Nona Marie Hanson, 86, of Eau Claire, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020. Nona was born to Oscar and Annie Swiggum two days after Thanksgiving, on November 25, 1933, at her grandparents’ home in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, and was baptized at Springdale Lutheran Church on Christmas Day. She spent her early childhood years on the family farm in Klevenville. At the start of World War II, Nona moved with her family to Badger, Wisconsin, where her parents worked in the Ordnance Plant to support the war effort.
In the summer of 1947, Nona moved to Eau Claire, where she was confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church in 1948 and graduated from Eau Claire Senior High School in May 1951. She married Wayne Hanson on August 7, 1951 in Stillwater, Minnesota, and for the fourteen years that followed, she and Wayne lived the Air Force life, building a family and creating lifelong friendships in Oklahoma, Canada, Minnesota, Georgia, and Illinois, before returning home to Eau Claire.
Nona was passionate about people, hard work, and all things Norwegian. Strong, determined, and independent, Nona worked throughout most of her adult life, including many years at Tele-Serve in Eau Claire and at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, where she worked as a page (and joked about someday becoming a “book”). She retired from the library in 2005 at the age of 71. An active volunteer, Nona taught Sunday School at First Lutheran Church for 25 years, including one year of Bible School. She was also a member of the Parish Education Committee and vice president of Women of First. She served as secretary of Nordmanns Forbundet and was a member of the Sons of Norway. And for several years, she also volunteered at the Convention and Tourist Bureau gift shop and as Claire the Fun Bear.
Her visit to her ancestral home in Norway with her sister Doris was the trip of a lifetime. She also traveled to Norsk Hostfest in Minot and the Nordic Fest in Decorah to embrace her inner Norwegian. A dedicated Wisconsin sports fan, Nona was able to realize her goal of attending a Badgers game in Madison, a Brewers game in Milwaukee, and a Packers game at Lambeau field.
Nona is survived by her husband, Wayne; son Steve (Lori), and daughters Vicki Bien (Skip Fogus), Sheri (Duane) Huffmier, and Kristin (Larry) Nickel; seven grandchildren: Josh (Brook), Matt, Matthew (Katie), Jesse, Jason (Emily), Dustin (Kelly), and Jennifer; and six great-grandchildren: Anna, Jake, Clayton, London, Aaron, and Charlie. She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Chrystal Bakken and Doris Anderson, infant brother Donald, and granddaughter Melissa Hanson.
The family would like to sincerely express their thanks and gratitude to the entire staff of The Neighbors of Dunn County Nursing Home and for the great care they gave Nona.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 11 a.m. at the Celebration of Life Center in Altoona. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to the time of service. Per Wisconsin State Law, face masks are required in the facility.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family humbly suggests a donation to the Eau Claire County Humane Association or the Story Builder Library Expansion Campaign at the LE Phillips Public Library or by performing a simple act of kindness in Nona’s name.
Chippewa Valley Cremation Services – Celebration of Life Center in Altoona is serving the family. To express condolences online, please visit www.chippewavalleycremation.com