graduated from Owensville High School and immediately enrolled in the Mary Wood Beauty College in Jefferson City. One of Guy’s Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers, Larry Hilton, BA’64, introduced the two when Guy was home from college at Thanksgiving.
After dating for several months, Louise moved to St Louis to work in her aunt’s beauty salon. But the two reconnected over the summer at the Lake of the Ozarks.
“Guy told me then that we would marry one day, and I told him he was crazy,” Louise said.
But the two did marry when Guy graduated from MU. The newlyweds immediately relocated to Ft. Riley, Kan., for a year before Guy was reassigned to duty in South Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division as aerial artillery observer.
“I wrote to Guy every day and also sent him a little bit of home — German chocolate cakes, pies, cookies and homemade candy,” Louise said. “Once his dad sent him ice cream packed in dry ice, but someone helped himself to it before it reached Guy, and when he got the package, all that was in it was empty containers and ice.”
Guy was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross and 11 combat air medals for his service in Vietnam. When he returned home, he landed a job in manufacturing with General Electric Lighting (GE), headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.
Guy spent his entire 35-year career with GE, and as he advanced within the company, the Hackmans made numerous moves.
“Each time we moved to a new state, Louise had to retake her state cosmetology boards to continue to practice as a beautician,” Guy said. “She gave up a lot moving from place to place and at the same time raised two of the smartest kids, both of whom have made us so proud. I always tell people that Louise has been my best asset.”
Guy’s last assignment was the management of two manufacturing plants in Lexington and Somerset, Ky. When he and Louise decided to retire in 2001, they chose to remain in Lexington where their daughter Jennifer’s family lives. They stay busy traveling and attending their two granddaughters’ sporting events and other activities.
“Our granddaughter Grace just placed first in the state science fair for middle school,” Guy said.
Guy Jr. and his family — including Guy Sr.’s two grandsons — live in Connecticut.
Guy and Louise will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in August.
“We’ve been lucky,” said Guy. “We’ve thought about starting a scholarship over the years, and when we saw the photo of Paul Doll’s daughter in the college’s magazine at the scholarship dinner [as stewards of the AEMO Doll Scholarship], we thought there could be nothing better than to have someone call our kids and invite them to the scholarship dinner after we’re gone.”
The Hackmans were inspired to establish an endowed scholarship in mechanical engineering with first choice of award to students from Cole and Gasconade counties. They have chosen to fund the Guy and Louise Hackman Family Scholarship over a period of five years.
“It’s a great legacy,” said Guy.