Cover photo for Rodney Hanson's Obituary
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1925 Rodney 2017

Rodney Hanson

November 26, 1925 — May 22, 2017

Rodney Hanson, age 91, of Vergas, MN passed away Monday, May 22, 2017 at Perham Health.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 26, 2017, at Vergas Event Center in Vergas, MN. Visitation will be held from 4-7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 25, 2017 at United Methodist Church in Vergas, with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Burial will be at Vergas Village Cemetery. Furey Funeral Home is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Please visit to leave online condolences.

Rodney Hanson was born Nov. 26, 1925 in Pelican Rapids, MN to Henry J. and Anna C. (Larson) Hanson along with a twin brother Rodger Hanson. In 1933 Rodney's parents and siblings moved to Vergas, MN where his dad "Hardware Hank" established a hardware business on Main Street and let his "boys" become clerks from the age of 8 and on. After 8 years of grade school in Vergas, Rodney attended high school in Frazee, MN graduating with the Class of 1943. Health problems prevented him from being drafted with his classmates during World War II. For the next five years Rodney worked intermittently for the Vergas State Bank and the family business until becoming eligible for enlistment.

He joined the U.S. Army Air Force on Nov. 2, 1948. During electronic schooling at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss. he was selected for specific training in a new radiological defense course designed to collect and analyze air samples from incoming aircraft. Monitoring stations were established at Air Force Bases in the Pacific to deter atomic bomb experiments and nuclear efforts.

Rodney pulled duty in this capacity in the Philippine Islands, Guam, Japan and special duty at Far East Air Force Headquarters in Tokyo. After his 4-year enlistment he was discharged the fall of 1952. Returning to Vergas he joined his brother and dad in the family business.

Nov. 1, 1953 he married Olive Antonsen of Frazee. This union was blessed with five children. Besides enjoying a very busy family life he immersed himself in his business and community affairs. He was an active member of the Vergas Methodist Church; Charter member of the Vergas Lions; Life member of the Frazee-Vergas VFW; Village clerk for 32 years; Vergas CDH Fire Department; Boy Scout leader in the 1950s and '60s; Barbershop singer for almost 40 years; Life member of the Otter Tail County Historical Society; occasional writer for the Frazee-Vergas Forum.

With the business expanding and their families growing it was mutually agreed to break up the partnership. In 1974 Rodney, Olive and their four kids started Hanson's Plumbing & Heating. A new building was built in Vergas and a branch office established in Perham. In his declining years Rodney's challenge each day was to show up at the shop to visit with old customers and new friends. Rodney and Olive have lived on Rose Lake since 1976.

Rodney was preceded in death by his parents Henry and Anna Hanson and by his oldest brother Kenneth and wife Eleanor; his sister Jean and husband Murray Cummings; his twin brother Rodger; his infant son Jeffrey; and his adult daughter Jolyn Priem.

Rodney is survived by his wife Olive; his three sons Robin (Jen), Marty (Nancy), and Jeffry (Terrie); his sister-in-law Dona Hanson; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws.


United Methodist Church
200 W Main St
Vergas, MN 56587

Thursday, May 25, 2017
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Vergas Event Center
140 W Linden St
Vergas, MN 56587

Friday, May 26, 2017
11:00 AM
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rodney Hanson, please visit our flower store.


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