CHESTER - Mildred Henrietta Hanson, 97, died Monday, July 4, 2005, at Benefis Medical Center in Great Falls.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Chester. Burial will follow at the Chester Cemetery.
Mildred was born in Cavalier County,
N.D., on Oct. 28, 1907, to Fred and Emma Erickson. In 1913, she moved to Montana with her parents to a homestead south of Chester. Mildred
received her early education at the Erickson Country School near the farm. She finished her schooling in Chester, where she was an active member of the girls basketball team. She graduated from Chester High School in 1927.
Mildred married Clifford Glines Hanson on Sept. 22, 1928, at Havre. They made their home in Chester, where Mildred worked diligently as a homemaker and mother of four. In those early years, she cooked noon meals in her home for several local school teachers and worked as a secretary for George Gau. She also served as bookkeeper for her husband's business, Triangle Hardware in Chester. The Hansons were married 48 years when Clifford died June 3, 1976.
Mildred lived in their Chester home for 66 years before moving to the Sweetgrass Lodge in 1994. She later transferred to the Wheat Country Estates assisted-living facility. In 2003, she needed extended care for a broken hip, so she moved to the Liberty County Nursing Home.
Mildred developed serious arthritis in her joints when she was in her 30s. For many years, she traveled to Hot Springs every summer to soak in the mineral springs and mud baths there. She attributed the therapeutic treatments and some personal spiritual cleansing in eliminating much of her pain and promoting longevity in her life.
Mildred was baptized as an infant in North Dakota. In her pre-teens she returned to North Dakota to be confirmed at the Highland Lutheran Church, a Norwegian parish at Fairdale. Mildred maintained her lifelong membership at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Chester, where she was a charter member of the Ladies Aid and volunteered as Sunday school superintendent for 18 years. In addition, she served as the Havre conference president of the Women's Missionary Federation for several years.
Mildred had strong political beliefs and was a longtime member of the Liberty County Republican Women. Several years ago, she was honored by then-Gov. Racicot as a Pioneer of Montana. At Chester's recent All-Class Reunion, Mildred was recognized as the "oldest living C.H.S. graduate."
Mildred loved her quiet time at home. She enjoyed reading, especially her Bible, the Lutheran Standard and devotional books. Her favorite television shows included "The Price is Right," "Wheel of Fortune," Lawrence Welk, and the news. Mildred enjoyed word puzzles, and she took pride in keeping up on current events and world affairs.
Mildred enjoyed her time away from home, too. She always looked forward to family trips to Glacier Park or to Peaceful Bay near Lakeside. Mildred was an exceptional homemaker and cook.
Survivors are her children, Cliff (Charlotte) Hanson of Chester, Ron (Sharlene) Hanson of Havre, Gaye (Ted) Kehm of Clear Lake, Iowa, and Julie (David) Larson of Anoka, Minn.; 11 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Esther Erickson of Chester; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mildred was preceded in death by her husband; parents; and siblings, Alvina Erickson, George Erickson, Freda Oren, Erma Smith, Howard Erickson, Oscar Erickson and Donald Erickson.
Undesignated memorials will be given to Our Savior's Lutheran Church.
Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel.