Lifelong Lake Region resident Earl Hanson was designated Unsung Hero in November, the month when Americans take time to pay tribute to the many selfless individuals who have given their time and efforts for our great country. Hanson presently serves as Ramsey County Veteran Service Officer.
A 1955 graduate of Devils Lake High School, Hanson attended the junior college. Then, like 15 other members of his high school, he enlisted in the Navy. Hawaii and Alaska were among the far away places where he served his country.
Hanson’s great grandparents homesteaded north of Devils Lake, near Webster. In 1956, Earl’s father, Harold, purchased the Suburban Supper Club 313 situated east of Devils Lake on Highway 2. This popular supper club served the Lake Region for 75 years.
It is the Lake Region’s great good fortune that Hanson and his wife Trish decided to come home to take over ownership of the restaurant when Earl’s father retired in 1976. For the following 37 years, under Trish and Earl’s management the Hanson House was well known as a great place to enjoy a very special dining experience. Hanson’s nominator stated. “As a local business owner, Hanson gave generously to many people and causes, as do most all of the business people in our area.”
When it came time to retire from his successful career as a restaurateur, Hanson decided to apply for the job of Veteran Service Officer. He expected this to be a two year commitment. He has held the position for 10 years now.
The individual who nominated Hanson for this award stated, “Mr. Hanson counsels military veterans as part of his employment, but he goes beyond what is required to make certain that the men and women in our area who have served our country receive the benefits for which they are entitled.”
His wife says of Hanson. “He is a great advocate for those who are deserving. Then ,with that charming Irish twinkle in her eye, she adds, “Who could have a more sympathetic ear or greater understanding than a retired bartender.”
Hanson does many things to better our community. He served as president of the Devils Lake Library Board when the beautiful new facility became a reality. He is a strong advocate for the proposed Veterans outpatient clinic. He is a member of the Lions Club, an organization that is dedicated to public service, especially aiding the blind. He is a life member of the Elks and a member of the Masonic Lodge and Shrine Flag Corps.
The Hansons are the proud parents of two daughters who currently live in the Twin Cities. They have three grandchildren. Again with those Irish eyes smiling, Trish confides, “Being grandpa is Earl’s favorite job, the best job he has every had.”
Hanson would like to encourage others to become involved in volunteerism. He says “You volunteer for the good of the community, but so much good comes back to you. There is a deep feeling of great satisfaction when you know you are doing your part to make this community a better place.”
Page 2 of 2 - Hanson has put his heart and soul into many endeavors that have benefited the people of the Lake Region. And we are deeply grateful to him.