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Donald Robert Hanson

Donald R. Hanson, 88, passed away on December 21, 2012 at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.

Donald was born on October 4, 1924 in Nevis to Jens and Helen Hanson. He attended school in Nevis and graduated in 1943. He served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946. He was in the South Pacific with the JASCO of the Amphibian Corp and on the ships Winged Arrow and Saginaw Bay. He attended MacPhail Music College in Minneapolis and graduated in 1950. While in college he taught social dance at the Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Minneapolis. After graduation he taught band and choir for Blackduck Public Schools from 1950 to 1986. He taught with love, patience and humor and left a lasting legacy of the love of music with his students who affectionately called him “Doc”. He served as senior choir director at Zion Lutheran Church in Blackduck for 30 years. He was the first director of the Paul Bunyan Barbershop Chorus in Bemidji and the second president of the Blackduck Lions Club. He sang bass in The Four Drakes quartet with fellow barbershoppers Roy Miller, Mike Pafko and Luther Montgomery. For many years he did masonry work including cement block basements, tile work and stone fireplaces. The beautiful fireplaces grace many homes in the Blackduck area. He loved hunting and fishing whatever was in season and raised exotic pheasants and peafowl. He took great pride in his scenic backyard and was an enthusiastic nature lover. He was a skilled woodworker and contributed craft cutouts for the Blackduck Senior Center. Donald treasured his family and they were of the utmost importance in his life.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Hartlyn, Vernon, Arlie and Marvin(Bud). He is survived by his loving companion of 21 years Darlene Bauer; his four children, Christine Starr of Norwood Young America, Luann(Eric) Adams of Chaska, Gregg(Debbe) Hanson of Bemidji and Brian Hanson(Christy Kurth) of Waconia; seven grandchildren, Brennan Starr, Brady Starr, Angela(Zak) Clark, Alexa(Lucas) Evenson, Derek(Jenna) Hanson, Helena Hanson and Dustin Hanson; one great grandchild, Novalea Hanson; five sisters, Lillian Ballard, Eileen Bullard, Marlys(Bill) Byers, Doris(Allen) Nichols and Janice(Tom) Evenson; one sister-in-law Betty Hanson and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held on December 29 at 2:00 pm at Zion Lutheran Church in Blackduck with Rev. Dan Heath officiating. Military Honors will be provided by the American Legion Post 372 of Blackduck. Visitation at the church will begin at noon with lunch to follow the service. Pallbearers will be his grandchildren. Inurnment will be in the spring at Lakeview Cemetery in Nevis, MN. Cease Family Funeral Home of Blackduck will handle the arrangements.