Sandra L. “Sandy” Hanson
Sandra ‘Sandy’ Lee Hanson, age 84, died in the arms of her loving husband at the home she designed and adored in Holmen, Wisconsin on December 7, 2021. She was born in Farmersburg, Iowa on February 1, 1937 to William ‘Mike’ and Gladys (Mathews) Reardon. Sandy embraced the small town life; enjoying softball in the school yard with all the town kids, playing 6-person women’s basketball for a state bound team, and hauling friends around town with her buggy and pony Prince.
She met her true love, Kermit Hanson, the summer before her junior year and convinced him to move to Farmersburg to finish high school with her. He was one year older so while he was in Marine training in California, this small town girl hopped on a train during Christmas of her senior year to meet him in Los Angeles. After graduation from Monona-Farmersburg High School in ‘55, Sandy moved to Minneapolis to work for the phone company. One Sunday afternoon, while Kermit was home on leave, they decided to get married. They made the announcement to their parents on Monday, bought a dress and tux that week, and were married on Friday, May 25, 1956. They left on the train that evening, spent the night at the Allerton Hotel in Chicago, and eventually ended up at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where they began their 65 years of marriage and she worked at the Marine Corps Motorpool.
This move to North Carolina was the start of their 28 moves together. Sandy embraced the moves and for the next six years they had three of their four children while Kermit was finishing engineering school. His career took them to Idaho, Colorado, North Dakota, and Iowa and they had their fourth child while living in Decorah, Iowa. While raising four kids, she earned her nursing degree and worked at hospitals in Decorah, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport and ultimately retired as a nurse manager in private practice.
Their move to the Quad Cities was the beginning of her joining all the “clubs.” The running club, biking club, and paddling club introduced her to week long bike rides, marathons, and triathlons. They rode Ride the Rockies, RAGBRAI, and GRABAAWR many times. She completed four marathons, including one in Hawaii, and numerous triathlons.
After her retirement in 1992, she traveled around the country with Kermit as his work team visited military installations. They made a vacation out of each trip and once he retired they enjoyed traveling even more. They went on many cruises with her children and grandchildren, even more cruises with her brother, Bill and Noddy, and on a special Mediterranean cruise that the two of them enjoyed together. She loved her Irish heritage so that took them on a couple trips to Ireland as well.
Their 28 moves ended with their final move to Kermit’s family farm. They built a new house together and enjoyed 21 years living at “the resort” on the backwaters of the Black River. Sandy so enjoyed mowing her large lawn and creating beautiful gardens. She enjoyed warm weather the most so they spent time in Florida and Texas during the winter and for eleven years they traveled to Mazatlan, Mexico to spend the winter at Estrella Del Mar. Sandy was an incredible cook and loved trying new recipes. People still talk about the Christmas parties she, “the appetizer queen,” hosted. And we could all watch Kermit and her dance forever. They flowed across the dance floor with the most beautiful gracefulness. They were perfect together and she was so proud to win the Anniversary Dance at most weddings.
Sandy had a heart of compassion for animals. Her most beloved pets were her dogs Pearl and Scout and her lap cat, Daisy, who died this summer. Their ashes will be buried with Sandy. She loved seeing the deer, eagles, sandhill cranes, tundra swans, and herons out her house windows. She didn’t want anyone to hunt those precious deer so it seemed fitting that they stopped by at the same time Sandy was leaving this earth. In lieu of flowers, we’d love for you to make a donation to your local humane society in memory of Sandy.
Sandy is survived by her husband Kermit Hanson. Daughter Shawn (Mike) Jenson, sons Dan (Kristi Johnson) Hanson, Tom (Patty) Hanson, and Bill (Julie) Hanson. Eleven grandchildren Lucas, Krista (Landon), Bryan (Krystal), Kevin (Kendra), Brad, Sean (Alex), Kate, Sacia (Joey), Carley, Hallie, and Kenna. Eight great-grandchildren; Penelope, Theo, Evy, Teagan, Annabelle, Jack, Frankie, and Jane. Sister-in-law, Noddy Reardon, and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Bill Reardon, and sister Shirley Hamann.
Her family will hold a celebration of Sandy’s life in late spring 2022.