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Mary Hanson, 81

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Mary Louise (Hennessey) Hanson, age 81, of River Falls, died Wednesday, July 10, at home after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born on June 2, 1932, in St. Paul, Minn., to Lester and Aime (LaVaque) Hennessey. She grew up in Mendota Heights, Minn., attended grade school at District 91, and graduated from South St. Paul High School. She then furthered her education at St. Catherine's College in St. Paul and received a B.S. in nursing. While working at Miller Hospital in St. Paul, she met her husband, Gerald Hanson. They attended school to become anesthetists at St. Mary's in Minneapolis. Mary and Jerry were married on May 15, 1959, and to this union four children were born, Sue, Bill, John, and Molly. She worked at Fort Atkinson Memorial Hospital in Fort Atkinson, Wis., as an anesthetist, head nurse, and assistant director of nurses. In 1972 the family moved to River Falls where she got a job as director of nurses at Kinnic Long Term Care. While there she became acting administrator and helped in the planning and building of the new nursing home attached to the River Falls Area Hospital. Upon retirement in 1998, Mary enjoyed traveling with her sister, Alice, gardening, and genealogy.

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Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald Hanson; infant son John Patrick; parents Lester and Aimee Hennessey; brothers Earl (Mae Lou) Hennessey and James Hennessey.

She is survived by her children Sue (Rand) Digman of River Falls, Bill (Rose) Hanson of Deephaven, Minn., and Molly (Bill) Pace of River Falls; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; and sister Alice Hennessey of Maple Grove, Minn.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Mary at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at St. Bridget Catholic Church. Visitation will be Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the church. Burial will be at the St. Bridget Cemetery.

Cashman-Hill Funeral Home, www.hillfuneralservice.com.

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