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John Hanson

John M Hanson
John M Hanson passed away due to a year-long fight against lymphoma on Friday, January 17, 2014. John (also known as Dr. Tootie) was born in 1927 in the Canal Zone, Panama. His father, also named John, had come to Panama from Sweden to work as the top engineer on the construction of the Panama Canal. His mother, Consuelo, was a Panamanian beauty of Spanish and Cuban descent. John grew up in the Canal Zone in Panama and attended Balboa High School. He was active in the Boy Scouts there and wrote many published magazine articles about his adventures in the jungle. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1951 and was a Lieutenant in the US Navy. He had the unique distinction of having had both his uncle and stepfather be Admirals in the Navy. He then worked in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, where he met his wife of 51 years, Ann. After a short stay in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, they moved to Hawthorne, California, where they lived for the rest of their lives. John worked in the Space industry and for a time was flown to a special work project each day on Howard Hughes' personal plane. He also collaborated with Greg Noll, a pioneer in surfboard shaping. John "retired" when he was 35, after he invented Tooties, a learning and coordination tool for all ages. He spent the rest of his life traveling the world and spreading the Tooties message far and wide, always on the lookout for people he could help to better their lives. John worked every day if he could, and many people in the neighborhood would wave to him as he worked in his garage. In fact, he was working the week he passed away. During his life John invented thousands of items including the first clock radio when he was about 13. John was also a licensed pilot and spent many hours flying around and even survived a crash in his small plane. John and Ann had two successful sons, John and Terry. John's granddaughters, Katie and Larissa, and his grandsons, Marty and Nicolas, were a source of joy and pride for the past thirty years. There was nothing John liked better than working with his grandkids in his garage - building, measuring, and experimenting. John was very active in the Toastmasters Organization and loved going to the weekly meetings. He was also active in the Panama Canal Zone Society, the Rotary Club, and numerous other personal and professional organizations. He made fast friends with everyone he met and would always make sure to ask your name. He touched many peoples' lives and will be deeply missed by his family and friends. John was preceded in death by his parents John and Consuelo, brothers Robert and Ragnar, wife Ann, and son Terry. He is survived by his son John; a daughter Dorcas; his granddaughters Katie and Larissa; his grandsons Marty, Nicolas, and Ethan; and his assistant Daisy. The Service will be held at Rice Mortuary on Friday January 24 at 1:00pm with the burial following at Pacific Crest Cemetery. Family and friends are welcome to visit beginning at 9:00am. Go to www.lafuneral.com to send the family messages and share memories. Sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com.

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Published in Daily Breeze on Jan. 22, 2014
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