Joan E. Hanson
Birth date: February 1, 1962
Death date: August 7, 2012
VERONA – Within the loving circle of her family, Joan Ellen (McFarlane) Hanson completed her journey to be with the Lord in Heaven on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. Her final days were spent surrounded by her family and close friends. She was born on Feb. 1, 1962 in Sauk City. Joan also lived in Madison, Plymouth, Minn., Minneapolis, Minn., Stillwater, Minn., and finally Verona for the past 17 years. Joan graduated from Sauk Prairie High School in 1980, and later attended MATC, St Catherine’s (St. Paul, Minn.), and UW-Madison. Joan and her family attended St. James Lutheran Church in Verona.
She is survived by her husband, best friend, and soul mate, Jim; cherished daughters, Molly and Megan; mother, Ruby McFarlane; sister, Jean (Steve) Bachhuber; brother, Tom (Margaret); brother- in-law, Mark (Joni) Hanson; sister-in-law, Barb Hanson; nieces, Tara (Pete) Klun, Amanda McFarlane, Emily Hanson, and Hannah Zingg; and nephews, John (Amy) Bachhuber, Adam (Angela) Hanson, Kevin Zingg, and Corey Zingg.
Joan taught at Cherokee Middle School, Thoreau Elementary, Chavez Elementary and most recently Huegel Elementary School. She touched and affected countless children along the way. She was awarded the Crystal Apple Award (outstanding educator) in April 2012, for her great accomplishments. Her kindness and love will continue to shine and glow in the lives of all that she has touched. In her gym class, she promoted and inspired positive behavior through physical fitness and lessons that went far beyond the class room. She loved what she did and all who were touched benefited.
Joan took great interest in physical fitness. When she wasn’t supporting her daughters own athletics, Joan loved to run with her dogs and was often found running all three in the early morning. She participated in sprint triathlons with her Verona girlfriends and spent many hours biking with Jim. She also found time to make many trips to the Dane County dog park. Joan and Jim recently took the trip of their lifetime during the summer of 2011, to Germany/Austria to celebrate their 25th anniversary.
Joan courageously battled Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) since the early nineties and most recently December of 2011. As often happens, the disease resulted in bile duct cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma). Joan set an incredible example on toughness and grace as she fought its effects. As her daughter, Megan put it in a recent essay:
“An angry monster is inside her, attempting to cause mass destruction and bring her down. But because she is my mom, I can see her fiery bright green eyes. They say she will never be defeated. They say she won’t give up. They say she is strong. I love my mom for her caring heart and respect her selfless outlook on life; I admire my mom for her strength.”
A memorial service will be held at ST. JAMES EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 427 S. Main St., Verona, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, with the Rev. Peter Narum and the Rev. Kurt Billings presiding. Visitation will be held at the church from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, and also at the church from 11 a.m. until the time of service on Wednesday. Memorials may be made to the family for a memorial fund and a foundation in Joan’s name to be established.
Joan wanted to thank family and friends, and especially thank several people who provided extraordinary care near the end of her life. Those include special friend, Diana Girdley who was her close advocate throughout her illness; UW Health doctors, Michael Lucey and John McDermott; the countless caring nurses and support teams of UW Hospital and Agrace HospiceCare; and finally St James Lutheran Church and its Pastors, Kurt Billings and Peter Narum.
Memorials may be made to the family for a memorial fund and a foundation in Joan’s name to be established.
Visitation will be held at the church from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, and also at the church from 11 a.m. until the time of service on Wednesday.
A memorial service will be held at ST. JAMES EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 427 S. Main St., Verona, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, with the Rev. Peter Narum and the Rev. Kurt Billings presiding.