Omer Jerome Hanson

Obituary
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II EAST BERLIN Omer Jerome (Jerry) Hanson II, 68, entered into God's eternal care on January 27, 2013, at his home at Lake Meade. Born August 1, 1944, in Akron, Ohio, he was the son of the late Omer Jerome Hanson of Lewistown, MT, and his mother Jane Reinhart Hanson Mather and her husband, Deacon Richard E. Mather of Oceanside, CA. He was the loving husband of Nancy (Houghland) Hanson for the past 17 years. Jerry is survived by his former wife, Mary Jean Hanson of Wooster, OH, his daughter Michelle and her husband Ray and three grandsons Cameron, Sean and Matthew of Hooksett, NH, his son Omer Jerome III and his wife Patti-Anne and granddaughter Gabrielle of Berwick, Maine, his son Jim Gilmartin of New Braunfels, Texas, three step-children Deb Hildebrand and her husband Troy of East Berlin, Kellie Grube of East Berlin, and Shawn Reichert of York, and his adopted Balinese daughter Ni Putu Ningsih Collins and her husband Edwin and granddaughter Viana of Selinsgrove. Jerry also leaves behind his brother Peter and his wife Elizabeth of Tucson, AZ, his brother Richard and his wife Carolyn of Kapolei, Hawaii, his sister Judy of Washington, DC, his brother Mark and his wife Diane of Syracuse, NY, his brother Ben and his wife Yvonne of San Diego, CA, his sister Mary of Hood River, OR, and 15 nieces and nephews. Jerry was a graduate of Brunnerdale Seminary High School in Ohio. He earned his BA at the State University of New York at Fredonia, and his MA in Theater at the University of Cincinnati, OH. After graduation, Jerry taught native American Tlingit children in Hoonah, Alaska. He then taught scenic and lighting design and technical direction at the University of Cincinnati, OH, Lewis University, IL, Colby-Sawyer College, NH, Wooster College, OH, and Hampton Institute, VA. Professor Hanson came to Gettysburg College in 1984. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Professor Hanson served as Resident Designer and Technical Director for the College's Theatre Arts Program. From 1988 to 1993, Professor Hanson served as Secretary, President and then Immediate Past President of the East Central Theatre Conference. In 2005, Professor Hanson assumed the position of Chairperson of the Department of Theatre Arts at Gettysburg College and remained as Chairperson until his retirement in 2010. Professor Hanson also served as a member of major faculty committees and an international researcher /traveler. He accompanied January Service Learning projects to Peru, Nicaragua and Jamaica. He also led a group of students in the class IDS 268, The Arts, Environment, and Religions of Indonesia, to the island of Bali, where "the mingling of religion, drama and dance is a daily experience." During the summer of 2002 Professor Hanson traveled to China to study the different forms of Chinese Opera. Professor Hanson received the Faculty Appreciation Award for 2007 for excellence in teaching, an award chosen by the students. Beginning in 1968, and continuing until his retirement, Jerry designed more than 200 productions which included sets for The Gettysburg Theatre Festival, the Kline Stage, The Showboat Majestic, Playhouse in the Park, Stage Right Repetory Company and the Rag-a-Muffin Stage Company. Recent designs included "The Rivals," "Hamlet," "Chicago," "Man and Superman," "The School for Scandal," "The Merchant of Venice," "The Good Person of Szechuan," and "The Miser," among others. Jerry also directed and produced a number of summer theatre tours for children in Appalachia and New England. Jerry had varied interests- he was a soap box derby champion, put himself through college as a Fuller Brush salesman, he was a gourmet cook, an avid fisherman, outdoors person and hunter, and an accomplished blackjack player. Jerry and his wife Nancy loved traveling abroad, visiting numerous countries in the Far East, Eastern Europe, South and Central America, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka and Bali. Jerry spent his sabbatical studying the Fine and Performing Arts of Southeast Asia. Jerry's work in the community included theater projects with the children of migrant workers. Jerry was a person who cared and dedicated his life to the service of others. A visitation will be held this coming Saturday, February 2, 2013, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., at the Peters Funeral Home, 321 Carlisle St., Gettysburg, PA (717-334-5815), followed immediately by a funeral liturgy at the funeral home, officiated by Deacon Tom Otto of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Abbottstown. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family. Contributions may be made in memory of Jerome O. Hanson to "Gettysburg College". Please specify, both online or via mail, that the gift is given for the benefit of the Theatre Arts Scene Shop at Gettysburg College. Gifts sent through the mail may be directed to Gettysburg College, attention Linda Sponseller, Box 426, 300 North Washington St., Gettysburg, PA 17325. Online gifts can be made at http://www.gettysburg.edu/. Click on Make a Gift at the top of the page. Contributions may also be made to the Adams Co. SPCA 11 Goldenville Rd., Gettysburg, PA 17325. A Memorial Service to celebrate Jerry's life will be held in the Kline Theater of Gettysburg College at a time and date to be announced later. Former students and friends are encouraged to contact the Theatre Arts. Dept. if they wish to speak at the Memorial Service. The Peters Funeral Home has been entrusted by the family with the funeral arrangements. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.petersfuneralhome.com
Published in Evening Sun on Jan. 30, 2013
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