Andrew Ansel Hanson
Born September 16, 1920 at home, to parents Anthony and Mabel Hanson, (a.k.a. “Grandpa & Grandma Tony”). Andrew’s father, Tony, worked at Buick for over 43 years. Mabel only had a fourth grade education. Andrew was named after his grandfather Andrew Hanson, and his uncle Ansel Anderson. His grandfather insisted that his name should be Andrew Ansel, not Ansel Andrew.
Andrew attended schools in Flint, Michigan, graduated from Northern High School in 1938, and attended Flint Junior College from 1938-40. He worked at Buick factory in Flint from 1940-41.
In his youth Andrew was very active in his home church, Salem Lutheran, as well as the Baptist church in downtown Flint, where he was recognized for his strong, beautiful tenor voice. Andrew was a friendly and charismatic leader who organized many events and activities in the church, and with other churches in the area. He was life-long friends with Salem Lutheran Church Pastor Nels Norbeck, and a close friend of E.J. Conrad over the years.
1941-43 attended Augusana College, Rock Island, IL
1943-46 attended Augustana Seminary, Rock Island, IL
In the summer of 1945, Andrew was serving as a student pastor in Alexandria, MN. While there he met Helen Youngner when he was speaking at a church in Nelson, MN. His first words to Helen were “Haven’t I seen you before?” Andrew found his way to the Youngner family farm frequently that summer to visit Helen, where they often walked together through the apple orchard.
The following summer in Duluth, MN, on June 16, 1946, Andrew was ordained as a Pastor of the Augustana Lutheran Synod. Three days later on June 19, 1946, Andrew and Helen were married at Fahlun Lutheran Church near Nelson. They were married for 71 years, until her death in 2017.
Andrew and Helen made their home in Annandale, MN where they began raising their family. They served St. John’s and Mt. Herman Lutheran churches in Annandale from 1946 until 1952. They moved to Clarissa, MN in 1952, where they served Immanuel Lutheran, Clarissa, Calvary Lutheran, Little Sauk, and St. John’s Lutheran, Browerville.
Andrew was a World Mission Prayer League Board Member from 1949-59, working with Dr. Paul Lindell. In February 1951, Andrew traveled with WMPL to Mexico.
Andrew had a keen interest in history and a sharp memory for historical dates. An enthusiastic leader and organizer, he loved music, hymns, and the life and activities of the church, working tirelessly at preaching and teaching, along with the many meetings, business operations, and maintenance that were all part of the day-to-day functions of the churches where he served.
Andrew had a passion for people and genuine sense of compassion and caring for the physical and spiritual lives of everyone he knew and met. He had a godly influence on many lives. A true man of God in every way. He took the opportunity to send birthday greetings, making calls and sending cards of encouragement to many even in his later years. He appreciated the time of Bible study with others. He left a profound legacy in all our hearts.
After thirty-three years in Clarissa, Helen and Andy “retired” and moved to Long Prairie in 1985. There Andrew served at American Lutheran Church, Long Prairie, with Pastors Loren Fevig and David Sorensen. In 1997 Andrew retired after having a stroke.
Andrew and Helen were blessed with four children. Andrew loved his family, and enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The Hanson family traveled on many vacations to Hubbard Lake and Flint, Michigan and Brown Deer, Wisconsin to visit Andrew’s parents and sisters, as well as trips to Washington D.C., Seattle, Canadian Rockies, Glacier Park and many other places with the Shasta camper trailer.
After retirement, Helen & Andrew continued to enjoy traveling to Michigan, Wisconsin, Europe, Middle East, Norway, Russia, and other places. They continued to be active members at Calvary and American Lutheran Churches.
July 2012, Helen and Andy moved to Nokomis Square Senior cooperative in Minneapolis to be closer to their children. They enjoyed many birthday and anniversary parties, church services, concerts, dinners and visits with friends and family while living at Nokomis Square.
On Wednesday, April 22, 2020, Andrew died at the age of ninety-nine years. He passed away peacefully in his sleep at home at Nokomis Square, where son Jonathan had been his dedicated and tireless caregiver for 8 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Anthony and Mabel; his wife, Helen; a grandson, Andy Nelson; his sisters, Dorothy Larson and Helen Knoblock; and a niece, Vicki Smith. Andrew is survived by son Paul Hanson and wife Mary Cogelow, Minneapolis; daughter Faith Nelson and husband, Reverend Elden Nelson, of Prinsburg, MN; sons, Jonathan Hanson and Timothy Hanson of Minneapolis; grandchildren, Anne and Jeff Byrnes, Maren Skyberg, Tricia and Brad Nelson, Benjamin and Lynn Monica Nelson, and Mikal and Hilary Nelson; great grandchildren, Maya Byrnes, Rebekah Nelson, Hannah Nelson, Sarah Nelson, Joshua Nelson, Jakob Nelson, Anna Maila Nelson, Kamilla Nelson, and Everett Nelson; and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will take place at a later date
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