Services for Elmer Hanson

Elmer Hanson, 88 years old, died on October 29, 2020, in his family home, where he and his wife Doris raised their family.  


Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 2:00 PM at Zion Lutheran Church in Oklee with Reverend Linda Molitor Officiating. Burial and Military Honors will be held at Zion Lutheran Cemetery in the spring of 2021.


Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at Zion Lutheran Church on Tuesday.


Elmer Arthur Hanson was born November 9, 1931, in his family home, at Chester Township, Polk County, MN.  He is the son of John R. and Inger (Nelson) Hanson.  He was baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church, Oklee.  He attended Oklee Public School from 1937 - 1950.


Elmer entered the United States Army and served from 1952 - 1954.  He was stationed with the Army of occupation at Camp Roeder, Salzburg Austria.


Elmer met Doris Joanne Sorenson at a dance. They courted for over 3 years and were united in marriage on July 12, 1958 at Zion Lutheran Church, Oklee. 


Elmer was the Standard Oil Bulk Agent and delivered fuel to his customers all over the region; early in the morning through the evening.  To this day, Elmer could tell you who lived in the old farmsteads from years ago.  Elmer also drove the school bus from 1954 - 1976.  Students  fortunate to be on his route, fondly remember the giant Hershey candy bar and can of pop they received at Christmas time. They also had their school photo proudly posted at the front of the bus in their honor. Each child was greeted with “Good morning (insert name)”  and “Goodnight (insert name)” when brought home safely each day after school. After many years as the Standard OIl Agent, Elmer decided to make a transition and work in the Oklee School District in an effort to be closer to home and family.  He worked at the Oklee Public School as a custodian and eventually as Head Custodian from 1976 - 1996.    


After their children were grown, Elmer and Doris became foster parents for 25 children over the years. In his spare time, Elmer repaired bicycles, toys and wagons for children in the local area. He boresighted rifles and loaded ammunition for his fellow hunters. He enjoyed working on old tractors, machinery and cars (especially John Deere and Ford).  He loved to spend his evening hours reading and shared his love of books with the community by donating his books to the library located at the Oklee Senior Site.  His faith was strong and he had no fear of his life after death. He was a dedicated member of Zion Lutheran Church, serving on the church council and teaching Sunday School. He was a trustee, a deacon, an usher,  and custodian.  He belonged to the American Legion and VFW. He served as cemetery sexton for 40 years and was the Chester Township treasurer for many years. Elmer is deeply loved and sorely missed by his family and friends. 


He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Doris, brother Orville, and parents John and Inger Hanson; he is survived by his children Karen (Bruce) Ramstorf, Joel (Becky) Hanson, Diane Hanson, Ellen Overbo, Mary Jo (Gerald) Lothspeich, Cheryl Degrugillier and foster son, Daniel Lockskin. 19 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren, and 3 nieces.


Special thanks to Carrie, LSW and Dr. Darren Swanson as well as all the wonderful nurses and caregivers at Essentia Hospital for all your loving care. Dad spoke highly of the great care he received under your watch. Additional special thanks to the amazing Essentia Hospice West Team; Pat-RN, Danielle-RN, Alexis-RN, Joann CNA, Sara LSW. We were able to honor Dad’s end of life wishes because you all navigated his passage of life.  Thank you so much for your dedicated commitment. 


Family condolences may be sent at





Richards Publishing

P.O. Box 159
239 2nd Ave
Gonvick, MN 56644
Telephone: (218) 487-5225

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