Ray Hanson

Mt. Vernon

Ray Douglas Hanson, 73, of Mt. Vernon, died Monday, March 29, 2021, surrounded by family after a battle with cancer at Prairie View Healthcare Center in Woonsocket.

Funeral services were held Friday, April 2, at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Mitchell. Burial was at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in rural Mt. Vernon. A festival of life was held at Resurrection Lutheran Church on Thursday, April 1. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Ray Douglas Hanson was born Sept. 5, 1947, in Herrick to Carl and Rose (Fiala) Hanson of Mt. Vernon. He attended Avery Country School for two years. He then attended Mt. Vernon High School and graduated in 1965. After high school, he attended Dakota Wesleyan University and South Dakota State University, where, as a freshman, he won the prestigious award of “Corn King.”

Ray joined the South Dakota National Guard in 1967, where he served his country for 36 years. With his skilled maintenance position, he became a leading expert in many areas of his field. He retired from the South Dakota National Guard in 2003.

Ray met Rhoni (Meng) Adam, and they were married Jan. 8, 2003. After retirement, Ray and Rhoni traveled down to Arizona every winter for eight years.

Ray dedicated many hours to local Alcoholics Anonymous groups where he was an active board member. He was 33 years sober at the time of his passing.

Ray loved hunting, the color red, and farming. He was a kind, patriotic, faithful man who loved his family. Ray’s passion for farming began at a young age, caring for livestock and the land. He was an active member in 4-H, and showed livestock at the South Dakota State Fair.

Ray is survived by his wife, Rhoni; six children, Jason (Rita) Hanson of Alexandria, Melinda Hanson of Lombard, Ill., Eric Hanson of Sioux Falls, Adam (Susie) Hanson of Renner, Jordan Adam (Dan Diede) of Woonsocket, and Jessica (Nick) Lachnit of Mitchell; eleven grandchildren, with one on the way; siblings, Linda Hanson of Fulton, Nancy Hanson Brady, Debra (Mike) Sudbeck and Todd Hanson, all of Mt. Vernon; father and mother in-law, Lloyd and Shirley Meng of Yankton; brothers-in-law, Jason (Virginia) Meng of Montana and Jess (Debbie) of Wisconsin; and sister in-law, Lauren (Erick) Walker of Yankton.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

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