Dennis L. Hanson

Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Sunday, April 3, 1955
Date of Death:
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
57 years old


Date: Friday June 29, 2012
Time: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location: River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home [ view map ]

Second Visitation

Date: Saturday June 30, 2012
Time: 10:00 am

Location: Christ United Methodist Church [ view map ]

Funeral Service

Date: Saturday June 30, 2012
Time: 11:00 am

Location: Christ United Methodist Church [ view map ]

Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Sunday, April 3, 1955
Date of Death:
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
57 years old
Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Sunday, April 3, 1955
Date of Death:
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
57 years old

Dennis L. Hanson

Dennis “Denny” Lee Hanson, 57, of Rochester passed away June 27, 2012 at St. Mary’s Hospital after suffering a brain aneurysm.

Denny was born April 3, 1955 to Ray and Ione Hanson in Preston Village, Minnesota.  He graduated from Mayo High School in 1973.  Denny married Linda Winter on July 18, 1987.  They would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this summer.

Throughout his life, Denny held various positions, most recently with Carpet One in Rochester as the Vice President for Business Development.   He was elected to Rochester City Council in 1999 to represent the First Ward.  In 2004, he was elected as City Council President, a position he currently held.  In addition to his service on City Council, Denny was on numerous boards and committees throughout the city.  He was very dedicated to the City of Rochester and loved every minute of his public service.

Denny enjoyed many activities including golf, vacationing to warmer climates, spending time with family and friends, and following the activities of his grandchildren.

Denny is survived by his wife, Linda; six children, Erin (Brandon) Henderson of Rochester, Missy (Jeff) Hale of Rochester, Brian Winter of Rochester, Nate (Sarah) Hanson of Rochester, Mitch Hanson of Rochester, and Megan (Luke)Sumerfelt of Lake City; 7 grandchildren, Austen, Cooper, Jayden, Gabby, Olivia, Khloe, and Cole; his mother, Ione Hanson of Rochester; one sister Shirley Laqua of Lake City; five brothers Robert (Carol) Hanson of Lake City, Paul (Shelley) Hanson of Canton, Steven (Sara) Hanson of Canton, Mark (Jeanne) Hanson of Rochester, and Kevin Hanson of Rochester; two sister-in-laws, Judy Hanson and Carol Hanson, both of Rochester.

He was preceded in death by his father, Ray Hanson; brothers Dick Hanson and Jeff Hanson; brother-in-law Lester Laqua.

Visitation will be in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home on Friday, June 29, from 4-8 p.m. with an Eagles Service at 8 p.m.  A celebration of life will be held at 11:00AM on Saturday, June 30, 2012 at Christ United Methodist Church officiated by Rev. Nancy Wheeler Handlon, followed by a reception at The Eagles Club. Visitation on Saturday will be one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorials are suggested to the family.

Macken Funeral Home is handling arrangements, and online condolences are welcome at

**NOTICE**  Additional funeral parking will be available in the Mayo Clinic surface lots directly east and north of Christ United Methodist Church.


The family of Dennis L. Hanson has received the following condolences.

I will miss Denny, his joy in life, people and governance.

Sadly, I was out of town the week of his death and service, and did not hear the stories, memories and respect shared by friends, family and colleagues in that week.  I know they were remarkable, and hope they can be treasured.

Jeff, Melissa and family,

We were out of town this past week. Very sorry to hear of the passing of Dennis. He has done a lot of great things for the city of Rochester. Our sympathies,

Aaron and Sarah Ellringer

On those occasions when both before and after my retirement that I worked with Denny I enjoyed his straight forward approach to the issues, I may not have agreed with the positions he took but I did know where he stood.  I will miss that attitude and regret his passing far to early.

