A Tribute to Nancy Hanson
When Nancy Hanson’s obituary was published in the April 3, 2019 issue of the Gregory Times Advocate it was edited by the Advocate staff due to space constraints, which is their understandable policy. Nancy was a quiet and unassuming woman like multitudes of others who form the backbones of their communities. Often their obituaries provide the only information about their lives that is preserved for posterity. As a genealogist in tribute to Nancy and to provide an accessible public record for future generations I offer her full obituary.
Nancy’s loving sister, Sandra Addy
Memorial services for Nancy Hanson
were held on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the Clausen Funeral Home in Burke, SD.
Burial was in the Lucas Cemetery. Clausen Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.
Nancy Marie Turney was born on November 17, 1942 in Burke, South Dakota. She was the third child of Dello Halsted Turney and Marie Doris (Reetz) Turney. Her Turney and Reetz grandparents were homesteading pioneers in Gregory County.
Farm life was the focus of her childhood. She attended a one-room rural school in Tripp County, where her Mother was her teacher for several years. In 1960 she graduated from Colome High School. In that same year she married Gary Hanson.
For a brief time they lived in Rockford, Illinois. They returned to South Dakota and for the next quarter century Nancy worked as a full partner on the couple’s farm south of Burke, South Dakota. She contributed both management skills and labor in their successful dairy operation. Over those years eight children were born: Eric, Bradley, Melanie, Monica, Bruce, Bryan, Brandon and Brady.
In 1996 the couple divorced. Because of the failure of the South Dakota court system to adequately recognize and value the contributions of farm wives, she had to leave the farm with minimal resources. She moved to Burke, with only farm skills, knowing it would be necessary to work outside the home to fully support her three minor children and herself.
Undaunted, Nancy reinvented herself as a health care and social services worker, learning new skills on the job and through in-service training. For more than a decade she worked at Burke Memorial Hospital in Burke, at Community Connections, Inc. in Winner and at Avera Rosebud Country Care Center in Gregory. Because of her warm and caring demeanor she earned an enduring place in the hearts of the patients and residents. She retired in 2010.
Nancy’s hobbies included needlework, antiquing, reading and gardening. She kept the family supplied with delicious chokecherry and wild plum jelly. She crocheted and embroidered numerous items for her children and grandchildren. A highlight of Nancy’s retirement years was a family luncheon where she presented beautiful personalized embroidered quilts to each of her seven living children.
Nancy was a woman of great strength and resilience through all the typical ups and downs of family life. She was notable for her cheerful outlook, ready smile and sense of humor.
She spent many leisure hours with her grandchildren and her home was a magnet for many of them. For several years she provided a home for two of them, Conan and Aurora Hanson. Others enjoyed staying with her whenever an opportunity to visit arose. Nancy attended untold numbers of plays, concerts, rodeos and sports events, cheering on those beloved grandchildren. When her health began to fail she followed them on TV, her Kindle and Facebook.
She bravely fought chronic lymphatic leukemia for more than ten years. She loved her cozy home and garden. Thanks to support from her children and grandchildren she was able to stay there until just a few days before the end of her life. She passed away on March 9, 2019 at the Avera Gregory Hospital.
She was preceded in death by her parents Dello and Marie Turney; her sons Erik and Bradley Hanson; and her brother Samuel Turney.
Nancy is survived by her children and their spouses: Melanie Hoffman of Pierre, Monica and Scott Oldenkamp of Okaton, Bryan and Kasey Hanson of Burke, Bruce and Sadie Hanson of Platte, Brandon Hanson of Burke, Brady and Amanda Hanson of Springfield; 21 grandchildren: Bradley Conan and Aurora, children of Bradley; Derek, Danielle and Desiree, children of Melanie; Landi and Schuyler, children of Monica; Schae, Finn, Ramee and Piper, children of Bryan; Grayson, Hadley, Lucy and Landry, children of Bruce; Dominic, Elisabeth and Logan, children of Brandon; Jocelyn and Silas, children of Brady; 12 great-grandchildren; her sisters Colleen Hanna and Sandra Addy; and her brother Mike Turney. Nancy was loved in life and her memory will shine through those she has left behind.