Wilford Joseph Hanson passed away Aug. 18, 2013. He was born May 9, 1927, in Providence, Utah, the son of Oliver and Emily Maddison Hanson.
He was raised and attended school in Providence and graduated from South Cache High School in 1945. After serving in the U.S. Air Force
during World War II
, he received a B.S. degree at Utah State University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Kansas, majoring in Entomology. While a graduate student, he spent three summers at the University of Michigan
Biological Station as a teaching assistant. In 1957 he was invited to join the research scientists at the Gorgas Memorial Institute Laboratory in Panama, where they were studying the tropical disease, Leishmaniasis. He was assigned to do research on the life history of its vectors, Phlebotomine sandflies, which occur in the rain forest. He was there three years and used the results of this research for his Ph.D. dissertation. In 1963 he joined the faculty of the Department of Zoology at Utah State University, teaching courses in Entomology and curating and building the USU Insect Collection. He retired from the Department of Biology in 1995 but continued to be involved in research and curating the collection.
He has stated that he was greatly influenced in his field of study by E. N. Larsen, biology teacher at South Cache High School, Dr. G. F. Knowlton and Dr. G. E. Bohart, entomologists at USU, Dr. "Sandy" Fairchild at the Gorgas Lab, as well as the Entomology faculty at the University of Kansas. Wilford has always had an interest in nature, especially insects and birds, and persisted in studying them throughout his life. He went on many expeditions to Central and South America, collecting insects for the USU Insect Collection. He especially enjoyed working with youth, teaching them about insects and taking them on collecting trips. He directed hundreds of tours of youth from schools throughout the area at the Insect Collection.
He also showed a great interest in growing a wide variety of plants, exotic trees, shrubs, and especially orchids, which he learned to grow while in Panama.
Good music was an important part of his life. He studied piano 10 years under Mrs. N. W. Christiansen, beginning at the age of eight. He performed extensively in churches and schools while very young and was accompanist for many school and church groups. Later he enjoyed singing with choruses and choirs.
He was an active member of the LDS Church throughout his life. He served a mission in Sweden before finishing his education. During the last year of his mission, he was a member of a concert group of eight missionaries, which presented 45 musical performances throughout Sweden. He has served as ward organist, ward clerk, financial clerk, stake membership clerk, and in several other positions.
In later years he was officiator in the Logan Temple Baptistry.
He is survived by his brother Frank Hanson (South Jordan) and two sister-in-laws, Janice Hanson (North Ogden), and Helen Hanson (Kensington, Md.).
He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers, Walter, Alvin and Robert. Two sisters, Olive (Chugg) and Emma Dell (Blanch). Two brothers, Oliver Wendell and Norman Glen, died in infancy. Two brothers-in-law Grant Chugg and Grant Blanch.
A viewing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at Allen-Hall Mortuary, 34 E. Center St. in Logan. The funeral services will be at the Providence 1st Ward Chapel (100 N. 420 West, Providence) at 1 p.m. Saturday, with a viewing prior, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Condolences may be sent to the family at allenmortuaries.net