Mary A. Hanson
Date of Birth
August 18, 1955
Omaha, Nebraska
Entered into Rest
January 11, 2022
Ithaca, Nebraska
Celebration of Life

At a later date in the Spring or Summer.

Mary A. Hanson, age 66, of Ithaca, NE, passed away on January 11, 2022 at home.

Mary Hanson, born in Omaha, Nebraska to Joseph and Gladys Sokolik on August 18, 1955.  She is a graduate of Ralston High School in Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and a Masters in Regional Planning.

After college, she worked at Waldo Farms at Dewitt, Nebraska.  She became a mail carrier and worked in Beatrice, Crete, and Lincoln.   She was appointed Postmaster at Ithaca, where she met her husband, Dwight Hanson.  They were married on May 12, 1990 in Ithaca, NE.  She finished her post office career as the postmaster of Ceresco NE.   She went back to school and got a Masters in Regional Planning.  This helped her get her dream job as a trails planner for the National Park Service in the Rivers and Trails Department of the Midwest Region.  Several of her projects were in Saunders County and throughout the Midwest Region.  She became the first “horse trail” expert in the Park Service and worked on many projects outside of region including a 1000 acre preserve of equestrian land near Lexington, Kentucky.

As an avid animal lover (especially horses) she always had cats, dogs and other pets throughout her life.  She competed, driving horses in Combined Driving Events in the United States and Canada and many Competitive Trail Rides throughout the United States.  She was the past president of the Eastern Nebraska Driving Society and was a regional representative for NATRC competitive trail riding.  She also volunteered at the Worlds Pairs Championship, the Worlds Equestrian Games, Saunders County Lost Pets, the Nebraska Horse Trails Committee, and many other organizations.

Mary is preceded in death by her parents Joseph and Gladys Sokolik, brother Joseph, maternal grandparents Joseph and Agnes Vanek of Wahoo and paternal grandparents John and Catherine Sokolik of Omaha.  She is survived by her husband Dwight Hanson, sisters Sandra (Bryan) Huffman, Francine (John) Spirk, Patricia (Ronald Elsis) Sokolik, brother Jeffery (Linda) Sokolik, sisters-in-law Donita Parker, Jeannette (Ryan) Reitmajer, Gail (Mark) Galate, brother-in-law Victor Hanson, and many nieces and nephews.

There will be a Celebration of Life this coming Spring or Summer.

Memorials will be used to help build a new building for the St. Lillian’s Children’s Home in Gayaza Uganda.   The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the doctors, nurses, therapy specialists, and friends who supported Mary during her illness.

Send memorials to Mary Hanson, Memorial, 1285 County Road H, Ithaca, NE 68033

Condolences for Mary A. Hanson
  1. Marty Hagemann
    • January 12, 2022 - 2 weeks ago

    Dwight, I was so sorry to hear about your loss. Please know you are in my prayers
    Marty Hagemann

  2. Fred and Marilynne Bergman
    • January 12, 2022 - 2 weeks ago

    our sympathy to all the Hanson family.

  3. Sheila Christiansen
    • January 12, 2022 - 2 weeks ago

    Mary was a wonderful person and an excellent horseman. I knew her through mutual friends and enjoyed her at the many horse events we attended. Her impact on the world was so impactful. God bless her and Dwight.

  4. Lisa Rys-Jones
    • January 13, 2022 - 2 weeks ago

    Dear, Mr.Dwight Hanson, sorry for your lovely loss wife Mary Hanson, she is wonderful lady, fun person, she loves to ride the horses and good laughter and sign language ASL where I work with her at National Park Service, Omaha, NE know her from former Co-worker for 28 years or 30 years of Government Service. I really miss her so much and miss being around with her to ride fun with horses at your farm in Ithaca, Ne long time ago. great memories with her. God bless her and you, too. Take care, always your friends: Lisa Rys-Jones & Leon French, family from Prague, NE Saunders County.

  5. Katheen Flanagan
    • January 14, 2022 - 1 week ago

    SO sorry for your loss! Mary was so much larger than life in our community!

  6. Givens family
    • January 14, 2022 - 1 week ago

    Dwight, so sorry for your loss. Prayers

  7. Sherry 7 Steve Raymond
    • January 15, 2022 - 1 week ago

    Sorry for your loss. Didn’t know her but she sounds like she was a wonderful person.

  8. Corita Waters
    • January 18, 2022 - 6 days ago

    Mary contributed so much to our NPS community, we will miss her laughter and love for horses and trails.

  9. Roberta Young
    • January 18, 2022 - 6 days ago

    A life well lived continues in the heart, mind, and memories of loved ones and friends. Mary will forever be a shining light through the veil of darkness until one day reunited with those she knew. Peace find and be with you in the days to come.

  10. Anonymous
    • January 18, 2022 - 6 days ago

    I worked with Mary for many years and she was such a bright star! May her light continue to shine….

  11. Tracy Simmons
    • January 20, 2022 - 4 days ago

    I worked with Mary at the National Park Service. She was a ray of sunshine with her bright smile. I always enjoyed talking with her and hearing about her many interests.
    My deepest condolences.

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