Dr. Verlan J. Hanson, age 94, died peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, while in hospice care in Omaha. Verlan was born and raised on an Iowa family farm near Somers, where he graduated high school. After graduating from Dana College in 1951, Verlan married Helga Jessen of Lexington, and together they raised three children. Verlan served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, including two years on the USS Rochester, a flagship cruisier in the Seventh Fleet. He received a Master’s degree and Doctorate in Education from the University of Nebraska. He taught in public schools in Nebraska and California, and as an assistant professor of education at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., and associate professor of education at Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa, before becoming Registrar at Dana College in Blair, from 1976 to 1988. He is remembered as a kind and compassionate counselor who helped hundreds of students in their career planning. Verlan was life-long Lutheran, a devoted husband and family man, who was thankful and proud of being an educator, a Navy veteran, and a Husker fan. He will be deeply missed by his loved ones.
His funeral will be Saturday, March 11 at 2 p.m. in Blair, at Christ Lutheran Church on the former Dana College campus. Burial with military honors will follow at the Blair Cemetery, and then there will be a luncheon fellowship at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Christ Lutheran Church or the Danish Archives in Blair. Visitation will be held at Campbell Aman Funeral Home from 12 to 1 p.m., Saturday, March 11.
Verlan was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Amanda, three brothers (Daniel, Merle, and Norlan), a sister Velma, his daughter, Lisa Madsen, and a granddaughter, Laura Madsen. Verlan leaves behind his wife Helga, who he met at Dana College and to whom he was married for over 71 years. He is also survived by a brother (Gary) and three sisters, (Judy, Karen, and Joyce); by two sons: Rev. Alan Hanson (Mary) of Omaha, Duane Hanson (Shirley) of Springfield, Mo., son-in-law Paul Madsen; five grandchildren (Maren Collins (Jay), Kirsti Fitzgerald (Bill), Jeremy Hanson (Erin), Dane Madsen, Jacob Madsen); four great-grandchildren (Violeta Collins, Rowan Fitzgerald, Ariana Fitzgerald, and Eliza Hanson), and numerous nephews, nieces, and many other relatives.