Diane E. Hanson, age 82, completed her earthly journey peacefully at home on January 28, 2020.
Diane was born on May 7, 1937 in Reedsburg, Wis. to Edward and Edith (Holtz) Davis. She graduated from Webb High School in 1955. She received a Bachelor's degree in home economics education from UW-Stout in 1959 and a Master's degree in child development from the University of Arizona in 1960. She went to Michigan State University in 1960 to be the supervising teacher in the campus laboratory pre-school and an instructor in child development. At MSU Diane met her future husband, Ernest Hanson, who was a doctoral student in accounting and business. They were married on September 9, 1961 and moved to Madison in 1965 where their son Keith was born that fall.
Diane was an active and vigorous participant in life. She pursued her interests with passion and commitment. Those interests included, at various stages of her adult life, tennis, running, cycling, hiking, collecting French perfume bottles from the 1940s and 1950s, crafting with felt, attending live theater with her husband and taking exercise classes, first at the YMCA and later at UW Health Sports Medicine Fitness Center. For twenty-seven years she was a self- employed seamstress and drapery maker. Three life-long passions were reading, cooking and gardening. She was a voracious reader, often reading two or three books concurrently. She delighted friends and family with exquisite meals. They loved her special caramel candies. Gardening permitted Diane to be close with nature, which restored and fed her soul. She loved to design (and re-design) her home's landscape.
Diane was preceded in death by her parents and a beloved brother, Dr. David Lee Davis.
She is survived by her husband Ernest, son Keith of Reno, Nevada, a sister and brother-in-law Sue and Colin Webster of Marshfield, Wis./The Villages, Florida and a sister-in-law and love, Barbara Davis of Lima, Ohio.
Per Diane's wishes there will be no visitation nor funeral service. Memories and condolences may be left at informedchoicefunerals.com. Memorial contributions may be sent to Baraboo Range Preservation Association, P. O. Box 205, Baraboo, WI 53913.
Though I only met Diane once on a warm summer’s day in Maine so many years ago, our letters back and forth would continue for nearly a decade thereafter. We both shared a passion for gardening , cooking and reading; the words flowed easily and I always looked forward to hearing from her and learning about her drapery business and how she adored her family...words I took to heart as a young woman and mother. She was a gentle soul when most in need. I hope the blooms of summer bring fond memories.
I was saddened to read about Dee's passing. She and I would often chat and connect at First Unitarian Society services and events. She was a wonderful, caring person and I have fond memories of our conversations and connection. Deepest sympathies. Paula Alt
I am sorry to hear about Diane's passing. Over the past few years, we talked at exercise class and got to know each other a bit. She was a dignified, insightful woman, and I will miss her.
Sue & Dave were friends & classmates with my sister Kay & I. As Ed and our dad were longtime hunting buddies, and our families would occasionally share Sunday meals & card playing, we also had the pleasure of meeting Diane. Edith was a great role model, surely a reason why Diane went on to accomplish so much over the decades. May many cherished memories bring comfort and peace to all who knew Diane.
Ernie and Keith, my sympathies to you and others in your family. I had not seen Dee in years but have nice memories of getting to know her when we both were lay ministers at First Unitarian Society. She was such a gentle soul and class act who loved gardening and loved you both very much. Peace be with you. - Mary Bergin
Ernie and Keith: I am very sorry about the passing of Diane. Vicki and I were fortunate to have met her several times through UWCU events. She was always gracious, vibrant, and engaging. I was always struck by her humility and how she interacted with others. She will be missed by all and know you will find comfort in the coming days a head from all the great memories you created with her. Sincerely yours, jeff russell
Dear Ernest & Keith, Diane & I grew up together in Reedsburg. We were also in Girl Scouts where my Mom was our leader. Before Mom died, Diane made a trip to Reedsburg to visit my Mom & tell her how much she appreciated her leadership and how much that experience meant to her. Small acts of kindness, like that trip, meant the world to my Mom and shows what a caring person Diane is.
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