Edward Olaf Hanson

1918 - 2008

Edward O. Hanson departed this earth to his heavenly home on Sept. 17, 2008, after a brief illness, a month short of his 90th birthday. Ed was born Oct. 20, 1918, in Houghton, Mich. to Olaf and Anna (Gagnon) Hanson. He grew up in Duluth, Minn., and his father, Olaf, was a Master Mariner who sailed the Great Lakes, as did Ed in his youth.

Ed married Elinor Zabinski on April 26, 1941, and they settled in Two Rivers, Wis. He entered the Army shortly after the start of WWII as a combat engineer and served four years in the Pacific Theater, in New Guinea, the Philippines, and other islands in the Southwest Pacific. He was involved in building aviation fuel depots and other installations.

After the war, they settled in northern Wisconsin, where Ed worked as an industrial engineer and metallurgical engineer, primarily in the foundry industry. Throughout his long career, Ed served primarily in senior management positions, including vice president of personnel for Quality Aluminum Casting Company and Vice President and General Manager of Aluminum Casting and Engineering Company and for other companies throughout the Midwest and Northeast. He was heavily involved in union contract negotiations, serving as chief negotiator representing the companies he worked for; in the latter part of his career, he enjoyed selling real estate in Southern California, until he retired at the age of 82.

As a manager of foundries throughout his career, Ed would often load up his car with quarts of cold root beer and deliver it to the workers on the line. He always greeted his employees with a kind word and sometimes a cigar.

In his younger years, Ed looked after his family, especially his younger siblings Paul and Harriet, after their parents passed away. Saturdays he would often drive to his mother-in-law's house to mow the lawn and help with various chores. Ed will be remembered driving his red Cadillac Eldorado convertible, and his two-tone Buick Roadmaster, smoking a big cigar. He was a master on the grill, a skill which he passed on to his son.

A faithful Catholic, Ed set a good example in the home and with his family. Since moving to Medford. Ore., in 2000, he was a member of Sacred Heart Parish. Ed loved family dinners, "holding court" with family and friends, smoking his pipe, and playing with the dog. Ed was an avid reader of novels and financial publications; he enjoyed following the stock market and the political process. Ed will be remembered for the love of his family, his quick wit, and his integrity. He always had a kind word for everyone he met. The patriarch of the Hanson Family is now gone, but shall not be forgotten by the many lives he touched along the way.

Ed was preceded in death by his brothers, Red (Robert), and Paul. He is survived by his wife, Elinor, of 67 years; his son, Scott and daughter-in-law, Amy; granddaughter, Erica Meager (Steve), and great-granddaughter; Reese, all of Central Point, Ore.; granddaughter, Shannon Bell (Sean), of Lacey, Washington; sister, Harriet Glynn (Tom), of Fort Myers, Florida; Joleen Hanson, of Central Point, Ore.; sister-in-law, Marilyn Hanson, of Kohler, Wisconsin; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Graveside Service will be held on Friday, Sept. 26, 2008, at 11 a.m. at the Eagle Point National Cemetery with military honors. Arrangements are being made by the Conger-Morris Funeral Home of Central Point.