Lenore “Leo” Hanson, 94, of Oelwein passed away Sunday October 4, 2020. Visitation will be from 4-6 PM on Wednesday October 7, 2020 at the Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home in Oelwein. Funeral services will begin at 10:30 AM on Thursday October 8, 2020 at Grace United Methodist Church in Oelwein with Rev. Rick Johnson officiating. Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery at Oelwein. A memorial fund has been established.
Due to state and federal guidelines on gatherings regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is required. Those in attendance are required to wear a mask.
Lenore Laverne Hanson was born in Central City on September 27, 1926 to parents Harry and Clara (Andrews) Lisk. She graduated from Independence High School with the class of 1944. She then attended Stephens College in Columbia, MO. Leo also completed Stewardess training with American Airlines. On June 22, 1948 she was united in marriage with Duane “Red” Hanson.
Leo’s life was filled with love of family and community. She was the cheerleader for her three daughters and then for her grandchildren and more recently for her great granddaughters. Perhaps, her greatest joy was having all four generations of “River Rats” playing on her beloved Mississippi River. She was happiest at the river watching the sunrise, the boats and barges, the birds and sitting quietly on the dock with a fishing pole. When the weather and later her health slowed her trips to the river, she played bridge many times a week.
Her family included many friends and she was known for her laugh and willingness to help others. She was a fifty year member of Eastern Star, the American Legion Auxiliary, was an advocate for the residents at Grandview Nursing Center and played Bingo with them regularly and volunteered at the Oelwein Community Cupboard. She was on the board for the Parent Teacher Association and served on committees for the Park and Recreation Board, and as president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce Auxiliary and was active with the League of Women Voters. For many years she was active in the Grace United Methodist Church serving on the Council of Churches, the Oelwein Methodist Church Mission and as a Sunday School Teacher.
She was a trailblazer in many ways. She had her pilot’s license which at the time was unusual for a woman and a member of the Oelwein Civil Defense. She was a local radio personality on KOEL with her show called Kitchen Shop Talk and also sold advertising for the radio station. Few women were in sales at the time and Leo took great pride in her job in a predominantly male world.
Her other jobs included working at Construction Machinery in Waterloo, at O’Brien, Malloy and Greif Law Firm in Independence, at Hicks Loan in Oelwein and at high school secretary both at Oelwein High School and later at the high school in Battle Creek Michigan.
She was forever a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes and had season tickets for many years. After her health kept her from attending the games, she followed the Hawkeyes on television and was known to shout and support the team.
Left to celebrate Leo’s life are her children: Sandie (Tim) Leiss of Fremont, NE and Sharie (Rick) Wendling of Hazleton; her grandchildren: Brett (Jolene) Leiss, Jay (Maria) Leiss, Troy (Jenn) Wendling and Ashley (Aaron) Kafer; her great-granddaughters: Maya, Abby, Ashley, Harper, Charlee, Reese and Drew; her son-in-law Rick Happel of Cedar Rapids; her brother Larry (Marilyn) Lisk of Everett, WA. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her daughter Diane Happel; her brother Lloyd Lisk.