Dear Hanson Family,

We are one of the small non dignatary private sector business groups that your husband, father, and loved one gave such positive, keep going encouraging words to over the last four years.   Of the 125+ immediate family members that were seated in the front of the church yesterday none of you know us.   We did not know Denny very well except for the above.   Denny quietly made us promise to not give up our dream and to have patience.   Two things:  Thank you for reminding us how very important family is and we promise you when our business is up and running there will be a prominent place for you to place something to acknowledge both you the family and Denny.  He would not have been the man he was without every single one of you supporting him and loving you.   Thank you for sharing him with the community.   Prayers for strength being sent your way.    Jan and Rocky Daly Family

Linda, Mark, Kevin, Paul, Erin and Hanson family,

Our thoughts and prayer's go out to you as Denny lays to rest today. Sadly work prevents me from attending. May your many memories of him help you through today and weeks to come. What a great leader he was and how fortunate we were to have known him and able to call him a friend. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted"--  Matthew 5:4

RIP Denny... 

Brian & Brenda Rucker

I am so sorry for your loss.  I will be sure to add your family to my prayers and add your prayers to my churches prayer chain.

Linda and family,

I am so sorry for your loss, Denny was one of the GREAT men that I know.  Denny will be missed very much by me, I will most certainly miss walking into the Eagles Club for my shift and Denny would be sitting there leaning back, waving at me and saying "Hello Jen" with the fun little smirk he always had and then give me a hug.

Denny truly touched my heart, he will be greatly missed by me.  I considering myself a very lucky person to have the privilege of meeting and getting to know Denny.

With Sympathy,

Jennifer Jacobson


Linda & Family,

I remember Dennis back in the days with his position at "Floors and More." Over the years I could see that Dennis liked to work hard, but had fun doing it.  He will be missed!

Dave Birka

It was my pleasure to know, converse with, and enjoy the company of Dennis Hanson: a congenial person and a dedicated public servant. Our condolences and prayers. May wonderful memories and the support of family and friend sustain you.

Dear LInda and Family: We are so sorry for your loss, Denny will be missed.  I hope your family memories will bring you peace and confort during ths time of sorrow. Glen and I will keep you and your family in our prayers.


You have lost a beloved family member and our community has lost a spirited and effective leader. I had the honor of working with Denny on many tough issues over the years. He always showed up. He took time to learn. He was always looking out for what was best for Rochester. When I was about to move from Rochester last year, Denny and I talked about how fortunate we were to have grown up in Rochester and also have the chance to contribute in meaningful ways to its growth and success.  I learned a great deal from Denny, and will miss him dearly. Thanks to you and your family, Linda, for supporting Denny in his joyful pursuit of making our fine community a truly great place to live and raise a family.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Linda and family, so sorry for your loss. Denny was my boss at Kruse, not just a boss, he was like family. He treated us all like family. Everytime I would see him it was like old times. It was like whats new, hows your family. I'm sorry we won't be able to get there, Denny would say no problem. We are up in the Cities for the Twins series this weekend. Knowing how much of a sports fan he was, Vikings #1, he would say have fun and have fun for me, too! He was very special to me and so many other people. My Prayers are with Denny and all his family.  Mike Banitt

It saddens me deeply to hear about the passing of someone as genuinely good and full of life as Dennis. I became good friends with Dennis at Central Junior High, together at Mayo Senior High and best of friends the following years until after I had moved to Phoenix; where he visited me several times. It's hard even after several days, to realize someone as decent as Dennis is gone. I can only hope his spirit lives on with his Family, Friends, City Council Associates and in the City of Rochester, which he all loved and cared about.

My sincerest condolences to his Mom, Ione, his Sister and Brothers, Family and Friends, and any anyone else who had the privilege of knowing Dennis. I know in this case the old saying is true, that the good die young. May he rest in peace.

With Best Regards to All,

Scott Rinde
Phoenix, AZ

With regret, I am in St. Cloud and unable to be at the services. My deepest sympathies and prayers to you.  Such a tragic loss to the family he loved so much and to the city of Rochester. Denny was always a person with "Thee answer" and would always surprise you at how quick his responses were.  He would make me laugh at his remarks and his candid behavior when I worked for him at Kruse and at Rochesterfest.  Nobody could do it like Denny!  He will be missed.  As for the future of Rochester, his wish would be"Get R Done." Hopefully his spirit and love live on to finish his dreams that he so longed for.

