Rodney HansonRodney Allen Hanson finished his good fight and entered his reward May 7, 2011, surrounded by family. His fight was long but his life was defined by his faith and tenacity, rather than his illness.
Rodney Allen Hanson finished his good fight and entered his reward May 7, 2011, surrounded by family. His fight was long but his life was defined by his faith and tenacity, rather than his illness.
He was born on October 2, 1949 to Arnold and Gladys Hanson in Minot, North Dakota. He was brought up on a dairy and grain farm and raised pigs and hogs for 4-H. While in high school he played baseball, basketball, and track. He was valedictorian of Montpelier High School in 1967.
Rod graduated from NNC in 1971 with a history teaching degree. During his senior year he was included in the Who’s Who for Colleges and Universities.
On October 2nd, 1971, he married his college sweetheart, Kathleen Howard. Together they raised three children Heather, Whitney, and Ryan.
Rod began his teaching career in Nampa at South Junior High School. He had a memory for his students and would often be able to address them by name years after having them in class. Even during his illness and retirement, he would see someone in a restaurant and share when he had taught that student, their siblings, or their parents and even who they were dating when he taught them. During his teaching years, he enjoyed coaching multiple sports and refereeing hundreds of basketball games. His summer vacations were filled with Little League coaching. He was a gracious winner and a gracious loser and held both his students and his own children to those standards, regardless if the game was basketball or Monopoly.
His career led into administration both in Minidoka County and at South Middle School in Nampa. Twenty nine years of his educational career were spent in the Nampa School district. The support of the district throughout his increasing medical issues remains a source of comfort for his family.
Rod endured countless medical issues stemming from diabetes and kidney failure. Over the course of several years, he was a recipient of two separate organ transplants which extended his life and health; gracious gifts from an anonymous donor and his younger sister Marlys.
From his hospital bed he began to teach his most important lessons — a deep love of life, fortitude, and faith. He treated his nurses much the way he’d treated his students; with grace, respect, and an incredible memory for their names and activities. Always the consummate gentleman, Rod would never forget a thank you even while being poked and prodded. His strength and perseverance for the last 17 years of his life served as an inspiration for those around him.
The last years of his life included an annual family vacation. Each summer, the family would travel together, enjoying a week at the beach or another destination. On these trips, Rod reveled (in his quiet way) playing games, sightseeing, and watching his grandkids play.
As his health declined, limiting his ability to work and play, it did not limit his ability to love, nor did it diminish his wry sense of humor or his tenacity. He earned a nickname, “The Comeback Kid” for always defying the odds given to him.
Rod is survived by his loving wife of almost forty years, Kathleen. Their marriage is a testament of faithfulness, abiding love, and deep respect.
He is also survived by his three children, all of whom are proud to call him Dad. Heather (Christopher) Osborn and their children Samuel and Kate; Whitney (Ryan) Ward and their children Dexter and Adeline; and Ryan (Jessica) Hanson and their children Robert and Elizabeth.
Other surviving family members include his mother, Gladys, and his siblings Ken (Joni) Hanson and Marlys (Bob) Roseberry and in-laws: Bob (Jocelyn) Howard; Judy (Norm) Hall; and Mike (Vicki) Howard along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Rod was preceded in death by his father, Arnold Hanson; his in-laws Robert and Virla Howard; and his brother in-law, Gary Lantz.
The family wishes to express its thanks to hundreds of people. Doctors, nurses, DaVita Dialysis Center, and the hospital staff at St. Luke’s Meridian, and LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. The care he’d received for so many years was exemplified by the paramedics and Emergency staff at St. Al’s, Nampa who gently guided us through Rod’s final hours. College Church of the Nazarene repeatedly cared for the family. Countless friends who visited in the hospitals. An anonymous donor whose family saw the opportunity in their grief to give and to Marlys, who gave the gift of life.
It is fitting that on his last day, Rod was able to donate his corneas thus passing on the gift of life he received.
A memorial service will be held May 14th, 2011 at College Church of the Nazarene at 10:00am. The public viewing will be Thursday, May 12 from 6 to 8pm at Alsip & Persons Funeral Chapel, 404 10th Ave S, Nampa, 466-3545.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the National Kidney Foundation at www.kidney.org. We also encourage you to consider the gift of organ donation.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.alsipfuneralchapel.com.
2nd Timothy 4:2-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will award to me on this day...”