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Olive Ann Beech to be honored in her hometown of Waverly

The Beechcraft Heritage Museum will honor Olive Ann Beech, co-founder of Beech Aircraft Co.,  in a ceremony in her hometown of Waverly, in northeast Kansas. The ceremony will be held  1 p.m. Sunday at the Waverly Community Building.

Guests will include members of the Beech family, museum and Hawker Beechcraft representatives and local officials.

Olive Ann Beech was born in Waverly, east of Emporia, on Sept. 25, 1903. She joined the fledgling Travel Air Manufacturing Co. as the office manager after graduating from a Wichita business school.

In April 1932, she co-founded Beech Aircraft with her husband, Walter Beech. In 1950, Olive Ann was elected president and chairman of the company after the death of her husband. She led the company until her retirement in 1982. Olive Ann Beech is the only Kansan and one of three women to be inducted in the National Business Hall of Fame.

The ceremony will conclude with an airborne parade of Beechcraft model aircraft ranging from the late 1930s until today. The planes will begin arriving at Jabara Airport in Wichita on Friday. They will be on display Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. They will leave for Waverly about 12:30 on Sunday.

The Beechcraft Heritage Museum is located in Tullahoma, Tenn.