Arthur John Hanson Jr.

Art, are you scared?

“No. I know whose I am; God is in control.”

A. Hanson newspaper photoArthur John Hanson Jr., 81, of West Hills, Calif., formerly of Braham, passed away Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

Arthur was born Jan. 1, 1932 in Fergus Falls, Minn., to Art and Thea Hanson of rural Dalton, Minn. In 1945 the family moved to Braham, Minn., where the Hansons had a small dairy and turkey farm.

Art enlisted into the Air Force National Guard Nov. 2, 1950, bravely protecting America’s northern border during the Korean War at the Wadena radar base. At Braham High and in the Stanchfield Baptist youth group, Norwegian Art got to know a Swedish beauty named Lucille Dahlman, whom he married Sept. 26, 1952. After graduating from the University of Minnesota School of Agriculture in 1957, Art moved his young family to California (although he forever referred to Minnesota as the Holy Land). He worked in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 34 years — first as a horticulture teacher, then as a district resource advisor — before retiring in 1992.

Art may have retired, but he never stopped working, and Los Angeles is more beautiful as a result. Through a number of horticultural organizations, Art was closely involved with guiding landscaping and beautification contests around the city, and his efforts garnered several prestigious honors and awards. Also, thanks to Art’s last paying job, which he held until entering hospice care, 13 Los Angeles Home Depots featured well-stocked and neat Stover Seed displays.

Church home of the Hansons is Hollywood Presbyterian where Art and Lucy have been members for 53 years. Art served there faithfully as elder and deacon before finally becoming recognized as that tall, distinguished-looking usher up in the balcony.

In 2009, Art was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome. The ensuing chemo treatments and platelet transfusions occurred with greater frequency until they failed to produce results and he entered hospice in April. Through it all, Art responded with unfailing gratitude and a good measure of Norske stoicism. He never complained; he never gave up.

Art’s last weeks on earth were a gift to dozens who were able to drop by the house, reminisce, thank him for the impact he’d had on their lives, tell him they love him and then to say goodbye … for now. One of Art’s last requests was that everyone would know how grateful he was to Lucy for the loving, tireless care she provided.

The Hanson home produced a Christ-centered family infused with laughter and love. Art is survived by Lucille, his beloved wife of 60 years, daughters Barbie (Troy) Schmidt, Jackie (Brad) Anderson, and Sherill (Neils) Johnson; grandchildren Riley (Audrey) Schmidt, Brady Schmidt, Carson Schmidt, Jaymie (Ben) Heintz, Katelyn Anderson, Corey Anderson, Meredith (Dave) Hurtado, Lindsay (Chris) Sunderlin, Haleigh Johnson and Dayne Johnson; and great grandchildren Audrey Hurtado, Donovan Hurtado, Brooklyn Sunderlin and Ryder Sunderlin. Also surviving him are siblings Paul (Evelyn) Hanson and Mary Ann Hanson; sisters-in-law Joyce Dahlman and Ardis (Gordon) Hallstrom, plus many nieces and nephews and a host of friends. Moving from mortality to life before him were his parents Art and Thea Hanson.

So Art, how do you want people to remember you?

“As someone who, all his life, despite failures, tried to live life each day for Jesus.”

And what would you want to say to everyone gathered here?

“Like I told those who came to visit, ‘I want to see you in heaven.’”

Services were held Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at Stanchfield Baptist Church. Dr. Joel Johnson (nephew) officiated with special music by Sheri Hallstrom (niece) and Dennis Dahlman (cousin). Interment was at the Stanchfield Baptist Cemetery. Casket Bearers were Riley Schmidt, Brady Schmidt, Carson Schmidt, Dayne Johnson, Dan Hallstrom, and David Hallstrom. Arrangements by Rock-Ingebrand Funeral Home in Braham.