Willard L. “Willy” Hanson, age 79, of Marion, died early Tuesday morning, April 21, 2009, at his residence surrounded by his family following an extended battle with several illnesses.
On May 9, 1929, Willy was born in Terry, Montana, the son of the late Soren and Marie (Tesnes) Hanson.
While playing music on the streets, Willy caught the fancy of a young woman, Betty (Graf) Hanson. On April 2, 1949, they were married in Miles City, Montana. For over 60 years he loved her more than anything in the world. Together, they were members of the Christian Lighthouse in Marion.
A dedicated worker, Willy wore various hats throughout his professional career. He had been employed at many places including Marion Power Shovel, Quaker Oats, Eaton, and Borden. Then, wanting to be his own boss, Willy and his son started a private trash collecting route, known as Hanson Hauling, with his beat up pick-up truck. For more than 30 years, they collected trash throughout Marion County, and eventually earned the trust of more than 2,000 customers.
Having an immense love for music, Willy was especially fond of country-western. Unable to read sheet music, he could pick up a guitar and play a song just by listening to it. For many years, Willy played in his own band, “The Golden Eagles.”
An avid fisherman, Willy enjoyed countless trips to Canada, Kentucky and Tennessee with his son and many friends. It is yet to be determined just how much fishing took place on these trips.
Generous, almost to a fault, Willy would do anything to help someone in need. He was a true family man at heart and cherished spending time with his wife and children. He was loved by everyone.
Willy will be dearly missed by his wife, Betty; his three children: Mel (Anne) Hanson of Marion, Linda (Jerry) Harrison of Morral, and Brenda (Rodney) Culver of Marion; 12 grandchildren; many great grandchildren; a brother, Stanley Hanson of Washington; a sister, Doris Warren of Mount Vernon; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
In addition to his parents, Willy was preceded in death by his daughter, Carol Hanson; and 13 brothers and sisters.
The Hanson family will greet friends from 4 - 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, 2009, at the Denzer-Farison-Hottinger & Snyder Funeral Home, 360 East Center St., Marion, where services celebrating his life will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. with Pastor Jerry Harrison and Rev. Ron Warren officiating. Burial will follow in Caledonia Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Morrow County, 228 South Street, Mount Gilead, Ohio 43338 or to Christian Lighthouse, P.O. Box 1645, Marion, Ohio 43301.
The Hanson family sends a special heartfelt thank you to Passport Services, Med One and all of the home health aides that helped in his care, Morrow County Hospice, and all of their friends and family that gave us such wonderful support.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.snyderfuneralhomes.com