Frances “Fran” Lillian Hanson, age 103, of Lake Benton, Minnesota, passed away February 22, 2021, at Bayfront Health Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. A visitation will be held at 4:00PM – 7:00PM Friday, April 30, 2021, at the First Baptist Church in Lake Benton. Visitation will continue at 12:30PM Saturday, May 1, 2021 with a funeral service to follow at 1:30PM at the Church. Interment will be in the Memorial Hill Cemetery in Lake Benton. Arrangements have been entrusted with Hartquist Funeral Home – Lake Benton Chapel.

Fran was a wonderful Christian mother to Darla, Judy and Daryl, and a loving grandmother to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She went home to be with her Lord and Savior on February 22, 2021. Her love for the Lord reflected the warmth and kindness that will live on in the many lives she touched.

Frances “Fran” Lillian Hanson was born December 18, 1917, on the family farm in Diamond Lake Township, Lincoln County, Lake Benton, Minnesota, to Chester Fuller and Alice Isabil (Lenander) Charter. She attended School District 68 and graduated from Lake Benton High School in 1935, where she was active in declam, chorus, and small musical groups. Besides these activities, she gave 4-H demonstrations in baking, sewing, and livestock preparations for the show ring, as well as exhibiting at the local and state fairs.  In the fall of 1935, Fran began her studies at Sioux Falls Baptist College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While attending classes, she also worked for her room and board at private homes and graduated with a South Dakota State two-year teaching certificate in 1937.  Fran taught from 1937-1940 in the rural School District 107 located near the Parker and Hartford, South Dakota vicinities. While attending the school programs and basket socials, a local farmer introduced Fran to her future husband, Harry A. Hanson, from the Hartford and Crooks, South Dakota area. On June 10, 1939, she and Harry were married at the First Baptist Church of Lake Benton, Minnesota. They resided on the Herb Hanson farm near Crooks, South Dakota, until the spring of 1942, when they purchased a farm in Diamond Lake Township, Lincoln County, Lake Benton, Minnesota.  Fran was a full-time housewife and helper on the farm until 1956 when she resumed her teaching career in Arco, Minnesota, where she taught fifth and sixth grade for nine years. During this time, she took classes in nearby towns and at Mankato State University, Mankato, Minnesota, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1964. She then started teaching sixth grade in the Pipestone, Minnesota, school system. In 1973, she received her Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling at the South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, and was granted membership in the Honor Society of the Phi Kappa Phi Chapter of South Dakota State University. Fran retired in 1982, after eighteen years of teaching in the Pipestone School System. In 1992, the Mankato State University Alumni Association recognized Fran as the winner of the first “Alumni Weekend Award”. Because of her interest in education, she and her husband Harry established the Pillsbury Baptist Bible College Hanson Scholarship for students from the Southwest Baptist Association of Churches in Minnesota.  Fran’s interest consisted of her personal friendships and keeping close contact with her family and relatives. She was an avid reader and belonged to the Beta Federated Club, Knitting and Birthday Club, and the Delta Kappa Gamma Society. Fran’s interest in travel was whetted primarily because of teaching social studies in the 6th grade classroom. In 1976, she and Harry traveled to Syria, the Holy Land, and Italy. In 1979, they enjoyed being with relatives in Sweden and missionary friends in Norway and Denmark. After Fran’s retirement in 1982, they and their daughters toured Europe, Norway, and Sweden. In 1984, Fran and Harry flew to Hawaii, Singapore, Malaysia, and Bangkok, Thailand, where they accompanied Dr. and Mrs. Allen on a mission trip. In the later years, Fran enjoyed traveling in the United States.  Fran loved spending time with her family and celebrating birthdays and holidays. The grandchildren loved her roasted beef and turkey dinners with baked corn and apple and pecan pies. In retirement, she compiled her favorite recipes into a cookbook. Swedish pancakes, chocolate cake, cookies, and homemade buns were favorites. She also put together scrapbooks, photo albums, and booklets on various topics.  Fran accepted the Lord as her personal Savior and was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Lake Benton, Minnesota, until her death. She taught Sunday School for many years, was church clerk, sang in the church trio and choirs, and was involved in the Ladies Missionary Group.  Fran enjoyed the winter months in St. Petersburg, Florida, after her husband’s death in 2003. She entered the Bayfront Health Hospital, St. Petersburg, Florida, on February 20, 2021, after a fall in her condo. She died peacefully of natural causes on February 22, 2021, at the age of 103 years, 2 months, and 4 days. Fran will be remembered for her deep love for family, friends, church, community, and her precious Lord and Savior.

Fran is survived by her children, Darla (Edward) Stricklin of Lake Benton, Minnesota, Judy (Michael) Hall of Ellsworth, Wisconsin, and Daryl (Sharon) Hanson of San Juan Bautista, California; grandchildren, Lori (Richard) Lampron, Sandra (Bradley) Brockhouse, Charles (Elizabeth) Stricklin, Mariellen (Mark) Grossinger, Scott (Julie) Hall, Kristin (Bradley) Broback, Cali Hanson, and Christy Hanson; granddaughter-in-law Amy Stricklin; fourteen great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry; her parents; brothers, Irvin and Leslie Charter; sisters, Mildred Hanford and Joyce Peterson; and grandson Timothy Stricklin.