Alvin E. Hamant, 82, of Benton, passed away peacefully at home on Sept. 24, 2010 following a fight against cancer that he had beaten three previous times.

Alvin E. Hamant, 82, of Benton, passed away peacefully at home on Sept. 24, 2010 following a fight against cancer that he had beaten three previous times.
He was born March 2, 1928, in a farm house in rural Benton, to the late Andrew and Nellie (Gore) Hamant. As both of his parents were deaf mutes, sign language was Alvin’s first language. He learned to talk at the age of 4 after his older sister Virginia went away to school in order to learn to talk, returning a year later to teach the younger siblings.  

Alvin graduated from Benton High School in 1946 where he participated in baseball, basketball and track. During high school he worked weekends at a machine ship in Wichita doing his part to support the war effort. Eventually he went to work at Coleman’s where he stayed until 1949. He then went to Boeing, staying there until he retired in 1990. During his career at Boeing he took the 144 hour Boeing Management Course, supervised the Experimental Flight Line as well as several other departments.  His last position was a quality control manager working with engineers, pilots, computer programmers, tool makers, machinists and others to work on problems that developed on the new 767 assembly line and flight tests. He considered himself to be a problem solver. Not only could he fix airplanes, he was well known for fixing just about anything for just about anybody.

On Sept. 12, 1948, Alvin was married to Helen Held at the Furley United Methodist Church. They were married 53 years. After retirement, they enjoyed traveling and taking trips to see their kids and grandkids participate in various activities.

Alvin was a member of Benton United Methodist Church where he served in many leadership positions including youth and adult Sunday School teacher, lay leader, and Administrative Board chairman. He was also extremely active in the community of Benton where he was a volunteer firefighter and served on the Planning and Zoning Board. He was elected to three terms on the Circle Unified District 375 School Board where he put the needs of the students first.  He served from 1971-1975; then again from 1991-1999. During his second tenure he was instrumental in establishing the Circle Middle School in Benton. He was also a founding member of the Circle Foundation Board serving from 1999 until the present, and served as a member of the Circle Middle School Site Council from 2002 through 2007. Alvin believed in the power of education and on the front of one of his favorite shirts was the quote, “If you believe education is expensive, try ignorance.”

His later years were devoted to the Department on Aging and aging issues. He was the current president of the Benton Golden Agers, the chair of the Butler County Department on Aging and was a member of the Central Plains Advisory Council on Aging consisting of Sedgwick, Harvey and Butler counties. He served as past president of this organization and lobbied in Topeka for issues concerning older adults.

Family was a top priority for Alvin and he is survived by son, Alan (Sally) of Newark, Del.; daughter, Trena Stafford (Joe) of Greenville, Texas; son, Dana of Wichita, and daughter Denita Stemet (Doug) of Wichita; grandsons, Adam Hamant, Jason Hamant and Andrew Stafford; and granddaughters, Melissa (Chad) Eisentrager, Chelsea Stemet and Nicole Semet.  Also included in the family is Stacey (Mike) Uhlman and their children Joseph, Ashley, Alyssa, Samuel and Garret of Wichita.  Three sisters also survive: Virginia H. Young of Lake Charles, La., Edna Mundy of Wichita, and Dorothy Ballinger of Pratt.  Many “favorite” nieces, nephews, cousins, sisters and brothers –in-law survive as well as too many friends to count.

Greeting him in Heaven was his parents, brother Clyde, wife Helen, and grandson, Sean C. Stafford.

Funeral services for Alvin will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at The Benton United Methodist Church. Burial will be in the Benton Cemetery.  Relatives and friends are welcome to visit with family today at the Kirby – Morris Funeral Home, 224 W. Ash, El Dorado, from 6 to 8 p.m. and at the church on Tuesday from 9:30 a.m.

Pallbearers will be Jason Hamant, Adam Hamant, Andrew Stafford, Chad Eisentrager, Doug Stemet, Joe Stafford and Mike Uhlman.  Honorary Pallbearers will be Carlos Clarke, Laverne Berry, Eldon Stareck, Henry L. Nelson, Bill Caster, Robert Held and Richard Endsley.

Memorial funds have been established in his name at the Benton United Methodist church and the Circle Unified District 375 Foundation Fund.