Shirley Marilyn Hanson, daughter of Granville and Esther (Turck) Risch, was born on March 27, 1935 in Greenleaf Township, Meeker County, Minnesota. She was baptized April 4, 1935 and confirmed June 12, 1949 at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Litchfield, Minnesota.

She attended rural District 94 School through 8th grade and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1951. 

On August 11, 1956 Shirley was united in marriage to Merle Hanson, also of Litchfield.  They lived in Litchfield until 1960 when they moved to Des Moines, Iowa. In 1963 when Merle returned to active duty in the U.S. Army, the family moved to Columbus, Georgia and then Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. For the next 16 years the Hanson’s resided in many places, to include Sun Prairie, Wisconsin; Indianapolis, Indiana; Mannheim, Germany; Hamilton Air Force Base, California; Frankfurt, Germany; and Nuernberg, Germany. Shirley and the children spent 1965-1966 and 1968-1969 in Litchfield, Minnesota while Merle served in Vietnam. Upon Merle’s retirement, they returned to Litchfield in 1979 where they lived until 1985, moving again to San Diego, California where they resided until 1991 when they relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Shirley was the ultimate Army Officer’s wife, embracing responsibilities given her by Merle’s Army positions with enthusiasm and dedication, especially her volunteer job of leading the Adjutant Generals Officers Wives social functions at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis. She did everything she could to help further her husband’s career.  Shirley thoroughly enjoyed living in Germany where she spent considerable time studying the language and culture. She also served as Chairman of Red Cross Volunteers while living in Mannheim and was active with the Officers Wives Clubs and Scouting.  In her later years, she volunteered at Mission Medical Clinic in Colorado Springs and enjoyed playing bridge. Daily, she would walk for three miles, compulsively picking up trash in an attempt to keep the neighborhood neat. 

Survivors include: husband, Merle Hanson; three children, Mickey (Douglas Speck) of Danville, CA; Rick (Sharon) of Echo, MN, and Kelley (Jon Blumberg) of Tampa, FL, 8 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; sister, Cherylynn (Jim Anderson) of Palmer, AK; and brother, Jon (Sharon) of Glencoe, MN.

She was preceded in death by her parents and stepfather, Elmer Wieker.

Services will be held 10 am on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at the Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel, 1730 E Fountain Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80910.  Cremains will be interred at the Lake Ripley Cemetery, Litchfield, MN.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Greater Litchfield Opera House Association Inc, PO Box 228, Litchfield, MN 55355.

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This Obituary Has 7 Condolences

  1. Dear Merle and family. It is with great sadness we send our deepest sympathy and condolences to you. What a terrible loss of your lovely wife and mother. Please know our love and thoughts go out to you

  2. Dear Merle snd Family. It is with great sadness we send our deepest sympathy and condolences to you and your family. What a terrible loss of your lovely wife and mother. Please know our love and thoughts go out to you.

    1. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time and in the days ahead

  3. Our sympathy, Merle to you and your family. May God wrap his arms around you for peace and strength in the days and weeks to come.

  4. Mickey I am so very sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. My heart hurts for you and your family. I have such fond memories of your mom and our Girl Scout adventures back in Germany. I am so happy I got the chance to see her again in Colorado when Betsy got married. Please give all my love to your family. Prayers coming your way! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  5. What an honor to of shared in so many memories growing up as neighbors in Litchfield Minnesota. Shirley has earned her wings and will forever remain in many hearts. Merle, Mickey, Rick, Kelley and families our though prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  6. Sherrie and family, we are so very sorry to learn of Shirley’s passing. Sending heartfelt sympathy and much love, Dave and Sharon, Vancouver, B. C. Canada

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