The annual Wagoner Christmas Parade is set for Thursday night, Dec. 5 through the streets of downtown.
Among the floats for the Disney-themed event, two will be honored as Grand Marshals for the parade. They are Wayne Rosenthal and Rhonda Hash.
Here are the biographical sketches of the two Wagoner residents.
Rosenthal was born in the home of his maternal grandparents on October 22, 1932 in Cherokee County. The Rosenthal family continued to reside in Cherokee County until 1944 at which time the family of three moved to Wagoner.
Wayne attended Wagoner Public School’s from 1944 until his graduation from high school in 1950.
Wayne’s Uncle Joe was a huge factor in Wayne’s military career. Having just recently enlisted he encouraged Wayne to join the National Guard because they did not check birth certificates and Wayne was only fifteen at the time.
On February 8, 1948, Wayne and a classmate, Jimmy Bowman, entered the office of another hometown man, Gerald McCuan and began his military career. As the Korean War began in 1950 Wayne’s guard unit was activated.
On September 1, 1950, Wayne and several of his fellow guardsman from Wagoner and surrounding counties arrived at the depot on South Main here in Wagoner and were shipped to Fort Polk, Louisiana for training.
After months of training the unit was deployed to Japan to replace the existing enlisted men being transferred to Korea. After nine months on the island in Japan the unit was preparing to transfer to Korea.
With Wayne and four other soldiers having fulfilled their enlistment they were shipped home. As of this date Wayne is believed to be the only member of this Wagoner National Guard Unit still living here in Wagoner.
After returning home to Wagoner, Wayne began his career working alongside his father in the demanding field of road bridge construction.
In 1952, Wayne was working a job in Pawnee where he met a young waitress named Sylvia Spears working in the diner of the Grand Hotel. After only a six week courtship, Wayne married Sylvia and began their 67 year marriage.
From this union Wayne and Sylvia purchased a home in Wagoner and raised three daughters. This over the years grew to include seven grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren.
In addition to their love of family Wayne and Sylvia share a love of Christ. As long time members of the Wagoner Church of God, Wayne and Sylvia have served their church as Sunday school teachers and Wayne has served on the Pastor’s Council for numerous years.
Wayne continued in the construction field until assuming a position at the Wagoner Lumber Company and later Rosson Lumber Company here in Wagoner until the company burned at which time Wayne returned to the construction field until his retirement. Wayne continued using his woodworking skills to make repairs to their home as well as building furniture for his family well after retirement.
Hash was born on November 29, 1957 in Pawnee to her parents Wayne and Sylvia Rosenthal.
The Rosenthal family purchased a home and settled in Wagoner in 1959. Rhonda attended school at Wagoner Public Schools and graduated from Wagoner High School in 1976.
On November 28, 1977, Hash began working for the City of Wagoner doing clerical work for the City Clerk. She has continued to work for the City of Wagoner for forty-two years and has fulfilled many roles during this time. She served as cashier, payroll clerk, billing clerk, purchasing agent as well as Deputy City Clerk.
In 2011, Hash was elected as City Clerk and continues to serve in that capacity. Always seeking to further her knowledge of Municipal Government. She has attended several training classes in this field. She is a graduate of the Oklahoma Municipal League’s Community Leadership Development program and has achieved the distinction of being a Certified Municipal Official.
She has enjoyed assisting with city events such as the Christmas shows and the Bluegrass Festival. Rhonda met her late husband, Steve Hash, while he was working as a police officer at the Wagoner Police Department. They were married on February 23, 1984 and six days later Steve began his training to become a member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Rhonda and Steve’s family includes three children and seven grandchildren. Rhonda is extremely proud to be a part of the City of Wagoner family and looks forward to seeing Wagoner grow and prosper in the coming years.