Food Culinary 08

Grace Margaret "Peggy" Hanson

August 30, 1918 ~ November 14, 2020 (age 102)

Obituary

With a lifetime that spanned over ten decades between two centuries, seven American wars, numerous dance crazes, two worldwide pandemics and eighteen presidents, Grace Margaret (Wagner) “Peggy” Hanson, 102, of rural Kewanee, died at 11:51 a.m., Saturday, November 14, 2020, in peace at her home.

As befitting her given first name, Peggy lived a life full of grace. She was born August 30, 1918 in Chicago, the daughter of Richard and Grace L. (Sommers) Wagner. She married Raymond G. Hanson Sr. on June 25, 1941 in Park Ridge, IL; he preceded her in death on February 5, 2005. Survivors include two sons: Thomas R. (Mary) Hanson of Bloomington, IL, and William A. (Nancy) Hanson of Geneseo, IL; two daughters, Sally A. (David) Ralph of Cincinnati, OH, and Lou Hanson of Bishop Hill; and a brother Richard (Jane) Wagner, Jr., along with fourteen grandchildren, twenty-one great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. She was also preceded in death by her oldest son Raymond G. Hanson, Jr., two brothers, John Wagner and James Wagner, and her parents. Her second son, John V. (Ellen) Hanson of Morris, IL, died two months after Peggy.

After a childhood spent in the bustling “Windy City,” Peggy continued her studies at Northwestern University, where she graduated in 1940 with a Bachelors’ Degree in Speech Education. There, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority, Mortar Board National Honor Society, and Shi-Ai. She was elected Northwestern’s May Queen in 1939. She also met her darling Ray there. Their wartime marriage necessitated several different moves and a long stretch raising kids in McHenry County before Peg and her family ultimately settled in their newly built home in rural Kewanee in 1961. She was a member of the former First Church of Christ Scientist in Kewanee where she served as first reader, as well as a member of The First Church of Christ Scientist in Boston, MA. She was president of the American Field Service in Kewanee, served on the interviewing board of AFS and served on the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Board. She worked as office manager and accountant at R.G. Hanson Co. Inc., from 1964 until her retirement in 1987. In 1999, Peggy and her husband Ray were voted Illinois Tree Farmers of the Year for their efforts in planting their seventy-acre property with native trees. From 2000-2018, she owned and operated Indian Trail Produce, an organic vegetable farm, selling her wares at the Farmers Market in Kewanee and to many private citizens in the area.

Peggy loved to travel with family and friends. Along with Ray and their good friends from Germany, Hans and Jose Zaum, this middle-aged quartet, self-dubbed “The Roadrunners,” toured much of Europe and America during the 1970’s and 80’s, making notable stops in Paris, Denmark and Alaska, among others. Peggy was very family-oriented, visiting her grown children and extended relatives often. Peggy and Ray also loved to entertain; the parties that they hosted in their rural Kewanee home are the stuff of legend, full of wholesome food, good music and loads of laughter. Peggy’s children and grandchildren recall a woman who enjoyed cooking and reading all types of books, and who was always up for a good round of golf or sledding. She loved the outdoors, hiking and canoeing well into her eighties. Peggy was also an accomplished pianist and seamstress, as well as an organic gardener - a true Renaissance woman. Memories of her will be greatly treasured by family and friends for generations.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, April 10, 2021, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee. Cremation has been accorded and private inurnment will take place at a later date at Union Cemetery in Fort Atkinson, WI. Memorials may be directed to The Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa (www.seedsavers.org/donate-form) or to the Richard Wagner Free Enterprise Fund at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI.

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Services

Public Visitation
Saturday
April 10, 2021

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Rux Funeral Homes
507 S. Chestnut St.
Kewanee, IL 61443

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