Hank Dihlmann, 90, of Clinton, has been involved with the Clinton community for a long time.
Hank was raised in Mason City. He came to Clinton in 1942 to take a job as a radio announcer at KROS. Shortly after coming to the area, he was sent overseas where he served in a combat engineer battalion. In March 1946, he returned to the station.
Hank worked at the station for more than 45 years. For more than 40 years, he broadcasted sports at the station, doing approximately 5,000 game broadcasts. In 1981, he was voted the Iowa Sports Announcer of the Year. He retired from the station in 1987 as general manager and part owner.
Hank said his position at the station led to his long-time involvement in another Clinton organization. In 1950, his station manager asked him if he would be interested in getting a free meal once a week.
Hank said at that time he was not earning a great deal of money, so a free meal sounded good. He was told if he went to the Lafayette Hotel every Wednesday at noon and read five minutes of news to the Kiwanis Club, he would get lunch.
He continued this for almost a year, before he decided he was interested in all that the Kiwanis Club did and wanted to participate as well.
In April 1951, Hank officially joined the club. He continued doing the news at noon for 13 years. He participated in many of the club projects and served on the board of directors. He has often worked as a server at the club’s annual pancake breakfast fundraiser, which will be held this Sunday.
Besides being a member for 60 years, Hank also has had a great attendance record. He has had perfect attendance for 54 years and is working on his 55th. In order to have perfect attendance, a member must attend at least 50 club functions in a year. Hank said it just became habit for him. If he was in town during the Wednesday meeting, he was going to attend. He said he very seldomly misses a meeting.
Hank said he has enjoyed being a member of Kiwanis. He has enjoyed attending the weekly meetings and getting to know the people. He plans to continue being a member as long as he is able.
Hank was married to his wife, Margaret, for almost 62 years before her death in 2005. He has three daughters and seven grandchildren.