Arlin P. Hanson

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 1:15 pm

Arlin P. Hanson, 88, of Decorah, died Saturday, April 22, 2017, at Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Friday, April 28, at Washington Prairie Lutheran Church in rural Decorah, with Rev. Dr. Jennifer Edinger officiating. Burial is in the church cemetery. Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah and Friday one hour before the service at the church. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

Arlin Peter Hanson was born Sept. 18, 1928, at home in Canoe Township, Winneshiek County, the son of Bennie and Velma (Roney) Hanson. He was baptized and confirmed at Hauge Lutheran Church in rural Decorah. Arlin graduated from Decorah High School with the class of 1947, where he served as captain of the football team and was vice president of his senior class. Arlin was united in marriage to Virginia Ann Halvorson Nov. 21, 1948, at Canoe Ridge Lutheran Church. This union was blessed with five children: Wendy, Sandra, Greg, Randy and Brian. After their marriage, they began farming north of Decorah and then moved to the Washington Prairie area to farm in 1953. They moved into Decorah in 1988. Arlin also sold insurance for Norwegian Mutual and served on their Board of Directors for many years. He was a 4-H leader, he helped 4-H weighin livestock, and was inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame in 2005. In 1989 he was recognized as a Distinguished Dairyman and in 2004 a Pioneer Dairyman. Arlin served on the Winneshiek Coop Board of Directors and was very active at Washington Prairie Lutheran Church, serving in many ways and on various committees. He loved sports and all of his grandchildren’s activities, going on tractor rides in Northeast Iowa, wintering in Arizona, and his morning coffee groups. Arlin and Virginia also loved to square dance. Arlin moved into Aase Haugen Senior Services in early December 2016.

Arlin is survived by his five children: Wendy (Bob) Van Gorp of Cedar Falls, Sandra (Keith) Elsbernd, Calmar, Greg (Dianne) Hanson, Randy (Lisa) Hanson and Brian (Rachel) Hanson, all of Decorah; 11 grandchildren: Sarah (Mitch) Lake, Jason (Sam) Van Gorp, David Elsbernd, Kristen (Cale) Tesch, Melissa (Jason) Van Pelt, Ross (Morgan) Hanson, Kaitlin (Jake) Kempel, Jordan Hanson, Ben Hanson, Joel Hanson and Tony Hanson; five great-grandchildren: Emery and Miles Lake, Jackson and Camden Van Gorp and Faith Kempel; one brother Willard (Verna) Hanson of Decorah; two brothers-in-law, Roger Halvorson of Decorah and Julius Frana of Ft. Atkinson; special friend Helen Olson and her family; and by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Virginia, Jan. 26, 2011; two brothers, Kenneth (Helen) Hanson and Merlin (Evelyn) Hanson; one sister, Roselyn (Bud) Quam; brothers- and sisters-in-law, Mavis and Otto Proehl, Marilyn and Dean Leonhart, Sonja Frana; and Helen Halvorson.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to Washington Prairie Lutheran Church, 1725 Washington Prairie Road, Decorah, IA 52101 or Winneshiek County 4-H, c/o Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, 325 Washington Street, Decorah, IA 52101.

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