Dorothy M. Hanson
Dorothy M. Hanson
  • April 23, 1926 - September 29, 2016
  • Viola, Illinois

Share This Obituary

Dorothy Mae Hanson went to be with her Lord and Savior on September 29th, 2016. She passed peacefully at the home of her daughter in Viola, IL, after an extended illness.

Viewing and a time for friends and family to share in food and fellowship will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 1, at Community of Christ Church, 1525 48th St. Place, Moline. Cremation will follow, with private inurnment to take place at a later date at Viola City Cemetery. Memorials may be made to WQPT Public Television. Hodgson Funeral Home, Rock Island, is assisting the family.

Dorothy Mae Lake was born in Iowa City, IA on April 23, 1926 to Nellie M. Lake (nee Stimmel) and Aaron M. Lake.

She grew up in Iowa City and Davenport in a family of 3 sisters and 1 brother. Dorothy grew up during the Great Depression era, and learned the value of hard work, as did her entire family. Her father, a World War I veteran, was a painter and contractor. Some of his work can still be seen as part of a fresco on the ceiling of the Davenport Bank building. Her mother worked at home, taking in laundry, raising parakeets and canaries for sale, and caring for her family.

Dorothy attended Davenport public schools and went through most of the 12th grade at Davenport High (now Central). She left school a little early, going to work at Bausch and Lomb to help the family.

During World War II, Dorothy worked not only at Bausch and Lomb, but she secured a job at the Rock Island Arsenal as a mail and documents courier, traveling from one end of the island to the other by bicycle. She had been writing letters to a Navy Seabee out in California, where her older sister Marjorie was working at an Army Depot. Marjorie was married to Albert Collier, another Navy Seabee who was friends with Dorothy's future husband. After months of writing each other, Dorothy took the train out to California and stayed with her sister while dating her pen pal.

Dorothy Lake and Henry Hanson were married on October 26th, 1944 in Tracy, CA, not far from Stockton, the county seat. The newlyweds stayed in San Francisco, and had their wedding dinner at the Cliff House, high above and overlooking the shores of the Pacific.

Henry was then deployed to Alaska's Aleutian Islands to help build a naval base during the rest of the war, and Dorothy went back to Iowa to give birth to their first child. The war ended and the couple was soon reunited before Junior's birth in November of 1945.

Dorothy was from a family who gave their all to the war effort. Her eldest sister Marjorie worked in an Army Depot during the war. Her older brother, Lloyd, served in Europe, a sergeant in the Army under General Patton during World War II. Her older sister, Betty, was an Army wife, married to Corporal Raymond Kuehl, stationed in Hawaii. Her youngest sister, Beverly, was married to a naval research chemist, Richard Brightengross, stationed in China Lake, CA.

Dorothy indeed came from a family dedicated to the service of their country. She was part of what Tom Brokaw named, "The Greatest Generation," and her work ethic carried on after the war.

She not only cared for her family, but worked outside the home for years with the Rock Island public school system, first as a cafeteria worker at Frances Willard Elementary, then as a custodian at Central Junior High.

Dorothy and Henry were fond of bowling, and belonged to a church league that bowled at the Top Spot in Rock Island. The church that was so very much an important part of their lives was Community of Christ Church in Rock Island, which later moved to Moline. In later years she enjoyed watching public television, especially the Gaithers specials. She really liked the singing of Guy Penrod and Ernie Hasse.

Dorothy and Henry had five children, thirteen grandchildren, twenty-five great grandchildren, and eight great-great grandchildren (to date).

Survivors include her children, Henry (Jackie) Hanson, Jr., of Viola, James Hanson, Rock Island, Jeffrey (Sharon) Hanson, Fyre Lake, Sherrard, Janis (Kenneth) Koehn, Viola, and Lois (Ricky) Moore, Moline; honorary children, David and Sharon Robison, Fyre Lake, Sherrard; eldest sister, Marjorie Collier, Davenport; special friends, Paul and Naomi Lindburg, Rock Island, Mary Adams, and Joyce Bergeron of Viola; along with all those grandchildren and greats are many beloved nieces and nephews all across the country.

Preceding her in death were her parents, brother, Aaron Lloyd Lake, sisters, Betty Chester and Beverly Carlton, nephews, Michael Lake and Ronald Hanson, niece, Sandra (nee Hanson) Butler, daughter-in-law, Vicki Hanson, and great grandchild, Dalton K. L. Hanson.

Share memories and condolences at