Celebrity Obituaries

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Memories & Candles

“Jim,You are in my thoughts on the anniverary of Elizabeth's death. Time helps heal the grief that is felt when we lose someone so precious to us. ...Read More »
1 of 62 | Posted by: Michaele Bonenberger - SD

“We are thinking of you today Jim and hope you are keeping well. Anniversaries are always difficult with memories of the sadness of loss. I hope you...Read More »
2 of 62 | Posted by: Marie Greally - Galway - Friend

“Dear Jim and Family, I'm so shocked and saddened to hear that Elizabeth passed away. I did a detail in the ELSI program during its earliest years...Read More »
3 of 62 | Posted by: Amy Sheon - OBERLIN, OH

“Dear Jim and Jenny, My deepest condolences. I learned of Elizabeth's passing yesterday, as I was in the middle of a 24 hour marathon round trip...Read More »
4 of 62 | Posted by: Nancy Johnson - Lakeville, MN

“I was deeply saddened to hear of Elizabeth's passing and John joins me in offering sincere condolences to Jim and all bereaved family members. It is...Read More »
5 of 62 | Posted by: Marie Greally - Galway, Ireland

“Dear Jim and Jennifer, How terribly sad that Elizabeth's life ended at 64. Yet how many wonderful contributions she made in the time she lived. So...Read More »
6 of 62 | Posted by: Barbara Biesecker - Bethesda, MD

“JIm, I was sddened to hear of Elizabeth's passing. Although I never worked with her personally, her influcence on the genetics world was evident...Read More »
7 of 62 | Posted by: Dianne Atkins - Iowa City, IA

“Elizabeth was a strong advocate for individuals with genetic diseases. I will always remember her warm smile and the influence she had while at...Read More »
8 of 62 | Posted by: Vicky Whittemore - Crofton, MD

“Dear Cathy, John and David. I did not know Elizabeth personally but knew she played an important part in your childhood and early adult lives. May...Read More »
9 of 62 | Posted by: Kathleen Renquist - Iowa City, IA

“Dear Jim, Cathy, John, David, and Jenny, I'm so very sorry to hear that Elizabeth is no longer with us. Your family has provided such support to...Read More »
10 of 62 | Posted by: Martha Oakley - Bloomington, IN

“Dear Jim- I was so surprised and sorry to hear about Elizabeth's passing. We hadn't run in the same circles in recent years but I remember her many...Read More »
11 of 62 | Posted by: June Peters - Rockville, MD

“Dear Jim and family: I am so sorry to hear of Elizabeth's passing. What a loss! I have nothing but wonderful memories of Elizabeth during the early...Read More »
12 of 62 | Posted by: Gloria Petersen - Rochester, MN

“Elizabeth was so dear to allof us in ISONG. She was receptive to our ideas and helped with our struggles. We will miss her warm heart terribly. Rita ”
13 of 62 | Posted by: Rita Black Monsen, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN - AR

“Elizabeth and I started in the ELSI world at about the same time. As a law professor interested in the Human Genome Initiative, I was a veritable...Read More »
14 of 62 | Posted by: Max Mehlman - Cleveland, OH

“Sincere condolences. I am saddened to hear of you loss. ”
15 of 62 | Posted by: John cox

“Dear Jim,I received an email from Denise O'Brien about the passing of your wife Elizabeth. I am very sorry for your loss. May God comfort you during...Read More »
16 of 62 | Posted by: Gene Taylor - Sun City West, AZ

“My deepest condolences to Jim and the rest of Elizabeth's family. Nothing ever fully prepares us for the death of a loved one. Elizabeth was so...Read More »
17 of 62 | Posted by: Michaele (Patterson) Bonenberger

“We have known Elizabeth since 1977 when Shiva joined the Medical Genetics Division at Iowa. She was warm, charming, articulate and compassionate. ...Read More »
18 of 62 | Posted by: Shiva and Irene Patil - Portland, OR

“Jim and Jenny, Bob and I are so sad that Elizabeth had such a difficult and premature end of life. Our thoughts and best wishes are with you in this...Read More »
19 of 62 | Posted by: Jeanne Meck - Bethesda, MD

“I last talked with Liz when we both happened to be back in Waukon a few years ago. Liz was with her Dad and I was with mine. I am so sorry to hear...Read More »
20 of 62 | Posted by: Diane Fahey Ernst - Estes Park, CO

