Russell Edward Hanson (1937 - 2017)

Obituary
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  • "Russ was always a sweetheart to me, greeted me with a big..."
    - Cheryl Barquest
  • "I always knew him as Uncle Russ. Growing up, he and Aunt..."
    - Dr. Norman Lorenz
  • "We only just heard the news on Friday and are away on a..."
    - Lisa Benbow
  • "Uncle Russ: I send out spiritual thoughts that you see your..."
    - Dr. Norman Lorenz
  • "I knew him as Uncle Russ as he and Aunt Judy were always in..."
    - Dr. Norman Lorenz
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Born on January 4, 1937 to Ronnel Edward Hanson and Louise Virginia Fuchs Hanson in Sacramento, California. Russell passed away at the age of 80 on August 1, 2017, after a two year battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). After an original diagnosis of having 4-6 months to live, Russ took on chemotherapy and clinical trial drugs with a passion to live as long and as well as possible. Many thanks go to Dr. Luko Laptalo and Dr. Howard Homler of Mercy Medical Group and Dr. Brian Jonas of University of California Davis Medical Group for their support and help during Russ's commitment to never give up without a fight. Thank you to Anita and Kim for their round the clock care giving and devotion and a special thank you goes to Jamie, his infusion nurse at Mercy Medical Group Rocklin, for her unwavering care, compassion and encouragement. His closest friend and neighbor, Mike Tope, was with him each and every day. We so appreciate his effort in being there for every step of Russ's journey from beginning to end. Russell attended Theodore Judah Elementary School and was a proud member of the graduating class of 1955 from Sacramento High School. During that time, he was a proud member of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 1 in Sacramento. He attended Sacramento City College and University of California at Berkeley. He served in the United State Army where he was renowned for his expert marksmanship. Russ worked for the State of California at the Board of Equalization and the Department of Transportation, from where he retired in 2000 after 43 years of service as a Highway Engineer. Russell moved to Sun City Lincoln Hills and truly enjoyed his retired life. He met his retirement buddies every morning for breakfast where they would discuss the day's events. He was a lifetime member of the California 4 Wheel Drive Club and the Hi-Landers 4 Wheel Drive Club. Russ owned a family cabin at Sciots Tract near Strawberry on Highway 50 for decades and made many close friends there, always working on various camp projects. Russ loved his cars... 58 in all... every make and model, and he could fix literally any broken part on them. If a replacement part didn't exist, he would fashion one out of his three-car garage, which housed every tool and piece of metal he had saved for "just this purpose." He cherished his Springer spaniels, Missy and Holly, and loved walking them throughout the Lincoln Hills neighborhood. Russell shared his life with Mary Elizabeth Hanson for the past 30 years. They traveled to Hawaii every January to celebrate their "Capricorn" birthdays. Maui was Russ's favorite island and he knew every road and by way on the island. He loved going to Mama's Fish House and Kimo's for dinners overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He loved walking Kaanapali beach photographing humpback whales. Russ and Mary took their dream trip to Kenya and Tanzania on a camera safari, and several of Russ's photos were published in the Africa Adventure Company travel magazine. They spent time in London exploring the Tower of London, British Museum and Buckingham Palace. Russell is survived by Mary Elizabeth Hanson, stepson Heath Charamuga (Katrina) and stepdaughter Mary Ellen Hall (Scott McFarland) and by his five step-grandchildren, Drake, Reagan, Dylan, Devan and Rhett. Additionally survived by his sister, Karen Polli and nieces Michelle Polli and Lisa Benbow and nephew John Polli. He is also survived by his former wife, Judy Ann Spilman. Russell was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved daughter, Kari Kathleen Hanson, who was the light of his life. Services will be held on Monday, August 7 at 11am at the Land Park Chapel of Harry A. Nauman and Sons, 4041 Freeport Blvd. Visitation on Sunday, August 6 from 4-6pm. Interment will be private at East Lawn Memorial Park. Remembrances in Russell's memory can be made to or the Sacramento SPCA.
Funeral Home
Harry A. Nauman & Son
4041 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95822
(916) 452-6157
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Published in The Sacramento Bee from Aug. 4 to Aug. 6, 2017
Funeral Home Details
Sacramento, CA   (916) 452-6157
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