Jack Weston Hanson passed away peacefully at home on January 13, 2024, three weeks after his family had gathered to celebrate his 80th birthday. We are grateful for the care and support provided by Our Lady of Peace Hospice, St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, and many friends and neighbors over the past several months.
Jack was born and raised on his family’s farm in Grafton, North Dakota, the second child and only son of Rudolph and Lillian Hanson. After graduating from the University of North Dakota (Grand Forks) in 1965, he married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Daley, and moved to Washington, D.C., to attend law school at George Washington University. Jack spent his days working in the U.S. Capitol building and his evenings attending class and studying, eventually with his and Barbara’s first child keeping him company from her bassinet.
After completing his law degree, Jack and his family returned to the midwest, settling initially in St. Paul, Minnesota, where Jack launched his 50-year career as a corporate lawyer specializing in mergers and acquisitions, contracts, and general corporate counseling. In addition to his legal practice, with his keen intellect, abundance of energy, and entrepreneurial spirit, Jack for many years operated a farming and ranching partnership in central Minnesota. Horseshoe Lake Farms grew to become one of the largest breeders of South Devon cattle in the United States. Jack was active in the North American South Devon Association and served on its board. He and his family spent summers traveling and exhibiting cattle all over the central and western United States. Even after downsizing to a two-bedroom condominium, Jack leaves behind a sizable (though significantly whittled down) collection of awards, banners, and trophies from those years.
Jack’s biggest source of pride and joy, however, was undoubtedly his beloved family, which grew to include five children, their spouses, and eleven grandchildren. Jack enthusiastically hauled his five young (and as time went on, older) children around the ranch on horseback, out fishing for walleye (and always “Old Snaggletooth”) every opening day weekend, and to as many Minnesota Twins or Northstars games as he could manage. He was never happier than when regaling some hapless listener with stories about his children and grandchildren.
Jack was a man of strong faith who started his mornings with a study Bible and devotional in hand. Sunday brunch after church was a family routine. He was also a man of deep intellect, wit, and humor. He loved histories and biographies, and was passionate about politics and current events and an avid consumer of the news. He loved to engage others in debate, and would start many a conversation with “what is your opinion about _____?” When he wasn’t in debate mode, he was most likely making others laugh with his rare combination of corny-dry wit. He loved to dance — always to his own made-up steps — and was the life of every party. He insisted upon flying in a suit and tie, and it was surely no coincidence that he waited to pass until he had gotten a good, close shave. His optimism, confidence, and enthusiasm were infectious. He will be sorely missed.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Rudolph and Lillian Hanson. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Barbara Daley Hanson; children Heather (& David) Anderson, Amber (& Mike) Paddock, Danika Babcock, Melanie (& Mike) Hyland, and Tanner (& Michelle) Hanson; grandchildren Cameron (& Anne), Dylan, Aida, Garrett, Gus, Rudy, Lula, Bodhi, Fiona, Maya, and Viveka; and his sister Lorraine (& George) Campbell, as well as a large and loving family of sisters and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, February 10 at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 8400 France Ave. S., Bloomington, MN, starting at 2pm, followed by a Celebration of Life service at 3pm.
For those interested in making a donation in Jack’s memory, please consider Our Lady of Peace Hospice of St. Paul, MN, or St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Bloomington, MN.