“I loved Liz from high school onward. She was a remarkable and fun person with whom I enjoyed many good times. Her loss is a significant one...Read More »
21 of 62 | Posted by: Stephen D. Regan, Ed.D. - IA

“Elizabeth was an admired classmate. She was not only the most beautiful girl in our class, but in all of Waterville Elementary school. She was...Read More »
22 of 62 | Posted by: Forence Lea - classmate

“I was one of Elizabeth's grantees and I am deeply grateful for all her support, understanding, and kindness. She was a truly special and wonderful...Read More »
23 of 62 | Posted by: Marian - Haddonfield, NJ

“Dr. Hanson, Steve and I are very sorry to hear of ETs passing. We have regarded you both as friends over the years. At a sad time as this we wish...Read More »
24 of 62 | Posted by: LaRae Rudin - North Liberty, IA

“Dear Jim, Jenny, Kathy, John, David, I want to express my sincere condolence to each of you, I am so sorry I won't be able to be with you when...Read More »
25 of 62 | Posted by: Janet Williams - Iowa City, IA

“I want you to know how much I miss you Ms Elizabeth! Your smile, your laugh, your bossing me! I miss you everyday and I am so lost without you here....Read More »
26 of 62 | Posted by: Billie Jo Hovick - caregiver

“My deepest sympathy to you, Jim, and your family. I am sure the past few years has been very hard on all of you and I know Elizabeth will be very...Read More »
27 of 62 | Posted by: Donna - West Vancouver

“My deepest condolences over passing of Dr. Elizabeth Thomson. I cannot find words to express my sincere sympathy. I extend our condolence on behalf...Read More »
28 of 62 | Posted by: Satoko Nakagomi Yamanashi, Japan

“Prayers and good wishes to all, fond memories of our growing up years! Miss you Peg ”
29 of 62 | Posted by: Peggy and Ron Henning - Decorah, IA

“My heartfelt sympathies go out to all of Liz's family and friends. My maiden name is Tysland. We were friends all through high school in Waukon, Ia....Read More »
30 of 62 | Posted by: Janell Stewart - Onalaska, WI

“Elizabeth was one of the first Program Directors I got to know when I joined NHGRI and her advice, depth of knowledge and willingness to connect me...Read More »
31 of 62 | Posted by: Lucia Hindorff - WA

“Prayers to Liz's family. We were friends throughout school. Even though we seldom saw each other, we caught up quickly when we saw each other. She...Read More »
32 of 62 | Posted by: Sheryl Rooney Hamme - Denver, IA

“The beautifully written obituary honors Elizabeth for her many professional accomplishments, but even more importantly, reflects her caring,...Read More »
33 of 62 | Posted by: Cynthia Rushing

“Elizabeth is the Grandmother of Genetics in Nursing and should be recognized and Remembered as this iconic leader and visionary. ”
34 of 62 | Posted by: Gwen Anderson - Pine Valley, CA

“Jim, I so remember the two of you in my early years in nursing and the as you led me to the life of Genetics. Elizabeth was a huge influence and...Read More »
35 of 62 | Posted by: Ann Muilenburg - Iowa City, IA

“Elizabeth encouraged me to start a program to train nurses in Genetics in Miami, FL. Knew her before and after ISONG and her marriage and motherhood...Read More »
36 of 62 | Posted by: Mary Esther Carlin, MD - TX

“Jim, I am so saddened by this news. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Elizabeth was a legend in Genetics Nursing and yet she was so...Read More »
37 of 62 | Posted by: Cindy Prows - Cincinnati, OH

“Jim, I feel inadequate to express to you my feelings of condolences for you and your children at your immense loss. I also feel a personal loss at...Read More »
38 of 62 | Posted by: Val Sheffield - Iowa City, IA

“Elizabeth was unique in all she did. I am one of the many nurses that benefited from her leadership in genetic nursing. My deepest condolences to her...Read More »
39 of 62 | Posted by: Deborah Tamura - Bethesda, MD

“So sorry for your loss. Our sympathies. ”
40 of 62 | Posted by: Perry & Karen Norton - Waukon, IA

“I only had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth a few times, but what an impression she makes! I remember her ready laugh, her sage advice, and her...Read More »
41 of 62 | Posted by: Kimberly Noble Piper - Des Moines, IA

“Hanson family,My deepest sympathy with the loss of an extrodinary women. She was someone that made an inpression on me by knowing her. Elizabeth...Read More »
42 of 62 | Posted by: Deborah Chalupa - Iowa City, IA

