Here is the rest of the article on O.A. Hafely from the Saturday, March 1, 1969 Journal, as written by Staff Writer Bob Cotleur.
How O.A. Hafely Helped Build Lorain (Part 2)
BY BOB COTLEUR
|GOING STRONG: O. A. Hafely keeps busy today |
after a lifetime of helping to build Lorain
O. A. Hafely, the "O" stands for Otis, matched Teddy Roosevelt in other ways. Both were physical culture conscious but Hafely rides an electric exerciser instead of a cavalry horse.
"It goes this way and that," he described with his hands. He wouldn't pose for a picture on it, he said, because it's kept in a bedroom. "My wife and I both use it 'bout every day."
He's talking about the former Josephine Roepka of Alliance. He married her in 1918 and they have three children, Hoyle, 44, now in Albuquerque, Mrs. Lola Buchanan, 42 and Mrs. Twila Whitmore, 32, both of Lorain.
Although he doesn't stand in awe of his wife's golfing, he proudly relates she's a former champion of "the old Lorain Country Club, the one that used to be where the underpass (SR 611 and US 2 [sic]) is today."
Both still play together today, as they did in the days when O. A.'s clubs had wooden shafts "that used to get crooked and you'd have to throw'em out." Now he uses a new set of Haig Ultras and the shafts may rust but they never warp.
Once he shot in the low 80's to low 90's. "Now it keeps me busy just to stay under 100."
Does that mean his wife beat him occasionally?
"Well, I don't let her beat me. But for a woman – she's good."
O. A. complained that his eyes were both bothering him lately, causing a squint unless he wore dark glasses. But he also talked about a Florida trip meant to include plenty of golf.
Hafely had a tough break as a child. His dad died when he was just six months old and he speaks about his step-father in dark undercurrents.
"My step-father used to argue he went to work as a kid and if it was good enough for him, it was good enough for me. Especially me," said the man who knew what it meant to be a step-son. He has four half-brothers and a half-sister, all named Sprague.
Hafely finally won the education he needed by taking drafting and math in night school. To this day, he's proud of his drafting board in a back room at his office on Garfield Blvd. in the Hafely Block.
O. A. built his first home, for himself, in 1919. The following year he began to build more. At one time his Garfield Blvd. offices were large and occupied the entire eastern end of the building.
But he built his last home on G Street in 1959, cancelled his builder's license and semi-retired to the role of realtor and landlord.
Today he has 27 Hafely built homes and the Hafely commercial building which he rents. Many of the homes are right behind his office and if you looked at the layout from a great height, it would appear as a life-size Monopoly set.
Honors came to Hafely. One beautifully inscribed plaque hangs on the wall in his office.
He was named Lorain's first "Realtor of the Year" back in 1957.
Hafely's proud of his life, his membership on the Zoning Board, his still active membership with the Lorain Kiwanis Club, a directorship on the Greater Lorain Chamber of Commerce. He's particularly proud of his current directorship on the board of Lorain National Bank.
He lived his life by his own creed.
"Everything that's worthwhile starts with a plan."