Richard Dean Hanson was born at St. John’s Hospital in Salina, KS approximately 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, March 25th, 1953. He was the younger of two sons born to Carl Victor and Betty Louise (Olson) Hanson. Richard was an A-1 standard issue little boy, climbing trees, playing in a tree house and doing other things little boys liked to do.
Like most boys his age, Richard liked to play baseball and football. Not a star, by any means, but he did the best he could each time out.
During a summer spent in Kansas City with Aunt Doris and Uncle Ray, Richard developed an interest in motor driven vehicles. Mini Bikes and Go Carts gave way to cars. Richard went from a 1942 Chevy Deluxe to a 1962 Chevy 2-door Hardtop, to the current 2003 S-10 Pickup.
In High School, Richard’s 1962 Chevy 2-door Hardtop with a 300 HP 327 cubic inch Chevy engine would rattle the store windows in the businesses in Lindsborg each time he “dragged Main”. During High School, Richard’s interest in cars grew from fixing his own car to helping others.
Richard graduated from Lindsborg High School in 1971. From there, Richard enrolled in the Auto mechanic Class at the Salina Area Vocational Technical School. While there, the instructor noted that Richard worked well with precision measuring equipment, and helped him to re-bore block, and operate precision honing equipment. Richard graduated from the Salina Vocational Technical in May of 1972. By graduation, Richard learned how to operate all of the equipment required to rebuild a complete engine.
From there, Richard was hired to operate the Automobile Machine Shop for Harry Lane Supply Company in McPherson, Kansas. This lasted for about six years, and then moved on to Mid-Kansas Machines, also in McPherson, for 8 years of running milling machines and radial drills.
Getting tired of long hours required by the machine shop job, Richard took a job as an Auto Mechanic. This lasted about 6 months. From the mechanic positions, Richard moved to Mid Kansas machine Works, where he worked for 8 ½ years.
With Richard’s dad Carl Hanson losing his eyesight, Richard tried his best to keep the clothing store open, but the store had to close due to declining business.
Tired of working long hours in manual labor jobs for average pay, Richard decided to go return to school. Knowing it would be tough, he started his college classes.
From Bethany College, that would transfer to Kansas State University. He then completed a year of classes at Bethany College. From there he took classes at KSU College of technology at Salina. This resulted in an Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering technology.
The next step was the challenge of a lifetime. Richard enrolled in Kansas State University in Manufacturing Systems Engineering. This was tough, but not as bad because Richard had a strong background in Machine Shops, running machines. It was tough, there were several setbacks, but Richard never gave up and he completed his Degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering on Saturday, December 14th, 1997.
Richard was offered a job with Boeing Commercial Airplanes in December 1998. Richard moved to Wichita. Overall, the time at Boeing was not very positive. Boeing Wichita (in his opinion) was very political. Boeing was downsizing their staffing, and he was not one of the chosen, so he was laid off.
Lockheed Martin had just beaten Boeing for then Joint Strike Fighter Contract, and was hiring people for the new program. The program would continue for many, many more years. Their future is long and bright. “I only hope and pray that I can continue to work in Fort Worth or the F35 Program for as long as my health holds up. I also hope that I can continue to help others, as they have helped me, and be a good friend to all. “
Visitation will be Wednesday, December 26 from 5-7PM at Crick-Christians Funeral Home,
Funeral Services will be held 1:00 pm on Thursday, December 27 at Bethany Lutheran Church, 320 N. Main St., Lindsborg, KS with Pastor Jim Strasen officiating. Burial will follow in Elmwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Riverview Estates. Memorials may be sent in care of Crick-Christians Funeral Home, 103 N. Washington, Lindsborg, KS 67456.