Neil "Swede" Hanson

(October 27, 1940 - June 12, 2011)

The Lusk Herald
June 22, 2011

Neil "Swede" Hanson

Neil "Swede" Hanson of Dusty, Wash. passed away on June 12, 2011 in Spokane. Neil was born Oct. 27, 1940 in Newcastle Wyo. to Glenn and Phyllis (Austin) Hanson and was raised at their ranch on the Cheyenne River. He attended Seven Mile, a one-room school, for 10 years and graduated from Niobrara County High School in Lusk, Wyo. in 1958.

He married Thelma Walsh in 1959, and welcomed three children as they followed work from town to town in southeastern Wyoming and South Dakota. Neil was a jack of all trades who worked on construction crews, a seismograph crew, in the oil fields, as a rancher, a mechanic and a truck driver.

In the early 1970s, Neil moved his family to the Dusty area and utilized his skills as a capable mechanic and adept operator of heavy equipment for the remainder of his career. Neil drove truck for others before he and Thelma established H & H Trucking in 1978. Their son, Dennis, eventually joined as a partner, and they grew to employ several drivers and mechanics over the years. H & H hauled countless loads of grain, fertilizer and fuel as well as combines, tractors and other equipment over 25 years. They formed Hungry & Helpless Sales & Service, which purchased and sold many trucks and custom-built trailers.

Neil married Dianne Rosgen in 1998, and made their home at her family farm on Union Flat Creek. Dianne lovingly cared for Neil through several illnesses including recovery from stomach cancer and his recent decline.

Fond memories of Neil's children and grandchildren include camping trips, late-night pinochle games and the famous family water fights. He enjoyed playing guitar and singing songs that incorporated his children's names. Neil had a soft spot for animals and especially enjoyed raising cattle. Neil was a member of the Dusty Gun Club and enjoyed the annual sausage shoot where he was known as the "salt and pepper" guy. He spent many an evening playing pitch at the red shop. Family and friends recall numerous practical jokes "Swede" played on them.

Neil is survived by his caring wife, Dianne, children Dorothy (Chris Jacobson) Harris of Ephrata, Dennis (Lanae) Hanson of Newcastle and Donna (Mark) Grassel of Ellensburg, grandchildren Sally, Zach, Autumn, Linee, Cole, McKyna, and Kellyn and two great-grandsons. Additionally, he is survived by his sisters and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; infant son, Daniel; and two grandchildren, Kelsey and Caleb.

Friends and community members are invited to a celebration of Neil's life to be held Tuesday, June 21 at 4:00 p.m. at their home at 18801 Union Flat Creek Road west of Colfax.

The family suggests memorials to Caleb's Corner, an educational tribute to Neil's dinosaur-crazed grandson at the Anna Miller Museum in Newcastle. These can be sent to Dianne Rosgen-Hanson at 18801 Union Flat Creek Rd., Colfax, WA 99111.

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