George Willard "Bill" Hanson, Jr.|
1920 ~ 2014
George Willard "Bill" Hanson, Jr., loving husband, father and grandfather, returned home on January 18, 2014. Bill, a "young" 93-year-old, was born in Weiser, ID, on March 23, 1920. Being one of five siblings, he spent most of his youth in Portland, OR, later moving to Klamath Falls, OR., where as a young man he was active in many sports, but especially loved running, which he participated in competitively and then kept it up, basically for his own health, throughout his whole life. He also played the trumpet from age 14, and had his own dance band for many years. Loved to dance but never had much opportunity until his later years.
At the age of 18, Bill attended BYU for one year, deciding at that time to return to Klamath Falls to marry the girl he left behind, Louise Genevieve "Gigi" Smith. They were married on June 9, 1940, in the Logan Temple. He then worked with his dad as a meatcutter and eventually had his own retail meat market business.
With a wife and two small children, he was called to serve in the Army during WWII, receiving an Honorable discharge in October, 1945. He then returned to his retail meat market business in Klamath Falls, and in a couple years moved with his family to the Southern California area where he continued with his retail meat markets and, still playing his trumpet, organized "Bill Hanson's Band" in the early 1950's in Redlands, CA.
In 1961, a major decision was made. Bill and Gigi joined their now adult son and daughter at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, where they all graduated with degrees. Bill then taught in the seminary and institute program of the LDS Church, and being a man of many talents and endeavors, went on to build three of his own homes in Provo, UT, while selling educational books to elementary and secondary schools, and upon retirement became a dedicated caregiver to his wife.
Not long after the passing of his wife, Gigi, in 2004, he was fortunate enough to meet and marry a second loving companion, Hazel Debbold, who he has been traveling and dancing with and happily married to for almost nine years.
As a member of the LDS Church, some of Bill's callings included serving as Bishop twice, as a member of a BYU Stake High Council, and as Choir Director four different times. Also, while living in Redlands, CA, he and his wife, Genevieve, served as Stake Missionaries in the San Bernardino, CA Stake.
Bill loved people, especially the youth he worked with, and no one was ever a stranger to this loving servant of God. Bill's positive outlook on life, the twinkle in his eyes, and his quick wit and fun-loving sense of humor will definitely be missed by all who knew and loved him.
He is predeceased in death by his first wife, Gigi, and his granddaughter, Misha Hanson. Survivors include his current wife, Hazel; his son, Jack Leroy Hanson; his daughter, BIllie Hanson Borgerding; and his granddaugter, Kristin Hanson.
A Celebration of Bill's life will be held on his 94th birthday, March 23, 2014, at 6:00 pm at the Sundberg Olpin Mortuary Chapel and adjoining rooms, 495 South State Street, Orem, UT.
Published in Deseret News from Feb. 2 to Mar. 16, 2014