“Sending you a big hug and our heartfelt condolences on the death of your sister. What an extraordinary person and pioneer! I'm sure you are just...Read More »
43 of 62 | Posted by: pam turnbull - TOULON, IL

“Wish I could be there . Thinking of all of the family at this time. Prayers and love to everyone. Carole ”
44 of 62 | Posted by: Carole Alderdyce - Waukon, IA

“I remember meeting Elizabeth for lunch when she interveiwed me to be Jenny's nanny. Jenny was a delightful baby! (and grew into a lovely woman!)...Read More »
45 of 62 | Posted by: Christina Trout - Coralville, IA

“Dear Jim, My deepest sympathy to you and your family - I am so saddened to hear of Elizabeth's passing. I have such fond and fun memories of working...Read More »
46 of 62 | Posted by: Anne Matthews - OH

“Elizabeth was such a wonderful genetics nurse and mentor over the years that I worked as a genetics nurse specialist! She was also so supportive and...Read More »
47 of 62 | Posted by: Dale Halsey Lea - ME

“You were a genetics nursing mentor, inspiration, colleague, and friend! You were a gifted speaker, a leader, and someone that was a genuine as they...Read More »
48 of 62 | Posted by: Lori Sholders Farmer, AGN-BC - FL

“My condolences to Dr. Thomson's family. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Thomson at my first ISONG meeting two years ago. She was brilliant and...Read More »
49 of 62 | Posted by: Esma Paljevic - New York, NY

“Jim, Sorry for your huge loss. Can't really imagine. We moved into your family apartment at the compound in Hopkins, so we appreciate the legacy...Read More »
50 of 62 | Posted by: John Mulvihill

“Although I never knew Elizabeth personally I appreciate and respect all her hard work, dedication, and love for the wellbeing of others. Because of...Read More »
51 of 62 | Posted by: Tammy McKamie - Texarkana, TX

“My thoughts to Elizabeth's family and extensive circle of friends. When I first arrived at NIH, it took little time to identify Elizabeth as a...Read More »
52 of 62 | Posted by: Pearl O'Rourke - MA

“Jim, I was deeply saddened to learn of Elizabeth's death. I remember her from my early days in genetics in the 70's and was excited when she re...Read More »
53 of 62 | Posted by: Barbara Bernhardt - Philadelphia, PA

“Jim - I'm sorry that we haven't seen each other in many years. Elizabeth was the program officer on my first ELSI grant application and was always...Read More »
54 of 62 | Posted by: Sharon Plon - Houston, TX

“I am so sorry to hear that ET has left us. She taught me what ELSI meant in the early 1990's, was a great colleague and friend at NCHGR/NHGRI from...Read More »
55 of 62 | Posted by: Kathy Hudson - Washington, DC

“Dear Jim and family - I am so sorry for your loss. Elizabeth was a bright light that will be missed. My fondest memories are of the wonderfully...Read More »
56 of 62 | Posted by: Tiina Urv - former colleague

“Dear Jim,I'm so sorry to hear about Elizabeth. She was remarkable in many ways, but especially her ability to maintain her warmth and personal regard...Read More »
57 of 62 | Posted by: Norm Fost

“Elizabeth was a remarkable woman. For many of us she was one of the midwives of the ELSI 'movement' that brought bioethics squarely to the forefront...Read More »
58 of 62 | Posted by: Laura Siminoff - Philadelphia, PA

“If I may twist the idiom, Elizabeth was one of the really authentic and caring guys in my professional world. Also tough minded and direct. Working...Read More »
59 of 62 | Posted by: David Smith - Bloomington, IN

“I met Elizabeth when NHANES first started to consider adding genetics to our program. Over the years we became good friends and she was a wise...Read More »
60 of 62 | Posted by: Gerry McQuillan - Hyattsville, MD

“Dear Jim and Family- My deepest condolences on this sad news. I feel very lucky to have known Elizabeth: I learned a lot from her and I always...Read More »
61 of 62 | Posted by: Holly Tabor - Seattle, WA

“Dear Jim and Family, My deepest condolences on this great loss. Elizabeth was a treasure. She was smart, kind, and dedicated. I will long remember...Read More »
62 of 62 | Posted by: Gail Jarvik - Seattle, WA

