January 10, 2020 - Issue: Vol. 166, No. 6 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 2nd Session
HONORING THE LIFE OF NEEDHAM SLADE HURST; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 6
(Extensions of Remarks - January 10, 2020)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E25-E26] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] HONORING THE LIFE OF NEEDHAM SLADE HURST ______ HON. SUSAN W. BROOKS of indiana in the house of representatives Friday, January 10, 2020 Mrs. BROOKS of Indiana. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the life and legacy of Needham Slade Hurst, a renowned Hoosier business executive and dedicated community leader. His passion and drive for excellence led him to successes as a student, army officer, and business executive. Needham's philanthropic and community service helped to uplift the lives of countless fellow Hoosiers. The people of Indiana's Fifth Congressional District are forever grateful for Needham's immense contributions to the State of Indiana. Born to parents Needham King (N.K.) and Martha Slade Hurst on October 15th, 1933, in Indianapolis, Indiana, young Needham was brought up to be industrious in his work, kind and fair to others, and to be charitable to his fellow citizens. In 1938, his father founded the N.K. Hurst Company. The company began as a distributor of coffee, tea, sugar and other food commodities to local grocers throughout the State of Indiana. In 1947, they began packaging edible dry beans, a product that has become so popular over the decades that it has made the Hurst's Beans name a nationally known brand, synonymous with the highest of quality. As the years went by, young Needham showed himself to be an exemplary student at Broad Ripple High School. It was during his time at Broad Ripple that he would meet and fall in love with fellow student Mary Lou Beesley. After graduation from Broad Ripple High School in 1951, Needham matriculated at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. It was during this time in his life that Needham and Mary Lou would marry in 1954. In 1956 he departed from Indiana University having earned both his Bachelors of Science in Business and a Masters in Business Administration. Having been a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corp while at Indiana University Needham then went on to answer his country's call to duty, joining the United States Army in 1956. During his time in the Army, Needham served in the Quartermasters Corp, while stationed at Fort Lee in Petersburg, Virginia. By the time of his honorable discharge from the United States Army in 1958, Needham had risen through the ranks, ultimately attaining the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Later in 1958, Needham and Mary Lou returned to Indianapolis to settle down and raise their children, son Rick, and daughter Cathy. Upon his arrival back in Indianapolis, Needham began his career at the family business, N.K. Hurst Company, where he initially worked in sales. In the succeeding years Needham would ascend to the position of Company President, working hand in hand with his brother Bill Hurst to grow the family business. Under the leadership of Needham and Bill, the N.K. Hurst Company expanded its operations becoming a nationwide distributor of coffee, tea, sugar and other food commodities. It was also during this time that the company became a major supplier of these food commodities to the United States Military Commissary Network. Having successfully stewarded the company through the decades, Needham and Bill, were able to pass the ownership and operations of the company to the 3rd and 4th generations of the Hurst Family. Wanting to spread the good fortune of the company's success to those less fortunate in Indiana, Needham and Bill continued the company's long history of supplying local food banks and charitable organizations with food supplies. This commitment to the betterment of his fellow Hoosiers is something that Needham practiced throughout his life. Needham served others in the community in a variety of different roles including serving as a church elder and deacon at the Second Presbyterian Church. He also maintained a role in encouraging youth sports as a basketball coach at the Jordan YMCA, and as a board member of the Indianapolis Junior Tennis Board. Needham also lent his leadership skills to many organizations throughout the State of Indiana. Terms serving on the Board of Directors of the Indiana University Foundation, as Governor of the Orchard School of Indianapolis, and as a Franklin College Trustee allowed Needham the opportunity to provide countless educational opportunities to ensuing generations of Hoosiers. Needham also served his community through his membership in organizations including the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, the Junto Club, the YPO (formerly the Young President Organization) and the University Club of Indianapolis. Along with his beloved wife Mary Lou, and son Rick, Needham served on the Board of St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. Having also served as a member of the Board of St. Vincent Hospital, I had the distinct pleasure of developing a close friendship and working relationship with the Hurst Family. Needham cherished the summers he would spend with his family and friends on Lake Wawasee. His love of boating was a lifelong passion that he shared with succeeding generations of his family. Trips around Lake Wawasee in his boat ``Little Sugar'', a 1951, 16' Century inboard were a favorite pastime of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, especially during the ``Thunder Run'' parade of vintage boats on Sunday mornings. Needham's love for Lake Wawasee inspired him to serve on the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, an organization aimed at keeping a clean and healthy lake for future generations to enjoy. After a long life of service to others, Needham passed away surrounded by his family and loved ones on January 1, 2020. Needham will be forever missed by the many Hoosiers whose life he impacted. On behalf of Indiana's Fifth Congressional District, I extend my deepest condolences to Needham's beloved wife Mary Lou, their daughter Cathy Meyer and her husband Philip, their son Rick Hurst and his [[Page E26]] wife Lisa, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as all past and present employees of N.K. Hurst Company, and all others who mourn his passing. ____________________