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Phyllis Pauline Hanson, 90, of Maple Plain, Minnesota, died April 12, 2017, at Haven Homes in Maple Plain.

Phyllis Pauline was born Dec. 5, 1926, in Armstrong, Iowa, to Florence P. (Payne) and Charles T. Petersen. She lived in the Minnesota communities of Hollandale, Hayward, Oakland, Moscow, Austin, Albert Lea and Alden until her marriage on Jan. 23, 1946, to Paul E. Hanson. They lived on a farm in Bath Township until July 1957 when they moved to Clarks Grove on Independence Avenue. They built a house on the east side of Clarks Grove and lived there for 23 years. After Paul's death, Phyllis moved to Bancroft Creek Estates in Albert Lea in January 2002. In 2012, she moved to Bryant House Assisted Living in Maple Plain.

Phyllis graduated from Austin High School in 1944, attended ALTEC in 1972-1973, and ALAVTI in 1982-83. She loved to learn.

Phyllis was very active in the community. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Clarks Grove and the Crusaders Sunday School Class. She also taught in the WEE school program and was a member of several committees. She served on the PTA Council of District 241 and was a school bus driver for 13 years. Phyllis served on the Freeborn County Historical Society, Freeborn Council 4-H Advisory Board, and was a 4-H leader for 20 years. Phyllis was a correspondent for the Albert Lea Tribune and Ellendale Eagle. She also was a member of the Naeve Hospital Auxiliary and Ride Services.

Phyllis was a member of both the Minnesota and International Flying Farmers and held many roles within those organizations, including teen adviser, 1980 Flying Farmer of the Year, and 1984-85 Minnesota Flying Farmer Queen. She was also a very active member of the DOES Drove #70 in Albert Lea, and she joined the Elks Lodge #813 in 1999.

Phyllis was widely known throughout the community for her volunteer services that expanded her entire life. A few of her volunteer projects included many hours at Naeve Hospital, as an instructor for the AARP 55 Alive/Mature Driving Course, and her church. She was always interested in helping children and did so in so many ways. In recent years, she made over 4,000 baby caps for newborns at Naeve and Buffalo hospitals, as well as hundreds of hats for kids with cancer.

Phyllis "counted her riches" as her family and by the number of friends she had. Phyllis is survived by six children, James (Maryalice) Hanson of Clarks Grove, Susan Mattson of Buffalo, Minnesota, Richard (Susan) Hanson of Becker, Minnesota, DeLoyce "Pixie" (Fred) Schmidt of Austin, Robert (Kathy) Hanson of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Teresa (Keith) McDonald of Maple Plain; 17 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren; one brother, Faye Petersen; sisters-in-law, Phyllis (Eugene) Hagen of New Richland, Minnesota, and Carole Schember of Geneva, Minnesota; many nieces and nephews; and special friends, Vince and Karen Guerrero. 

She was preceded in death by an infant son, in 1952; her husband of 53 years, Paul, in 1999; her father, Charlie, in 1965; her mother, Florence, in 1992; brother, Myrl Petersen, in 2003; two brothers-in-law, Athan Langlie, in 2004; and Curt Schember, in 2011; two sisters-in-law, Kathy Petersen, in 2013 and Helen Langlie, in 2014; and an infant grandson, Anthony Johnson, in 1994.

A celebration of Phyllis' life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, at First Baptist Church of Clarks Grove. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Clarks Grove Area Heritage Society are preferred and may be sent to: P.O. Box 188, Clarks Grove, MN 56016.

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