The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

September 12, 2013

Former Nicollet County commissioner dies


Even while dealing with county ditch disputes, working to persuade lawmakers to approve more funding for rural roads, digging up answers to questions from constituents, Hanson found time for canning vegetables, constructing quilts, sewing wedding dresses for daughters and helping to track the history of the county and of tiny Norseland. Schott said Hanson managed to do so much because she was able to prioritize, never wavering about what was at the top of the list.

"I think Judy had a way of picking out what was important in life," she said. "She never said a bad thing about anybody, so she never wasted time with gossip. ... The real priorities for her were Fred and her children and, then, her church."

Judy and Fred Hanson, who would have reached their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday, were active members of the Scandia Grove Lutheran Church.

"Judy was faithful in her worship, but her faith didn't end there," said Scandia Grove Pastor Joyce Tollefson Capp. "She lived her commitment to God with her family and in the community."

At church, like elsewhere, Hanson demonstrated her talent for getting things done, Capp said. For instance, Hanson believed the future viability of the small rural parish depended in part on building broader connections through technology. So she coordinated the church's web page and pushed church leaders to get involved in social media.

"She said, 'You want our church to grow, then we need to figure out Facebook.' That's what I mean about getting things done. She just kind of took that on."

And she was a natural leader and representative.

"When people came to her with a church issue or a community issue, she knew how to listen and what to do," Capp said. "People trusted her. And they trusted her with their concerns and with their joys, as well."

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