Donald Hanson

Donald Hanson, age 83, of Decorah died Friday, January 27, 2023 at Hillcrest Manor nursing home in Sumner. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 11 at Canoe Ridge Lutheran Church, 1316 Canoe Ridge Road, Decorah, with Rev. Adam Starrett presiding. Burial will be in the church cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Friday, February 10 at the Helms Funeral Home, 604 South Avenue in Decorah.

Donald Allen Hanson was born July 9, 1939 in Waukon to Clarice (Teslow) and Carmen Hanson. Donald attended #1 Glenwood Schoolhouse and graduated from Waukon High School, Class of 1957. After completing a trade school course from home, he moved to Minneapolis, MN where he worked for Minnesota Concrete Pipe. In Minneapolis he met a Pennsylvania girl, Martha Jean Berry, and they married in Washington, PA in 1961. They resided in Washington, PA for 13 years with their four children.

In February 1976, after building pallets, driving Pepsi truck, and becoming manager/owner of Sudzy Sam’s, Donald purchased the Carmen Hanson farm and moved his family to Iowa and created an automated dairy. Donald and Martha Hanson won the Pioneer Dairyman Award in 1996 and the farm is noted as a Century Farm. Upon retiring from milking his own herd after 20 years, Donald promptly began milking at the Bigler farm for another 17 years.

Donald loved to roam his farmland to hunt deer, raccoons and morels, to play softball with Pladsen, Regancrest and other teams, to watch all sports events on TV, especially Iowa college football/basketball games, to eat Martha’s cooking, and to especially, of course, love Martha.

Donald and Martha were married for 61 years. Their first date was going to church. Donald was an active member of Emmanuel United Presbyterian Church, Eighty-Four, PA and Canoe Ridge Lutheran, Decorah. He liked music and singing in church.

Grandpa Donald has seven grandchildren whom he loved to visit, play cards with and lead them on walks in the beautiful, wooded farmland.

Donald is survived by his wife, Martha Hanson of Decorah; his children, Bethany (Shayne) Barr of Lake St. Louis, MO, Donald Hanson Jr. of Bloomington, MN, Anita (Al) Weis of Decorah and Dean (Roxanne) Hanson of Prior Lake, MN; his grandchildren, Ian Barr, Ben Barr, Cullen Barr, Richard (Inga) Weis, Helen Weis, Henry Weis and Rachel Weis; his siblings, Paul Hanson, Sharon (Butch) Tomczak, Lyle Hanson and Robert Hanson.

He is preceded in death by his siblings, Carmen Hanson Jr. and Roger Hanson.