Marlene “Molly” Marie Hanson

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Marlene “Molly” Marie Hanson, 86, of Maple Grove, Minnesota, died on Friday, January 10, 2020. Visitation will be held from 12:00 - 2:30 pm, followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 2:30pm, on Sunday, January 19, 2020 at the St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 7180 Hemlock Lane North, Maple Grove.  A graveside service will be held at a later date at the St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Benson. Local arrangements are with Zniewski Funeral Home.


On October 8, 1933, amid the Great Depression, Marlene “Molly” Marie Chamberlain Hanson was born to Ellard, Sr. and Alice (Johnson) Chamberlain at their home in Clontarf, Minnesota. Her mother chose her name; she liked unusual names, but her father did not like it. He decided to call her Molly. She was the third daughter of Pike and Alice. She had four siblings: Bea, Ellard, Jr., Nadine, and Deann. She grew up in the small town of Clontarf, Minnesota. Molly was baptized, received her first communion, was confirmed, and married at St. Malachy Catholic Church in Clontarf.


Molly attended grade school at the Clontarf School and attended high school in Benson, Minnesota. Molly played the flute in band, sang in the choir, and was active in the school newspaper and yearbook. She graduated from Benson High School in 1951 with her high school sweetheart, Selmar DuWayne Hanson. She went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota, graduating in 1955.


Molly started her teaching career in Montevideo, Minnesota, where she accepted a teaching position in the elementary school. In 1957, on August 3, she was married to the love of her life, DuWayne. She stepped away from teaching while they raised their six children. Molly returned to the classroom for a few years when the family moved to Benson, teaching third grade at St. Francis Catholic School. She was an influential partner in her husband’s business as a State Farm Insurance Agent in Benson. She worked as his receptionist and kept his office clean (with the help of the kids.) In 1984 Molly and DuWayne moved to Plymouth, Minnesota, when DuWayne took a manager position with State Farm. She became his social secretary, helping entertain his agents on many occasions. When DuWayne had his stroke, Molly was by his side. She was his devoted caregiver for four years until his death in 1998.


Molly was always there for her family, attending athletic events, music programs and concerts, piano recitals, Boy Scout and Girl Scout events, graduations, births of grandchildren, and any of the multitudes of other events going on. She was supportive and active in helping any way she could.


Molly was an active member in her churches. While a member at St. Francis Catholic Church in Benson, she taught religious education classes, helped in the kitchen and dining hall for various functions, and was a big supporter of catholic education. When she became a member of St. Joseph the Worker in Maple Grove, she continued to be active. She helped serve lunches at funeral masses, was a money-counter after mass, a member of a quilting group which donated quilts and books to those in need, belonged to a bible study, and met some of her dearest friends in a widow group. Her faith was an important facet of her life.


There were always books in Molly’s house, shelves of them. She would often recommend books to her daughters to read, ones that she read through one of her book clubs. She loved her book clubs and became close friends with their members. Her love of reading rubbed off on her children and helped her complete numerous crossword puzzles, a favorite pastime.


Molly was a fashionista. She liked to look good, have her makeup just so, her hair brushed and styled, and have the latest fashionable shirt or jacket. She was a hip dresser. In all her hospital visits, she wanted to look good. She wanted her lipstick on and hair combed if she knew someone was coming to visit. Her last days we knew that didn’t worry her. The only thing she asked for was her hair brush. We kept her hair nicely coiffed during her last breaths. Molly died peacefully in a hospice house with her children and grandchildren around her. Her struggles with kidney dialysis, “Betty,” her amputated leg, and loss of vision were over. She gave herself to God and said her goodbyes.


On January 10, 2020, Molly left behind her family and many friends: her children and grandchildren: Paul Hanson, Carly, Andi, Sam, Aleah, and Luke; Karen and Darryl Savage, CJ, Andréa, and Mackenna; Amy and Rodney Roers, Mitchell, Matthew, Rachel, and Lisa Kubiak; Christopher Hanson, Felicia Hanson, Ally, and Nick; Mary Alice and Rob Hoffman, Quinn, and Olivia; Joseph Hanson and Elen Batistella, Ava, Lucy, and Victoria Batistella; her sister Nadine Marsnik, sister-in-law Mary Chamberlain, brother-in-law Jack Leis, brother and sister-in-law Jim and Jan Hanson, many nieces and nephews; her dear friend Mary Rogers and so many friends who will miss her. Preceding her in death were her husband S. DuWayne Hanson, grandson Carl Hoffman, her parents Ellard, Sr. and Alice Chamberlain, brother Ellard Chamberlain, Jr., sisters Bea Leis and Deann Johnson, sister-in-law Mary Ann Lindahl, brothers-in-law George Marsnik, Dave Johnson, and Bob Lindahl.

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