By Don Lowe • Photos by Mandy Edmonson
As a retired Seneca R-7 School District teacher who spent nearly four decades in the classroom, Lee Hall is someone who is familiar to many people in this Southwest Missouri town.
These days, Hall’s notoriety is a result of this town’s impressive veterans memorial he personally originated and helped coordinate from start to finish.
In describing all this memorial’s features, Hall says, “It has a concrete floor that has been textured. There are eight flagpoles and eight flags for the branches of the service, along with the American flag and the Missouri flag, and the Prisoners of War (POW)/Missing in Action (MIA) flag.
“There are also two benches and a stone out in front that reads ‘Seneca Veterans Memorial.’ There’s also lighting for the flags and the stone.
“It took a little over two years to get it completed because when we started getting serious about it, COVID shut us down.”
The idea for the memorial came about when Hall had a booth in Sarcoxie for Sarcoxie Days in 2019 and they were dedicating their veterans memorial.
“I happened to walk down to the dedication, and being a veteran myself, I was touched by their program. I mulled it over for a couple of months, then contacted the people in Sarcoxie who were involved with getting their memorial started, and they told me the first thing they did was talk to their mayor.
“I contacted Seneca Mayor Mark Bennett and asked him what he thought. He thought it was a great idea.
“Mr. Bennett told me to go to the next city council meeting and present the idea to them. I did, and they agreed it was a great idea, and they told me to start getting prices for everything involved. I did that, then went back to them the next month and they told me to get to work.”
This project was well received throughout Seneca. “I had a lot of support from veterans in our community and have received lots of compliments on the memorial.”
Hall is thrilled this all came together and believes it turned out quite well. “I am very proud of the final product. It is everything and more that I envisioned it would be.”
Indeed, it is a memorial sure to give all those who call Seneca home and its visitors historical perspective to reflect upon and honor for years and years to come.
Seneca’s Lee Hall and Veterans Memorial Fast Facts
Wife: Glenda Hall (married 53 years)
Children: Drenda Gardner, Geoff Hall, and Gerod Hall and daughter-in-law, Ami Hall
Grandchildren: Delayna Gardner, Darrah Gardner, Marshall Hall, Quincy Hall and Benjamin Hall
Teaching Career: Taught 5th grade for 10 years, 6th grade for 17 years, retired and then taught part-time for 10 more years
Education: Graduated from Missouri Southern State College in 1975 with a bachelor’s in elementary education; graduated from Southwest Missouri State University in 1983 with a master’s in elementary education
Hobbies: Woodworking, golf and swimming