Funeral services for Dr. Elizabeth Thomson were held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, July 20, 2015 at the First United Methodist Church in Jefferson. Rev. Julia E.F. Poulsen of the First United Methodist Church in Jefferson provided words of comfort. Jim Hanson, Cathy Balthazar, David Hanson, Shay Dinata Hanson and Carla Lawson shared loving memories of Elizabeth. A reading of the poem If Roses Grow in Heaven was shared by Jennifer Schebel. Casket bearers were David Hanson, Lee Balthazar, Roger Williamson, James Smith, Jon Hovick and Cody Schebel. Honorary bearers were Thomas Thomson, Gene Mauer, Loren Taylor, Robert Hanson, Jay Hanson, Thomas Hanson, Don Rushing, Bruce Robbins, James Bartley, Godfrey Oakley, Jaime Frias, Jeff Murray and Shiva Patil. Sheryl Sloan was organist and Kyle Roeder was soloist. Music selections were You Raise Me Up and His Eyes on the Sparrow. Visitation was held after 2:00 p.m. with family present 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, July 19, 2015 at Hastings Funeral Home in Jefferson.
Elizabeth Jean Thomson, age 64, died peacefully in her Jefferson, Iowa home in the early morning hours of July 14, 2015. She was born on October 4th, 1950, near Waukon, Iowa to Lester "Bill" and Ann Laurayne (Guider) Thomson. On June 12, 1983, Elizabeth married James William Hanson. They lived in Coralville, Iowa for many years, where their beloved daughter Jennifer was born, and they helped raise James' children Catherine, John, and David.
Elizabeth had an extraordinary and rewarding career that took her from being a nurse specializing in labor and delivery; to becoming a genetic counselor, eventually founding an international group for nurses in genetics; to two decades as a program director for the National Human Genome Research Institute's Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Research Division.
Elizabeth completed her nursing training at St. Luke's Hospital and her undergraduate degree in nursing from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She earned a Master's in Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health from the University of Iowa and a Doctorate of Nursing Science from Johns Hopkins University. She was highly regarded as a pioneer in her field, with many publications that included seminal works in nursing genetics and public health. During her tenure she received numerous awards and distinctions for her outstanding work and service. Elizabeth was a mentor to many aspiring professionals, and was acknowledged for her inspiration and support to colleagues.
Family and friends remember Elizabeth for her generosity, humor and style. Always ready to laugh, bake bread, put a puzzle together, play a game of cards, talk about roses, or listen to any story, she made each person feel special, loved, understood and well-fed. Elizabeth's love for people and all things good were the basis of countless family gatherings and regular parties, as she welcomed people from all walks of life and all parts of the world into her home.
Elizabeth is survived by her husband James W. Hanson; their daughter Jennifer and her husband Cody Schebel and their daughter Katelyn Elizabeth; stepdaughter Catherine and her husband Lee Balthazar and their sons Ryan, Ian and William; stepson John Hanson and his children Emma and James, and their mother Shay Dinata Hanson; stepson David Hanson and his wife Jennifer Kavka and their children Benjamin and Sasha. Other survivors include her siblings Thomas (Lynn) Thomson, Carolyn Thomson (Gene Mauer), Kathy (Loren) Taylor, and Kris Tyree; and many nieces and nephews, including Jill, Jason, and Mark Taylor; and Todd Meyer and his daughters Chelsey and Courtney. Elizabeth was preceded in death by her mother and father, her dear niece Lori Meyer, and her brother-in-law Thomas Tyree.
Visitation will be at Hastings Funeral Home in Jefferson, Iowa on Sunday, July 19th, from 2:00 to 6:00 pm. Family will be in attendance from 4:00 to 6:00. Funeral services will be at the First United Methodist Church in Jefferson, Iowa, on Monday, July 20th, from 10:00 to 12:00. A private interment is planned.
Elizabeth's family wishes to recognize the extraordinary kindness, love, and generosity of their friends, especially long-time family friend Betty Johnson; John and Alice Hamilton, Denise O-Brien Van, and the JCHS Class of 1961; the many friends and relatives from Jefferson, Greene County and the state of Iowa; and the caregivers who welcomed her to Jefferson and made it possible for her to live and die at home. Susan and Duane Forkner, Billie Jo and Jon Hovick, Danene Peña, Denise Moranville, and the staff of St. Jude Hospice, you have made an indelible mark on our hearts.

Funeral Home
Hastings Funeral Home
403 North Elm Jefferson, IA 50129
Tel. (515) 386-8181
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