Merlin O. Hanson

Jan. 8, 1926 - Jan. 7, 2007

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WILLMAR -- Merlin Oliver "Mo" Hanson, 80, of Willmar died Sunday at Bethesda Heritage Center in Willmar.

The service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Bethel Lutheran Church in Willmar.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar, with a Masonic service at 7 p.m., and for one hour prior to the service Wednesday at the church.

He was born Jan. 8, 1926, in Raymond to Oliver and Catherine (Novak) Hanson. He grew up and attended school in the Raymond area. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 and served during World War II until 1946. He served on the USS Rochambeau and in the South Pacific and received the Victory Medal.

He married Myrle Peterson on Dec. 10, 1949, in Willmar. He worked for the Great Northern Railroad. He recently lived at Bethesda Heritage Nursing Home after suffering from dementia and being diagnosed with cancer.

He was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church in Willmar where he served as usher and in a service group. He was a member of VFW Post 1639 and served as Minnesota state commander and on many national committees. He was a member of the American Legion Post 167, Elks and Eagles. He was active in Masonic Temple work and served as Master of Sharon Lodge 104, was a Shriner, and volunteered for many activities of fundraising for the Crippled Children's Hospital. He was a bell ringer for The Salvation Army.

He is survived by his wife; children: Steven (and Kathy) Hanson of Litchfield, Thomas (and Connie) Hanson of Apple Valley, Nancy (and Ron) Stebbins of Spicer; his mother of Renville; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and his siblings: Lloyd (and Joyce) Hanson of Willmar, Buster (and Marvel) Hanson of Renville, Betty Mae Fliflet of Appleton, Mary Lou Hanson, Jimmy L. Hanson, and Michael (and Peggy) Hanson, all of Renville.

He was preceded in death by his father, one grandson and one sister.