Gerald Wayne Hanson, known by everyone as Jerry, died on May 26, 2010. He was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dodgeville, Wisconsin on February 12, 1946. Jerry was the second son of Peter and Marie (Rielly) Hanson and was lucky enough to have been raised on the family farm near the county seat of Lafayette County, Darlington, Wisconsin, In Fayette Township for the first eighteen years of his life. Jerry was a graduate of Holy Rosary Grade School, Darlington High School, and the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. In 2004, he obtained a Master of Science in Education at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.
Jerry was married to a very special woman, Ellen McNamara, in Galena, Illinois in 1970; albeit their marriage was very brief.
In 1972, he moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There he was fortunate to have studied under Viktor E. Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, at Duquesne University. He also became a reading and English teacher for the Pittsburgh Public School System as well as triangle Institute of Technology.
From 1987 until 2007, he was an employee of the Milwaukee County Office on Aging, later to become known as the Department on Aging as the Policy Coordinator.
Jerry was concurrently working as an adjunct faculty member at Milwaukee Area Technical college (MATC), teaching English; in fact, his first assignment at MATC was in the spring of 1969, a semester after graduating from college.
For health reasons, Jerry retired from both positions in 2007.
Jerry is preceded in death by his most wonderful, hardworking, and loving parents, Peter and Marie; his dear brother Tom, and his best friend and mentor, Gerald Shannon.
He is survived by his dear brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Kathie (McGann) Hanson; his most beloved sister and lifelong friend, Mary Ann Hanson; his second family: Bob McCarten, Jr. (Pennie), Pat McCarten ( Nancy Huntington), and Myra (McCarten) John Taylor; his special and kind uncle, Norbert Reilly; his exceptional nephews and niece Jay (Karen), Jeff (Carol), and Kim Hanson. Additionally, he is survived by many grand nieces and nephews, cousins, friends, and former co-workers. Of note are his variety of wonderful friends: Reverend Ruth Ann (Shannon) Krymkowski, George Lambert, Robin Mayrl, Sam Orlich, Michael Provine, John Schaal, Joyce Schneiderman, Margaret Shannon, Christopher Stray, who all supported and comforted Jerry during his final stage of life.
Jerry was often quoted, using a phrase borrowed from County Clare restaurant in Milwaukee, “ If you are lucky enough to be Irish, you are lucky enough.” In his entire lifetime, Jerry was never ever wanting or unloved due to the attentions of four amazing, Irish women, guiding and nurturing him: Marie Hanson, Myra Rielly, Mercedes McCarten, and Mary Ann Hanson.
A brief memorial for Jerry will be held at Suminski Family Funeral Home, 1901 N. Farwell Avenue on Thursday June 3rd at 6:30 PM. Family and friends will gather from 5:30 PM until the time of the complete service. Private family inurnment at Holy Rosary Cemetery in Darlington, Wisconsin.
Memorials suggested to the charity of your choice.
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