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Obituary

Sandra L. “Sandy” Hanson

December 10, 2021 | 14 comments

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.

Condolences

14 Comments

  1. Mary Torres

    What a absolute, beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady. The Reardons lived right behind our grocery store in Farmersburg. and Sandy and Kermit were such a handsome couple we all hoped to mimic. Shawn and Dan were small and they would come running around the corner and down the hill with Murphy, their boxer dog in tow. Us four sisters visited Kermit and Sandy in their home in Holmen, and Kermit had bragging rights to the fine cookies he had just made. Sandy just rolled her eyes. I so wish I could have witnessed them dancing around the floor. Kermit you are so lucky to have loved and been loved for so many years together. Please know the “Burracks” are thinking of you and your family at this most difficult time. Sandy fly with the angels and rest in peace.

    • Dawn Cornelius Mall

      Very sad to hear the news of your Mom’s passing. She was such a beautiful person! Rest In Peace Sandy. Prayers to the Hanson Family

  2. Sue Swackhamer

    She was such a wonderful lady who followed her grandchildren’s sporting events. So many places she has seen on this earth. Rest in peace. Prayers for her family.

  3. Kathy J Stivin

    Sandy and Kermit became our friends in Mazatlan. On our first arrival to Estrella del Mar, they were our neighbour. As we fumbled with the front door, she poked her head out of her condo and offered us bread and jam for breakfast for the next morning! I loved her the instant I met her. Their youthful exuberance, love of dancing was contagious. Kermit loved her to bits. He catered to her every wish. His love was returned equally with treats, appies, and smiles. Age was only a number to them. We spent many afternoon s poolside, sharing beers, salsa and chips, story telling. May Sandy rest in peace. We are thinking of Kermit and sending him our love.

  4. Deanna Nurre

    To the Hanson family, That was a very beautiful obituary, it so told Sandy to a tee. She always amazed me how she could sign up for a race and not train that much. That was just Sandy. We had many good times together and she will always be in my heart. Peace and Prayers

  5. Jeff Nelson

    I’m so sorry to hear of Sandy’s passing. She was so kind to me over the years and so accommodating when I asked her and Kermit if I could spread my mother, Mona’s, ashes in the river that ran along the Hanson homestead. It was my mother’s wishes for her cremains to be left at the home of her grandparents. Our hearts go out to all of Sandy’s loved ones.

    • Nancy (Dwyer) Endries

      To the Hanson Family,

      This obituary is a lovely tribute to Sandy/ Mom/ Grandmother. She was an extraordinary woman who loved life to the fullest.
      May wonderful memories give you comfort at this difficult time.

  6. Todd Lansing

    What an awesome tribute to Sandy. What an amazing life! It’s been years since I had visited the Hanson residence. Being friends will Bill growing up I had the pleasure of knowing Sandy and Kermit during the Cedar Rapids and Bettendorf years. I will always remember Sandy as a very kind person and loving Mom. She always had a smile on her face. She was very happy. I know she was loved by many and will be missed greatly. There’s comfort knowing Sandy is now walking on the streets of gold with Jesus. God Bless the Hanson family.

  7. Cheryl Graff

    What a wonderful tribute to Sandy! I am so sad to hear of her passing, as our friendship spanned many years, from the time I was hired on at GASTRO Assoc to just a few years ago, when we sort of lost touch. A funny story about Sandy is how she and I did the conversion from paper to computer and spent HOURS trying to find 10 cents, one thin dime in order to balance! The best manager I have ever had, not to mention one of the best friends! Rest easy Sandy. ❤️

  8. Meredith Tessier

    Rest in Peace, Sandy. I have fond memories from when the extended family used to get together, many years ago. It’s nice she and Kerm were able to enjoy their retirement in Holmen. My condolences to her family.

  9. Kristin Wilber

    Deepest sympathies to Uncle Kerm and my cousins. The above picture is exactly like I remember her. Every time is see a rottie, I think of Sandy and her love of her dogs. Godspeed to heaven, Sandy.

  10. Mark and Ginny Lee

    Sandy will be missed by all who knew her. She lived every moment to its fullest but we were certainly hoping to have many more moments to share with her. To our dear friend Kermit, we can’t imagine the sorrow and loss you are experiencing but we hope you know we share a piece of that grief with you. Lean on your friends and family to get you through the tough days and weeks ahead. We’ll miss seeing both of you swimming laps in the pool at EDM, and I’ll miss being invited up for a drink and apps at the end of the day to watch the sunset. As Bob Dylan wrote, “As the present now will later be past, The order is rapidly fading, And the first one now will later be last, For the times, they are a-changin’.” Hang on to the memories of the past, but as you are able, be sure to create new memories to honor what a wonderful life and family you created with Sandy for so many years.

  11. Mark Smith

    Kermit Hanson and family, You and your family are in our thoughts. I’ll miss not seeing Sandy out for her walks. Always had a smile, always chatted for a minute.
    What a great tribute to a wonderful lady.

  12. Coulee Region Cremation Group

    Our deepest condolences Kermit to you and your family.She will be missed.

    – Marcel, Pierrette Ducharme

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