LaVerne (Verne) W. Hanson, LaCross, WI/formerly Janesville, WI (1924-2014)
April 25, 1924 - April 3, 2014
LaVerne (Verne) W. Hanson, age 89, of LaCrosse, formerly of Janesville, died unexpectedly Thursday, April 3, 2014, at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse. He was born in Orfordville, on April 25, 1924, the son of Eugene and Cora (Liston) Hanson and was a 1943 graduate of Janesville High School. Verne entered into the US Army and served his country during World War II from 1943-1946, as a member of the 10th Mountain Division. Verne was critically wounded during a combat mission in Italy, and thanks to the heroism of his staff sergeant, Ernie Plotecher of Milwaukee, he survived his injuries and returned home to Janesville. Verne was awarded the Purple Heart, and he was forever grateful to Ernie, who became a lifelong friend and was always known as “Uncle Ernie” to the Hanson children. Verne married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ellen McCabe, on June 22, 1946, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Janesville. They were lifelong residents of Janesville, where they raised their six children. Verne was employed by the Parker Pen Company for 37 years before retiring in 1981. Mary Ellen preceded him in death on Dec. 16, 2001. For health reasons, Verne moved to La Crosse in October 2009.
Verne was a member of the VFW and the Elks Club. He enjoyed woodworking and one of his favorite projects was building a playhouse for his kids. He had a great sense of humor, loved socializing and spending time with his children and grandchildren. Living across the street from the entrance to the Rock County Fairgrounds for over 60 years, Verne loved the 4H Fair, as it gave him the chance to visit with hundreds of people each year during fair week. A highlight of his later years was in 2011, when Verne went on a Freedom Honor Flight, accompanied by his daughter, Debra, to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Verne is survived by his six children: Steve (Jane) Hanson of Excelsior Springs, MO, Tom (Kathy) Hanson of Wellington, FL, JoEllen (Patrick) Gavin of Delavan, Debra (Al) Rebman of Appleton, LuAnn (Chuck) Roth of Onalaska, and E.J. Hanson of Onalaska; grandchildren: Michael Hanson, Dawnel (Ben) Hanson-Keel, Matthew (Annette) and Steve Hanson, Jim Ciuffetelli, Sean and Tracy Gavin, Rachel, Meridith and Claire Rebman, Abigail, Mary and Daniel Roth; great-grandchildren: Michael, Hailey, and Taevyn Hanson, Christal (David) Starcher, Dominique, Caitlin and Jimmy Ciuffetelli, Cody McCracken, Coulter Hanson, Hunter, Benjamin and Hannah Keel, Mallory, Joshua and Megan Hanson, Logan and Liv Hanson, and Charles Gavin; great-great-grandchildren: Chase, Corbin, Preston, Pierce, Lance, Logan, Wren and Tucker; and many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Ellen; brothers, Stanley and Lester; and sister, Bernice.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at the SCHNEIDER APFEL SCHNEIDER & SCHNEIDER FUNERAL HOME and CREMATORY, Janesville. Visitation will be held on Saturday from 10 until 11 a.m. at the FUNERAL HOME. A family ceremony of interment will take place at Highland Memory Gardens, Cottage Grove, at 9 a.m. on Monday. Memorial donations may be made to Hillview Health Care Center, La Crosse, WI; Salvation Army; or the charity of your choice. For on-line guestbook and condolences: www.schneiderfuneraldirectors.com