Harriet Hanson

Harriet G. Hanson, 99, of Waukon died Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at Good Samaritan Society in Postville. Funeral services will be held Monday, February 24 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Waukon with Pastor Bryan Robertson officiating. Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery, Waukon. Friends may call from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services Monday at the church. Martin Funeral Home in Waukon is handling arrangements.

Harriet Geneva Hanson was born January 18, 1921 in Waukon, the daughter of Gilman and Annetta Caroline (Bakkum) Hanson. In 1939, she graduated from Waukon High School and then from Waukon Junior College in 1941. Harriet attended Kahler School of Nursing in Rochester, MN, receiving her RN in 1944.
World War II was upon the country and she enlisted in the Navy Nurse Corps and was commissioned to the U.S. Navy in January of 1945, earning the rank of Ensign. While stationed at the Great Lake Naval Hospital in Chicago, IL, she took care of soldiers wounded in the war; later she was transferred to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Long Beach, CA, where she stayed until she was discharged to the Navy Reserves in 1947.

Harriet then returned to Rochester, MN and worked at the Methodist Hospital for 38 years. Her passion in life was her nursing career and she rose to the level of head nurse at various stations in the hospital. She was an inspiration to many and served as a role model for many nurses that worked for her, hearing from many of them years after her retirement.

In 1997, she retired and moved back to Waukon, where she lived with her sister, Florence Schlake, for 22 years. Harriet was kind and generous to all who needed a helping hand. In her declining years, she faced this transition of life with grace and courage and will always be remembered as a great nurse, sister, aunt and friend.

She was a member of the Minnesota, American and the 6th District Nursing Associations. She was a faithful servant of God and belonged to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Waukon, where she was active in Ladies Aid. She was also a member of the American Legion. Some of her interests were fishing, gardening and planting trees, reading, and keeping up with current events. She enjoyed baking as well, her specialty being white sugar cookies that she shared with family and friends.

Harriet is survived by her sister, Esther Peters of Cedar Falls; and her nieces and nephews: Gwen (John) Foels of Postville, Randy (Barbara) Schlake of St. Charles, IL, David (Cindy) Peters of Cedar Falls, Susan Wishard of Corpus Christi, TX and Robert (Cindy) Peters of Ankeny; along with many great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Arlene Odegard and Florence Schlake; a brother-in-law, Robert Peters; and a great-great-nephew, Collin Harbaugh.

Honorary casketbearers are David Hahn, R.W. Pladsen and Tom Tierney. Casketbearers are Brian and Pierce Harbaugh, Jamie and Mason Smith, Keith Bakkum, Mark Sherman and Donn Smedsrud. Online condolences may be left at www.martinfunerals.com.

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