March 6, 2004 - Grand Forks Herald: Bolivia RPCV and ex-State Senator Marvin Hanson laid to rest

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Bolivia: Peace Corps Bolivia : The Peace Corps in Bolivia: March 6, 2004 - Grand Forks Herald: Bolivia RPCV and ex-State Senator Marvin Hanson laid to rest

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Bolivia RPCV and ex-State Senator Marvin Hanson laid to rest

Bolivia RPCV and ex-State Senator Marvin Hanson laid to rest

MINNESOTA: Hanson laid to rest; friends mourn former state senator

Congressional candidate known as a compassionate politician

By Kris Jensen

Herald Staff Writer

More than 400 mourners navigated icy roads to bid farewell to a man whose footprint changed the face of Minnesota politics.

Marvin Hanson, 60, former assistant majority leader of the Minnesota Senate and a one-time candidate for Congress, was remembered by friends and colleagues Friday morning in Grace Lutheran Church in Hallock, Minn. He died Sunday at his family's farm in Northcote, Minn., of an apparent heart attack.

University of Minnesota-Crookston biology Professor Wendell Johnson met Hanson when the DFLer staged his first race for the Minnesota Senate District 1.

"I had been working on and helping out with the (Roger) Moe campaign when I came to know him," Johnson said. "He was a big supporter of the University of Minnesota, particularly the Crookston campus.


"Some of his background, before he came to the Senate, was important because of his sensitivity to other issues - he had served in the Peace Corps, and in later years, he had been helping many people in his area with legal work at a rate that was zero or less."

Hanson opted not to run for re-election in 1982, but he was the unsuccessful DFL candidate for Congress in Minnesota's 7th District in 1988. He received 46 percent of the vote against Republican incumbent Arlan Stangeland. After that, he farmed and practiced law in Hallock.

Difficult to lose

"Probably the most difficult thing I saw him go through was his run for 7th District, losing that race," Johnson said. "He was a reluctant participant, but then he really got into it, and it was difficult to lose. It made a difference in his life, I think. He had good ideas and plans to implement them, but at that time, voters didn't recognize it."

Liz Fedor, who covered Minnesota politics for the Grand Forks Herald in the 1980s, said Hanson's intellect and approachability made him a rarity.

"What he had was amazing skills as a public servant, because what he combined was this tremendous intellect with a great wit and fabulous ability to get along with people from all walks of life," said Fedor, now the airlines reporter for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. "He certainly was someone who had great concerns on agricultural issues, supporting family farmers, higher education and creating a fair tax policy.

"He was someone who was very folksy and approachable and could talk with anyone, yet he was a guy with undergraduate degree in agricultural economics and a law degree from Columbia University," she said. "He was highly intelligent and highly irreverent, which was a very successful combination for him."

Johnson said Hanson was well known for his ability to "sort out a problem, analyze it and come up with possible solutions in a short period, but when he was working one-to-one with you, he was just so compassionate."

Reach Jensen at 780-1118, toll-free at (800) 477-6572, extension 118, or

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Story Source: Grand Forks Herald

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Bolivia; Obituaries



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