Eugene Robert “Gene” Hanson, age 89, of Monona, passed away with his family by his side on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at Heritage Monona.
He was born on Dec. 4, 1928, in Madison, the son of Helmer and Edna (Holbach) Hanson. Gene grew up on Madison’s eastside, with his four brothers and one sister. He graduated from Madison East High School in 1947, where he played football and basketball.
Gene worked at Madison Gas and Electric delivering appliances and did service repair, sometimes climbing poles during storms to restore electricity. He married Joanne Elmer in 1950, and together they raised four children in Monona. His family enjoyed taking camping trips and every year Gene looked forward to deer hunting with his friends from Stoughton.
Eugene’s two passions were the Monona Fire Department where he was a fireman and EMT from 1958 until 1986 and served as Fire Chief for Monona Fire Department for 10 years; and the Monona Pee Wee Football where he worked as a lineman for 43 years. Gene was a member of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church and was active in teaching Sunday school, helping with lawn care and assisting with the Boy Scout Troop. He enjoyed many family golf outings and especially enjoyed attending his children and grandchildren’s sporting events. Gene was kind and gentle and had a quick wit. He always had a wonderful comeback that made people laugh. Gene was a humble guy who said that it was the others he worked with that made him look good, whether he was referring to his coworkers at the gas company, the fire department or the volunteers he worked with in various capacities. He loved what he did and his moto, “Life is good” fit him perfectly.
Eugene is survived by his wife of 67 years, Joanne; sons, Mark (Sandi) Hanson, Kathy (Bill) Wiehe, Randy (Sue) Hanson and Kris Schaefer; 11 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; brothers, Don Hanson and Gordy Hanson; brothers-in-law, Don Michaelis and Ron Elmer; sister-in-law, Nan Disch; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant sister; two brothers, Les Hanson and Roland Hanson; sister, Jan Michaelis; sisters-in-law, Bernette, Lorraine, June, Pat and Barb; brother-in-law, Norm Disch; and two great-granddaughters.
Funeral services will be held at ST. STEPHEN'S LUTHERAN CHURCH, 5700 Pheasant Hill Rd., Monona, at 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, with the Rev. Elisa Brandt presiding. Entombment will be held at Roselawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 5203 Monona Dr., Madison, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, and also at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday.
A special thanks to the staffs at Agrace Hospice and Heritage Memory Care for their compassionate and excellent care given to Gene. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church or Agrace HospiceCare. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.