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Harold “Stub” L. Hanson, 102

Sep 29, 2014

Blue Earth Harold LeaVerne “Stub” Hanson passed away on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.

Funeral services will be Friday, Oct. 3, at 2 p.m., at First Lutheran Church, 316 Third St. SW, Renville.

Harold was born Nov. 25, 1911, in Ashippun, Wis., to Casper and Josephine Hanson. The family relocated to Minnesota a few years later. His father nicknamed him Stub while still a child, and so everyone called him Stub throughout his almost 103 years. Stub Hanson was a man of many talents, but you would never hear that from him, being both modest and humble. In recent years he loved talking about driving to California to find work and how fast you could drive on the uncrowded highways before WWII, flying his friend Harold Berger’s plane, driving down by the river on his motorcycle, a Super X.

When work was hard to find Stub spent some time in the Civilian Conservation Corps, building portages in the Boundary Waters in 1933. He enjoyed the camaraderie and believed wholeheartedly in the importance of being productive, often lamenting in later years the lack of such an enterprise which could provide young people with jobs that would contribute to a crumbling infrastructure in America.

He built his own home in rural Baudette in 1977 and lived in it for 36 years.

He read voraciously, keeping up with science and politics and enjoying western novels, expecially Louis L’amour. After turning 100 he was still reading every day, and he chose to endow the Baudette public library with the entire Louis L’amour collection.

In the 40’s, when there was no work to be found, even in California, without military deferment, Stub chose to join the Navy. He sailed most of the seas and had some close calls, but fortunately he was one of five Hanson brothers to serve in that war and return home safely. On one occasion his ship was part of a convoy sailing through Panama Canal, when the ship ahead of his and one behind his were both sunk by enemy torpedoes. On another occasion he became ill and had to be put a ashore in a hospital in Pakistan. After his recovery he was assigned to another ship and eventually ran into a former shipmate in New York Harbor, there he learned that his former ship had also been sunk, with just 13 surviving. He was a true patriot, proud of serving his country, and for many years he participated in Memorial Day activities in Renville. He was a long-time member of the VFW. Late in life, after moving to Blue Earth, where there was no VFW, he was honored on joining the American Legion as the oldest member ever to join that organization.

After the war, Stub spent many years as a carpenter and building contractor in Renville. He built many homes, barns, school and church additions and remodels. The work of which he was most proud was the First Lutheran Church in Renville, where he and his siblings were all confirmed. He donated the land for the new church building, absorbed some of the cost himself, and even paid his crew out of his own pocket for some days’ work on the building.

In November of 2013, a few weeks before his 102nd birthday, he went to live with his niece Terri in Blue Earth. He did not want to give up his independence and especially missed his garden, but his frailty was such that he could no longer meet all his own needs. However, he was still winning at rummy during the last month of his life, still reading books and magazines, and reminiscing about the adventures of his life.

Stub is survived by one brother, LeMoyne, of Rockford, Ill. LeMoyne visited Stub in Blue Earth in August and talked with him frequently by phone, something Stub looked forward to with enthusiasm. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews as well as cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and six siblings, Clarence, Pearl (Dusterhoft), Arnold, Merritt, Wallace, and Jerome.