Phyllis Marie (Austin) Hanson





(September 24, 1922 - February 14, 2010)


The Lusk Herald
March 3, 2010


Phyllis Marie (Austin) Hanson

Funeral services for Phyllis M. Hanson, 87, were held Saturday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. at the Newcastle Senior Services with Pastor Gary Walker officiating. Burial followed at 5 p.m. at the Hanson Ranch South of Newcastle. The family asks that any memorial contributions be given towards Hanson Research Station.

Phyllis Marie went peacefully in her sleep to be with God and her sweetheart early in the morning on Valentine’s Day, surrounded by the love of her extended family, at Wyoming Medical Center in Casper.

She was born to Mabel Pearl (Olson) Austin and Roscoe Charles Austin on September 24, 1922 in Gothenburg, Neb. She grew up 25 miles South of Newcastle on Robber’s Roost Creek, where her parents homesteaded. She was the second of five children. In her youngest years, they hauled water to their house by team and wagon, but soon bought more land and moved closer to the spring. They were a true pioneer family, surviving the Great Depression and the Dustbowl, thriving on love and hard work, and their Swedish strength and tenacity.

Phyllis started school at Robber’s Roost School at age four, walking miles, or riding behind big sister Myra on the horse. When walking, she would often skirt way out around a big tree to avoid a large owl, who would stare at her as she walked by. She later went to school at Morrissey Consolidated School, and attended her freshman year in Nebraska, staying at her Aunt Emma’s house. She graduated from Newcastle High School in 1939.

Also in 1939, on Aug. 14, at the tender age of sixteen (almost seventeen!) she married her lifetime sweetheart, Glenn Eric Hanson, who grew up on a neighboring homestead on the Cheyenne River. This marriage would last both their lives. Their first home was a sheep wagon, which they shared while they herded sheep and “got acquainted.” They also lived in a small house on Salt Creek for a time, then settled on the Hanson Ranch on the Cheyenne River, where they built their ranch and cattle herd, raised their five children, grew great gardens, and created good memories for many people.

They moved from the ranch to Edgemont in 1960 so that their four daughters could attend high school while living at home. While living in Edgemont, they purchased and operated the Edgemont Livestock Sales Company together, Phyllis keeping all the accounts straight, and running the office on sale days. She made many friends here, treasuring them for the rest of her life. She also helped start the Senior Center there, when her parents lived there in their later years.

When their youngest child Roxie graduated from high school in 1971, they moved back to the ranch on the River, where they stayed, raising cattle, hay, and grandchildren, and helping set up Hanson Research Station, an ongoing dinosaur dig on their ranch. In 2000, they moved to Newcastle to be closer to doctors and the hospital. She loved their home in Newcastle, and their neighbors, who helped her in many ways.

When Glenn passed in the spring of 2007, she stayed on by herself at her home, missing him, but also enjoying being “on my own” for the first time at age 84. For the last 1 1/2 years of her life, she lived back on the ranch, with her daughter, Carolyn.

Through all of her days, Phyllis was a housewife and a homemaker in the truest sense of both words. She was there for her husband, her children and grandchildren, her parents and siblings, and her neighbors and friends. Like her Mother before her, she was the welcoming hostess, opening her home and heart to whomever showed up at the door. No person ever left her house hungry or thirsty, and one often got “a little lunch to take with you” when leaving, “In case you get stranded, or have a flat tire”. She was very thoughtful, generous and giving, except to teenage daughters’ boyfriends, to whom she could be fierce! She was especially good with small children, playing games with them and hiding Easter eggs and candy in the rocks for them to find, or getting together a fine picnic to serve under the cottonwoods. Always, Phyllis had a strong set of moral values which guided her, based on the Ten Commandments. She was ever true to her Christian sense of what is right or wrong.

Waiting for Phyllis when she got to Heaven were her husband Glenn, her parents, one sister Frances Gaskill and her husband Paul, one brother Fred Austin and his wife Carmen, brothers and sisters-in-law Olive and Leslie ZumBrunnen, Horace Smallwood and Floyd Hanson, one grandson Daniel Hanson, one great grandson Caleb Hanson, and one son-in-law Craig Hiday.

Surviving Phyllis are one sister, Myra Smallwood, and one brother Raymond Austin, both of Newcastle; her five children: son Neil and Dianne Hanson, Colfax, WA; daughter Carolyn and LaVern Johnson on the family ranch; daughter Brenda & Al Bollwerk, Parker, CO; daughter Francie & Harvey Goode, Newcastle; daughter Roxie and Rusty Halsey, Casper, WY. Also surviving Phyllis are twelve grandchildren: Dorothy Harris, Dennis Hanson, Donna Grassel, Clay Pollat, Leslie Catlin, John Bollwerk, Caroline McNeill, Luke Bollwerk, Dan Bollwerk, Matt Fowler, Brandon Hudson, and Erik Hudson. And she has fifteen great grandchildren: Zachary Harris; Sally, Cole, & McKyna Jacobson; Lynnell Hanson; Autumn & Kellyn Grassel; Carson, Kendall, Marshall, & Hannah Pollat; Garrett & Bryn Catlin; Jason Bollwerk and Sarah McNeill. She has one great great grandchild, Jaxson Price.








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