Rodney  Hanson

Obituary of Rodney Allen Hanson

Rodney Allen Hanson

February 7th, 202

Rodney Hanson, 86, passed away on February 7th, 2022, in Tucson, AZ.  Rod is survived by three of his four children, daughter Heidi (Galen) Kryger (Tucson, AZ), son Sid (Carrie) Hanson (Overland Park, KS), son Darren (Nadine)Hanson (Tucson, AZ), and his daughter-in-law Caroline Hanson (Tucson, AZ); eleven grandchildren, Christopher, Todd, Kyle, Heather, Spencer, Marissa, Jason, Katie, Morgan, Lauren, and Catherine; as well as seven great grandchildren, Liam, Sophia, Harlan, Hunter, Nora, Leland, and Lillian.  He was preceded in death by his wife Eleanor Verlee Hanson, his son Stuart Hanson, a great granddaughter Ellie Hanson, his parents, brothers “Pat”, Mark and Sidney, and sister Virginia Kennedy (Hanson).

Clarence and Hessie Hanson welcomed their youngest child Rodney who was born on April 20th, 1935 in Salina, KS.  He grew up and helped his father farm in Assaria, KS and graduated from Assaria High School in 1953.  After graduation Rod served in the U.S. Army for several years and was stationed in West Germany.  After his discharge from the Army, he returned back to Assaria and married his childhood sweetheart Eleanor Verlee Perrill in September 1957. Rod and Verlee lived in Hays KS while he attended Fort Hays State College in Hays, KS and graduated in 1960 with a BS degree in Mathematics. 

Rod worked for the Bureau of Standards and then BellAerospace in Boulder CO then moving with Bell Aerospace to Tucson AZ in 1967. He was instrumental in figuring out communication locations around the world to communicate with both manned and unmanned Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions.  As the Vietnam War was closing Rod settled into a position with the Department of Defense at Fort Huachuca Army Base. Rod worked in a number of areas including satellite communications and was an early user of GPS when it was still “Top Secret”. He finished his career as the Area Frequency Coordinator for southern Arizona. He retired in 2007.

Rod was happiest when he was around his children,grandchildren, and all other family members.  He and his wife Verlee, attended countless events that their children and grandchildren participated in, including concerts, performances, baseball/softball games and soccer gamesjust to name a few.  Rod had a very caring heart and loved his family fiercely. He was deeply committed to his children and grandchildren and loved to see them grow and learn.

Rod was a family historian of sorts and loved to share memories and stories about family, farming and growing up in central Kansas. He would set you straight if he thought you remembered something that wasn’t quite right. One of Rod’s highlights in later years was to attend the Assaria High School reunion every year where he could reconnect with not only his cousins and family but with classmates and friends he grew up with.

Rod’s presence as a father, grandfather, and friend givingadvice and counsel will be dearly missed.  As per Rod’s request, there will be a private family memorial service at a later date.  To honor Rod’s legacy and in his memory, Rod requested that in-lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758516, Topeka, KS, 66675.

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