Gaylord Heber Hanson

Posted 6/12/24

Gaylord Heber Hanson entered into rest on December 13, 2023 at the age of 87 at the VA hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. 

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Gaylord Heber Hanson


   Gaylord Heber Hanson entered into rest on December 13, 2023 at the age of 87 at the VA hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. 

    He was born in the town of Columbia, SD in a small house on February 27, 1936, the 1st born son of Carl Norwood Hanson and Loree Theda-Marie Hammond. Gaylord attended Redfield HS and married his high school sweetheart and the “love of his life” Virgie Gladys Sisson, on April 3, 1955 in Redfield, SD. He had a beautiful tenor voice and Virgie would often accompany him on the piano during church services at the Wheaton Congregation Church. He joined the U.S. Air Force in June, 1954. His rank was Airman 1st Class, title was Passenger Processor. He was stationed at Haneda Air Force Base in Tokyo, Japan. Virgie joined him in Japan soon after finishing her teaching studies and they resided in Yokohama. They returned to Seneca, SD after completing his military service in January, 1958 where they started their family.

    Gaylord had very distinguished career. He moved his family to Casper, WY and worked for the Wyoming Retailer Merchants Association as a lobbyist. During this time, he ran for office as WY State Representative for the Republican Party. His experience led him to being hired by Safeway Stores, Inc. as VP, Government Relations. He relocated to Redmond, WA in 1972 during his tenure with Safeway and then to Littleton, CO in 1974. He was very successful with lobbying on various issues and passing legislation, was a powerful speaker and had a commanding presence. Gaylord then accepted a position working under the Wyoming Senator Alan K. Simpson in the capacity of economic development and moved back to Casper. He had 3 more children with his 2nd wife Jackie. He dabbled in insurance for several years and owned his own agency for Allstate. He also started a successful insurance quote business while residing in Colorado Springs, CO in the 90’s. He then moved to Rexburg, ID. 

    Gaylord, a.k.a., “Gay” and “The Hebe” was a talented athlete. He played football, baseball and basketball in high school and holds high scoring records which stand to this day. He loved the outdoors; golfing, fishing, hunting, ATV’s, boating, tennis, and long road trips. He liked to play pinochle and cribbage and his competitive nature was hilarious. He was always very happy, humming and singing, and had a wonderful sense of humor. He obtained his private pilots license in the 70’s and loved to fly. He also enjoyed road trips with his young family in his Winnebago. 

    Gaylord’s love of his family was immeasurable. He was a very devoted father and grandfather, a good provider and always gave sound advice and a lending hand when needed. He cherished spending time with extended family at many family reunions and gatherings. 

    He is survived by his 7 children; Gayla Jo Hanson, Rhonda Loree (Bill) Ortez, Janelle Joy Marra, Orianne Rae (Adam) Weir, Collin Gaylord (Cassie) Hanson, Preston Kale (Ashley) Hanson, Hayley Brooke (Bryan) Grover, stepchildren Marissa (Julio) Pineda, and Matthew Genta, ex-wife Jackie, 16 adoring grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Surviving siblings; Randall Norwood (Verna) Hanson, Kimley Todd (Char) Hanson, Linda Lou Ferris, Penny Lee (David) DeJean, Debbie Sue (Chuck) Warfield, Mara Zoe Mager, and countless nieces and nephews. Gaylord was preceded in death by his parents, 1st born daughter, 1st wife Virgie Gladys Hanson, brothers Tab Scott Hanson, Rex Lanny Hanson, Mark Lamar Hanson, and sisters, Loree Ann Hanson, Lovell Noreen Dahl, and Dana Jill Hanson. 

     A special thank you to our uncle Kim and Aunt Char for their immense support and love of our father during this difficult time. 

   A celebration of Gaylord’s life will be held Saturday, 6/22 at First Congregational UCC in Redfield, SD at 11:00 am. Interment following lunch at Burdette cemetery, military honors.