Cover photo for Dorothy JoAnn Hanson's Obituary
Dorothy JoAnn Hanson Profile Photo
1936 Dorothy 2023

Dorothy JoAnn Hanson

December 19, 1936 — October 6, 2023

Albert Lea

Dorothy JoAnn Hanson, entered the Kingdom of Heaven on October 6, 2023, at Auburn Meadows in Waconia, Mn surrounded by her loving children.  She was born on December 19, 1936, at her aunt’s home in Freeborn, MN, the third child and only daughter of Elsie and Earl Ferguson.

Dorothy attended Freeborn schools graduating from Freeborn High School in 1955. Shortly after that, she married the love of her life, Wayne Hanson, on October 16, 1955. Together, they built a beautiful life with their three children in Albert Lea.  In 1963, Dorothy and Wayne built their dream home on Pickeral Lake where they created countless cherished memories. They eventually moved to Water's Edge in 2019 to accommodate Wayne's declining health. In 2022, Dorothy relocated to Auburn Homes in Waconia, to be closer to her beloved children.

Dorothy's career in the retail industry was fulfilling. She initially worked at Woolworth's and later joined JCPenney, where she had various roles and responsibilities. She took great pride in managing the jewelry department, which she affectionately referred to as her "happy place”. Her love for all things shiny and sparkling always brought a smile to her face.  Upon retirement, she worked at Skyline Jewelers and as an aide at the Albert Lea Child Care Center, where she spent her days nurturing and caring for children. Her dedication and compassion were truly admirable.

Dorothy and Wayne had a passion for travel and enjoyed exploring various destinations. From vacations at the Lake of the Ozarks, national parks in the western USA, and backpacking in the Big Horn Mountains to fishing trips on Crane and Namakan Lakes, she cherished the beauty of nature. One of her family’s most memorable vacations was a road trip to New York State with their three children, filled with countless adventures and memories.

 Dorothy had an artistic eye and a passion for photography. She captured the beauty of the world around her, particularly for the Habitat for Humanity projects that Wayne worked on. She dedicated her time and creativity to crafting scrapbooks for new homeowners and also documented their travels throughout the years.

Throughout her life, Dorothy actively contributed to her community. As a member of First Lutheran Church, she served on Loaves and Fishes, assisted with Social Ministry Commissions, and delighted in helping with Holidays Ahead.  Dorothy enjoyed making lefse and mastering the art of Hardanger. She created exquisite pieces taking great pride in crafting baptismal napkins for use at First as well as designing beautiful tablecloths and toppers as gifts for friends and family.

Dorothy will be lovingly remembered by her children, David (Stephanie) Hanson of Watertown, MN, Theresa (Tim) Horvei of Dexter, MN, and Tamra (Joel) Jokela of Vergas, MN; grandchildren, Adam Konieska of Fargo, ND and Kathryn Konieska (Tim Ketch) of Carrolton, TX; along with nieces and nephews.  Dorothy is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Wayne in 2020; and brothers, John and Kenneth Ferguson.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on October 16, 2023, at First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea, MN; Pastor Joy Knoppel will officiate. Dorothy’s family will greet guests at a visitation one hour prior to the service at the church.  Interment will be at West Freeborn Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Dorothy’s memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.  Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter | Alzheimer's Association  

Dorothy's legacy of love, compassion, and dedication will forever reside in the hearts of those who had the pleasure of knowing her. May her soul find eternal peace.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy JoAnn Hanson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, October 16, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Monday, October 16, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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Monday, October 16, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

West Freeborn Lutheran Cemetery

695th Ave, Hartland, MN 56042

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