Gary Hanson, 76, of Ramona, passed away on Tuesday, February 21 st at Avera McKennan
Hospital in Sioux Falls.
Funeral services will be 10:30 AM on Monday, February 27 th at St. John Lutheran Church of
Ramona with Pastor Wanda Biel officiating. Visitation will be 5-7 PM on Sunday at the church
and will continue on Monday at the church one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in the
church cemetery following the service. Arrangements are entrusted with Rustand-Weiland
Funeral Chapel, Madison. Visit the following link to watch a Youtube video of Gary’s life at
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to: Lake County Food Pantry, 111 N. Van Eps Ave.,
Madison, SD 57042 or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or St.
John Lutheran Church, 44556 227 th St., Ramona, SD 57054.
Gary Roy Hanson was born on December 20, 1946 in Ramona, South Dakota, to Roy and Myrtle
(Hagemann) Hanson. He lived in the Ramona area his entire life and was baptized, confirmed
and a member of St. John Lutheran Church, rural Ramona. He attended Gilman Country School
west of Ramona for 1 st -8 th grades and then attended high school in Ramona where he graduated
with the Class of 1964, which is the largest class to ever graduate from Ramona.
During high school, he participated in football and worked for various farmers in the Ramona
area. After high school, he enlisted with the Army National Guard from 1965-1971. He farmed
with his dad Roy and also worked part time jobs of picking up canned milk from farmers and
taking to the local milk plant, worked as a short order cook at Cherry Lanes Bowling Alley in
Madison, worked with his parents at their café in Ramona, and in the winter, he worked at
MidWest Coast in Sioux Falls loading boxes of meat in reefer trucks.
In June of 1971 he met Barbara Burdette of Sioux Falls through his cousin Bernadine Loge, who
introduced the couple. They became engaged the following spring with a wedding date of
October 7 th , 1972. However, they had to postpone their wedding until October 20 th of that year
due to Gary ending up in the hospital with mononucleosis. They were married at Wesley
United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls.
In 1973, Gary and Barb purchased the farm they still reside at in rural Ramona. They welcomed
two children, Kim in 1973 and Brian in 1975. Gary farmed all of his life milking cows, raising
stock cows and calves, raising pigs, and planting and harvesting primarily corn and soybeans. In
1987, Gary became a salesman for Pioneer Seeds and continued that job until his retirement
from Pioneer in 1998 after which Brian took over as salesman, and Gary could continue his love
for farming. Gary and Barb enjoyed many things during their married life from their kids’
activities, monthly card club get togethers, family vacations, fishing trips, hosting a barn dance
at their home in 1986, camping trips to the State Fair, and area state parks with their camping
buddies, get-togethers with extended family and friends, and always enjoyed hunting trips with
his extended family to the Black Hills and West River area. Gary’s biggest hunting highlight was
when he drew a once in a lifetime license for an elk hunt in Custer State Park. He had a very
successful hunt and came home with a 6×6 elk that is now proudly displayed on their living
room wall. Gary and Barb also were very excited when they became grandparents and always
looked forward to attending their grandchildren’s activities. They were the light of their lives.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents; his granddaughter, Brenna Elizabeth Hanson; his in-
laws, Garland and Ellavine Burdette; brothers and sisters-in-laws, Garlene and Jerry Francis,
Gary and Muriel Burdette, and Jim Burdette as well as many close aunts, uncles and cousins.
Gary is survived by his loving wife, Barb; children-Kim Wermers of Madison, SD, and Brian
(Rebecca) Hanson of Ramona; grandchildren-Carter Wermers, Paige and Brayden Hanson;
brother, Dwayne (Sue) Hanson Madison, SD; aunt, Lois Hagemann Madison, SD; brother-in-law
and sisters-in-law, Mike (Deb) Burdette of Boone, IA and Phyllis Burdette of Plymouth, MN, and
many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Gary always loved to help others and as Brian said “Dad always wanted to be able to help
others and not have to have others help him”. He was a very generous and giving man with a
hearty laugh, and the last gift he was able to give was the gift of being a donor and being able
to help others that need it.