Our Family Stories

Alfred Bernard Hanson:  Track Athlete, Bowler, Airplane Pilot, Fisherman, Rock-hound, Grocer, Salesman, Contractor, Father, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather

September 2, 1907 -  January 3, 1984

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Alfred "Al" Bernard Hanson was born in Ellensburg, Kittitas county, Washington on September 2, 1907, the son of
Be(r)nard Hanson (1840 - 1927), a native of Norway and Sophia Belle Jones (1865 - 1940), a native of Half Moon Bay, San Mateo county, California.  The family raised cattle on their eastern Washington ranch.  In 1908, the family moved to a farm in North Puyallup, Pierce county, Washington on the north bank of the Puyallup River, now a major highway (167) and trailer park occupy the land. 

Al married Evelyn Christine Greenlaw, a native of Spanaway, Pierce county, Washington on December 20, 1933.  Al and Evelyn had met when he came to the Greenlaw dairy farm to pickup their milk.  Al drove truck and then worked and later managed a grocery store in North Puyallup, Washington for over a decade.  They had four sons, Larry Bernard, Freddie Lee, Robert Jay and James Richard.

Al moved his family and opened Hanson's Market, 6520 Puyallup River Road ( Rt 4 Bx 360 B ) near the Melroy Bridge at 66th Avenue and Clark's Creek in 1946.  The store burned in April, 1947.  Al rebuilt the store, but lost the business in 1951. 

Alfred Bernard Hanson - 1926

Al became a salesman to support his family, but the economy was slow and times were hard.  Evelyn and Al separated and finally divorced around 1955.

Al eventually relocated to Centralia, Lewis county, Washington where he lived for many years as a remolding contractor.  He enjoyed looking in the streams of the Cascade foot hills in Lewis county for agates and petrified-wood.  Often, he fished the Skookumchuck River near his house.  He taught his young son, James to bowl in the local bowling alley. He married Bertha in 1960.   Bertha became ill in 1965 and left Al.

Al married Geneva in 1966 and they lived in Rochester, Thurston county, Washington until Al became ill with throat cancer.

Because they were both getting old and needed assistance occasionally, Al and Geneva moved to 900 Fairview Ave. SE, Olympia, Thurston county, Washington, 98501 to be near his son, Fred Hanson.

Al died after a year-long illness on
January 3, 1984.  His body was cremated and his ashes were kept by Geneva until her death on October 24, 1995.  Fred Hanson placed his ashes in the grave of his mother and father [Sophia and Be(r)nard] in the Sumner Cemetery.  

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Sumner Cemetery - Photo by Darlene Hull - August 6, 2001

Obituary from the Tacoma News Tribune, January 5, 1984:  "Alfred Hanson

Alfred B.  Hanson, 76, of Olympia, a former Puyallup grocery store owner, died Tuesday.

Mr. Hanson was born in Ellensburg and lived in Puyallup 14 years before moving to Centralia in 1948.  During part of that time, he was a store manager for Hogan's Food Centers, now Piggly Wiggly food stores.  He later owned Hanson's Market on River Road.

After moving to Centralia, he was a self-employed contractor before he retired in 1975.  He then moved to Olympia.

Mr.  Hanson was a member of the Centralia Moose Lodge and Riverside Grange.

Survivors include his wife, Geneva; four sons, Larry of Shelton, Fred of Olympia, Robert of Tacoma and James of Port Angeles; two stepdaughters, Betty J. Alton of Olympia and Billie Lee Taylor of Centralia; a brother, Charles of Orting; two sisters, Emma Smith of Tacoma and Grace Palo of Puyallup; 14 Grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Forest Funeral Home, Olympia is in Charge."

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