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Lee Hanson

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Lee Hanson Obituary
Lee C. Hanson

Fort Gratiot

Lee Congdon Hanson, 84, of Fort Gratiot, died Thursday, November 12, 2015 in Blue Water Hospice Home, Marysville.

He was born April 20, 1931 in Indianapolis to the late Lee D. and Olive E. "Polly" Hanson.  He married Janet Elaine Good on March 28, 1959 in Salem Lutheran Church, Bark River, Michigan.

Mr. Hanson was a 1953 graduate of Michigan State University, where he was elected to Excalibur and Blue Key honor societies for his scholarship & leadership accomplishments.   He then served in the U.S. Army in Puerto Rico.  He received an honorary doctorate from Baker College in 1996.

Mr. Hanson was the former owner/operator of the WPHM/WBTI/WHYT radio stations in the Port Huron area, retiring in 2000 after an active 51-year career in broadcasting.    Earlier in his work history, he was General Manager of WKBD-TV Channel 50, WQRS-FM and WNIC in the Detroit broadcast market.  He served as a Director of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the New York State Broadcasters Association and was a past president of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters. 

He was a distinguished Rotarian, a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, past District Governor of Rotary International District 6330, and received the Distinguished Service Award and Rotarian of the Year in 2004.  He was president of Port Huron Rotary Club in 1988-89 and a founding member of its Charitable Foundation.

A talented vocalist and actor, Lee was a 20-year member of "The Players" of Detroit and a 42-year member of The Barbershop Harmony Society.  He was in international competition twelve times, holds six international medals, three of which are 2nd place silver.  In 1992, his quartet appeared in the Michigan Opera Theater professional production of "The Music Man" on the Fisher Theater stage.  He was the narrator of Port Huron's Nutcracker Ballet for many years and also once played the role of Clara's father. 

Mr. Hanson was an Elder of First Presbyterian Church, Port Huron.   His civic involvement includes past presidencies of Greater Port Huron Chamber of Commerce, United Way of St. Clair County and Concerned Citizens for the Arts in Michigan.  He served as a Regent of Baker College, and on the boards of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, International Symphony Orchestra, Salvation Army, Michigan Cancer Foundation, Epilepsy Center of Michigan, Detroit Symphony, Orchestra Hall and Michigan Opera Theater.  

He is survived by his wife, Janet; three children, Linda (Scott) Wilson of Birmingham, Katrina (Brian) Belanger of Royal Oak and Eric (Cindy) Hanson of Croswell; five grandchildren, Chelsea (Kyle) Dennis of Atlanta, GA, Kimberly Wilson of Chicago, IL, Brandon Belanger and Noelle Belanger of Royal Oak and Kristin Hanson of Croswell; a sister, Nancy Owen of Fort Gratiot; a brother-in-law, David Calhoun of Glenview, IL; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.  He was preceded in death by two sisters, Polly Carter and Sally Calhoun; and a brother-in-law, Howard Owen. 

Visitation will be 6-8 p.m.  Monday and  1-4 & 6-8 p.m. Tuesday in Pollock-Randall Funeral Home, 912 Lapeer Avenue, Port Huron.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, November 18, 2015 in First Presbyterian Church, 811 Wall Street, Port Huron with visitation from 10:00 AM until the time of service.  The Reverend Jason E. Pittman will officiate. 

Burial will be in Lakeside Cemetery, Port Huron.  Graveside military honors will be conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Army. 

Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider the Community Foundation of St. Clair County (Janet and Lee Hanson Fund), Port Huron Rotary Foundation, First Presbyterian Church, or the Barbershop Harmony Society of Nashville, TN.   

To send condolences or read more about Lee's life story and career, visit

Published in The Times Herald from Nov. 14 to Nov. 15, 2015
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