Virginia Rae Serfling Hanson passed away at the age of 87 on May 15, 2019 at LifeCare Greenbush Manor in Greenbush, Minnesota. She was born in Zempel, Minnesota on November 25, 1931 to Dorian Serfling of South Dakota and Frances Corwin Serfling of Minnesota.
Virginia grew up in Deer River, Minnesota and graduated from the Deer River High School in 1948. As a young girl Virginia was involved in many outdoor activities. She maintained a paper route, loved ice skating, and was an excellent swimmer. She would ride her bicycle and do tricks with her best friend, Yvonne McKenny. She rescued Yvonne from drowning in a lake one day by swimming underneath her and having her climb on her shoulders. Virginia then walked along the bottom of the lake to the shore.
She enjoyed spending time with her father Dorian, a policeman in Deer River. They would go shooting at the target range, or have a cheeseburger at their favorite café or go duck hunting with her hip boots and shotgun her father gave her.
After high school she worked several jobs and had some adventures traveling to nearby cities and sightseeing with friends. She eventually moved to Duluth, Minnesota where she lived with friends and began working for the owner of the Adkins Woolen Company, living with a pastor’s family. Later she worked as a nurse’s aide at the St. Luke’s hospital where she was popular for her ability to give a gentle shave.
Her friends set her up on a blind date with a young man from Thief River Falls and on that date Virginia met the love of her life, Thorvald Tommy Hanson. They were married in Strathcona, Minnesota on May 9, 1952 and their love story lasted 66 years until Tommy’s death on May 14, 2018. Together they welcomed two daughters into their family, Susan in 1953 and Carolyn in 1957. They made their home in Strathcona until declining health made it necessary to leave the farm.
Virginia not only worked at home caring for her family she also worked for nine years at Arctic Cat in Karlstad and Thief River Falls, Minnesota and also spent many years helping out with the family business driving a gravel truck. She developed a reputation as a smooth truck driver that was able to lay down a perfect load of gravel. She was an active member of the Grace Evangelical Free Church, Ladies’ Aid, and she enjoyed playing guitar and bass and singing in the Hanson String Band with her husband and his sister and brothers.
Virginia was preceded in death by her beloved husband Tommy, her parents, her older brother Dorian Serfling, Jr (Sonny) and her younger sister Jeanette Hanson and grandson Benjamin Combs.
She is survived by her children, Sue and husband Martin Johannessohn and Carolyn and husband Paul Combs. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Tom and wife Esther Johannessohn, Rachel and husband Tim Moser, Sarah and husband Brett Goodman, Hannah Combs, Rebekah and husband, Abraham Christensen.
Funeral Services were held at 2 PM on Monday, May 20 in Grace Evangelical Church in Strathcona with Pastor Curtis Johnson, officiating.
Musicians were Pastor Bob Ludwig, Vernon Lorenson and Gale Hanson.
Pallbearers were Tom Johannessohn, Tim Moser, Abraham Christensen, Cory Perrington, Terry and Cliff Hanson. Honorary Pallbearers were Benjamin Combs and Tom Johannessohn.
Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery at Strathcona. Arrangements are with Gieseke Funeral Chapel of Greenbush.