Gary Alan Hanson

08-Jan-1941 - 06-Sep-2021

Obituary Overview

Gary Alan Hanson


Dr. Gary Alan Hanson died on September 6, 2021 in Saskatoon. He was born January 8, 1941 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA and attended Collins Iowa school living on a farm. He graduated from Collins High School as Valedictorian in 1959. He attended Grinnell College 1959-63 majoring in history. The summer of 1962 was spent through the Experiment in International Living with a family near Bilbao, Spain. His return to Grinnell saw the study of Russian not Spanish. He received a BA from Grinnell in 1963 and an MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1971. The years 1967-68 were spent in the Soviet Union with the IREX US government exchange doing research in Moscow and St. Petersburg and traveling to Central Asia and the Caucasus. He taught Russian and European history at the University of Saskatchewan from 1969-2000. Favorite courses were the Russian history survey, Nationalism and the Nationalities of the Soviet Union, Stalin and Stalinism and especially a History of Siberia his research interest. Activities included Amnesty International, the Canadian International Council and the Saskatoon Stamp Club. He was also a cinema buff and loved the Roxy Theater. An active philatelist since the age of 10 years he collected mint stamps of France and French colonies, Russia and the Soviet Union, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. He belonged to Zion Lutheran Church where he enjoyed teaching Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita and Dostoyevsky’s The Devils. He was an adventurous Viking and especially enjoyed trips with sister Shirley to Yugoslavia, the Republic of South Africa (Zulu land especially) with Shirley and Larry Ladd her husband. Solo trips to Portugal and Argentina were memorable. The Memorial Service will be held at Park Funeral Home, 311 Third Avenue North, Saskatoon, on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. officiated by Pastor Ron Bestvater. To view the Livestreamed service Click Here . Interment to follow at St. John’s Columbarium. To share memories and condolences, visit wwwparkfuneral.ca “Obituaries-Guestbook”. Arrangements entrusted to Greg Lalach, Park Funeral Home 306.244.2103.

Gary Alan Hanson

Like a Shadow in the Moonlight
Like a Whisper of the Seas
Like the Echoes of a Melody
Just Beyond our Reach
In the Shadow of our Sorrow
Past the Whisper of Goodbye
Love Shines Through Eternity ~
A Heartbeat from our Eye.

Condolences from family and friends

Posted by Travis Hanson-Pollock | 08-Oct-2021


I'm the son of Nola Hanson, Gary's cousin. I remember when I was young that Gary always loved that I was also interested in history. He would send me books and postcards from historical sites. Some of the books I could tell were from his personal library with hand written notes on many pages and notes to me. A favorite story in the family is that when I was very little he opened up a bank account in my name so he could send me the free t-shirt. I always appreciated talking to Gary and loved hearing about the world through his eyes. He will be missed.

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Posted by Jene and Susan Porter | 06-Oct-2021


We remember with delight a visit with Shirley, Larry and Gary. They had come to see the Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville, AR. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed some wonderful food and conversation. He was a most interestn correspondent who continually asked questions about the politics of the day. Even when he was dictating his letters he wanted to keep up to date on the currents of the day. It was a pleasure to know someone who accomplished so much and lived his life with great courage. He was a loving presence who will be much missed. Jene and Susan Porter

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