City View column - Derol Hafar

This month I want to write about Derol Hafar -- a man who has lived and worked in Marshalltown for more than forty years. Derol came to Marshalltown to work as a speech pathologist for AEA 6. After that he became a realtor for a while and then worked in the Department of Adult Corrections. During that time, he and his wife Audrey raised a daughter, Maureen, and two sons, Matt and Kyle.

Derol passed away Wednesday, November 9.

Some people just make contributions to the community quietly. I appreciate when people want to make the city better.

When Kay and I first moved to Marshalltown, we became interested in community theater. We met the Hafars and spent many good hours together. Derol appeared in many, many plays, especially those Neil Simon plays directed by Sandy Schlesinger. He was a talented performer with very good comedic timing.

What most people don't know is the role he played in the "Grand Opening" of the Martha Ellen Tye Theater. For those of you who weren't there, there were performers from the Metropolitan Opera including the soprano Beverly Sills, the community, and the local high school were there.

The community theater's contribution was scheduled to be "You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running" -- a series of one-acts by Robert Anderson. One of those acts, The Footsteps of Doves, focuses on Harriet and George, a married couple shopping for twin beds after many years of marriage. George, who is opposed to the change, strikes up a conversation with Jill, a considerably younger fellow shopper who shares his view about "Old 54" -- the width of a double bed.

The man who was scheduled to play George became ill the day before the opening and had to be replaced. Derol was selected. Instead of appearing with book in hand, he stayed up all night; and, with the help of his wife and children, he memorized the lines so he could appear in proper character. I doubt that anyone in the audience had an inkling of that dedication. Anyone who has ever had to learn lines knows that is no small undertaking. That is just one example of his willingness to help out.

Since moving to Marshalltown, he has performed many other life tasks, including the videotaping of the church services at St. Paul's Episcopal Church and serving in various capacities on its vestry.

I know there are many of you out there who have had contact with Derol either as a student in class, on stage, backstage, or any other capacity. Now is the time for you to send a card to him to let him know that you are thinking of him and to let him know what impact he has had in your life. I am sure it would be a comfort to him. Send the card to him at 2901 S. 2nd Street #113, Marshalltown, IA 50158.

Little things mean a lot.

That's my view for this month.