Dean Aldor Hanson, 82, died Saturday, Aug. 4, 2007, at the Peace Hospice facility in Great Falls.
His health remained good until four weeks ago, when his health failed. Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Thursday at the First Lutheran Church in Havre. Burial of ashes with military rites will follow at the Highland Cemetery. A luncheon will follow at the church. Dean was born June 23, 1925, at Artichoke, Big Stone County, Minnesota. He was the second of four children born to Arnold and Sylvia (Myers) Hanson. When Dean was 4 years old, his family moved to a farm at Gildford. He grew up and received his formal education at Gildford, graduating from Gildford High School in 1943. Dean married his high school sweetheart, Jeannette A. Dolezal, on May 25, 1944, in Hingham. He worked as a farmhand before entering the U. S. Army in 1945. Dean served stateside during his military enlistment and attained the rank of sergeant. He received his honorable discharge in 1946 due to demobilization and the end of World War II. He returned to Gilford where he continued to farm and ranch throughout his working life. The Hansons raised four sons, all of whom eventually married and grandchildren followed. After Dean’s wife developed kidney failure in the late 1970s, he took special training to give her home-based dialysis and to serve as her loving caretaker during the last seven years of her life. They were married 43 years when Jeannette passed away on Feb. 19, 1987. Dean was a civic-minded man who enjoyed serving on various boards and committees throughout the years. In 1962, he joined the organizational board of the Hi-Line Water District (who developed the Fresno water system, which presently serves the water needs of those small communities from Havre to Joplin), Dean remained active on this board for the past 45 years. In addition, he served on the Board of Directors of the First Bank of Havre for 26 years and the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd from 1972 until its closing. He was also a member of the Hill County Park Board one of his favorite boards to serve; and a past board member of the National American Lutheran Church Board and the State Soil Conservation Committee. Dean enjoyed serving his community not for any personal recognition or status, but rather for the simple accomplishments and meaningful relationships that afforded him. During his recent illness, Dean received a letter from two friends, Bernie and Donna, that summarizes his humanitarian role. The letter is quoted as follows: “Thank you from our hearts for your friendship and support. We learned from you fairness and consideration of another’s point-of-view, and the art of trying to bring people and ideas together for the good of all.” Dean loved his life as a Montana farmer. Even into his 80s he remained active in the farming operations. He had a great sense of humor; for instance, one of his classic sayings was “I’m tired, but not retired!” Dean loved to stay busy. He enjoyed the preservation of antiques to save their valuable history. He was an avid reader especially of magazines and newspapers and he clipped and saved interesting articles for posterity. He enjoyed cooking lefse and other good foods for his family. He also canned a “never-ending supply of assorted fruits” for his grandchildren! A man of faith, Dean was a lifelong and loyal member of the Hingham Lutheran Church. In quiet solitude he loved reading his Bible. He also enjoyed writing spiritual and philosophical verses and poems. In 2002 he finished a comprehensive writing of family histories and stories, which was essentially the “Legacy of His Life,” and presented copies to each of his children. He is preceded in death by his wife and parents, sister, Shirley Scheuerman; brother, Willis; and sister-in-law, Jean Hanson. Dean is survived by his four sons, Dale (Jackie) Hanson of Lolo, Donald (Leslie) Hanson of Kremlin, Russell (Terry) Hanson of Gildford and Brad (Debbie) Hanson of Corvallis, Ore.; brother, Delmar (Jackie) Hanson of Havre; brother-inlaw, Reuben Scheuerman of Hingham; and 11 grandchildren and many nephews and nieces. Memorials may be given to the Hingham Lutheran Church, the Peace Hospice in Great Falls, the Northern Montana Health Care Foundation in Havre, or donor’s choice. Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel of Chester.