With Deepest Sympathy,

Nancy Kantor

What can I say to you.  Denny was my first boss at Fleet farm but a friend for 30yrs.  We shared so much together. We always had so much fun, we laughed, cried just enjoyed hanging out but mostly joked around.  I will always remember him say: " Carmine ".,  to hear his laugh; it was so contagious.   Wherever I saw Denny, he would yell across the room at me and say There's Squeeky.    I'm at a loss for words.  I'm so sorry Linda and family.  I will miss him so much!!!  Life has taught me its about the people in our lives .  Dennis taught me many things.   I will greatly miss you Denny!   Thanks for all the memories!  Rest in Peace my friend.

Carmen Asleson

I will always remember Denny helping us out when we needed it at our Scout Camp.  We couldn't get any more lumber and needed some right away for our new camp and he camp through for us.  It may seem like a little thing but as a volunteer , I will always remember it.  Our prayers and condolences are with you at this time.

Denny will be sorely missed by those of us who worked with him on city matters.  His enthusiasm and forward thinking were a huge asset to Rochester.  I can only imagine how much a loss Denny's zest for life will be to his family. 

I am certain that Denny's words and actions caused many people change how they approached life as a citizen of our community.  A few reshaped their views and ideas, some went away with a touch of extra enthusiasm and others would have added a smile to their day without even realizing it; such was Denny's impact on people.

Denny was a gift to all of us.  May those who held him closest be comforted by his memory and by the pieces of him that live on in so many of us.

Linda and Family,

Our deepest sympathy to you.  Denny was an awesome guy and we will miss him around the neighborhood and at the many events we saw him at at the Civic Center. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Tom and Lori Buske


Heartfelt thoughts and sympathy to Denny's Family and wishing you all peace and gentle comfort.

Rochester lost a piece of its history on Wednesday.  Words can't bring Denny back, but they can bring memories of him to life.  There will be many words, over many years, spoken and written about him too.  In this way his legacy will stay with Rochester forever. 

My thoughts and prayers are with his family.  May they find strength in those words from a community that loves him too.

Linda and the Hanson Family - we were so sorry to hear about Dennis.  He will really be missed by all of us - the neighborhood won't be the same.  Memories will keep him in our thoughts and hearts.  Let us know if there is anything we can do for you. 

Denny will be missed greatly on Wednesday nights at the golf course.  When Denny, and his team walk in the door the atmosphere always changed and we knew they would have a good time!  Denny's laugh will be missed!  Take care and lots of thoughts and prayers are with you all!

Linda and family, my prayers go out to you. He will be truly missed by everyone.


The Hanson Family:

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you with the loss of Denny.  What a great guy that brought great leadership to our community and put smiles on many faces.  He will be missed.  Our condolences to all of you.


The Terry Family

Dear Hanson Family:

This is such a sudden loss. I still can't believe it. I have known Denny for several years, he was always so pleasant to me, greeted me like he hadn't seen me in years. He was always happy and serious when needed. He had Rochester in his heart he will be missed by us. He was my go to guy  "Denny will Know" about anything happening in Rochester.  I have already started missing him.. All my payers and condolences to you and yours.

We will see him again in a better place.

To the entire family of Dennis Hanson:

It is with a heavy heart that we saluate the passion Denny has shown for Rochester, its citizens, its future vision, and its success as a vibrant community. 

In our four years of being in Rochester, we have always felt welcomed as royalty and friends by the way Denny acted with a caring heart and "can do it spirit".  His response to ideas and openness to changing the city to make it stronger and better for all is evident in the growth of downtown, and the surrounding area. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with you today and always.





We will all miss you.  You lived a brilliant life as a family man and community leader.  Many saw your public face, but it is everything that you did in private that made you such an admirable leader.  You were always easy to approach and you loved this community like few others.  You have our unending respect.  We are so sorry for your family's loss and will miss you greatly.


"A great man is one who leaves others at a loss when he is gone" Author Paul Valery.

The entire community is at a loss right now which goes to show how great Denny was.  To the Hanson family, may the deep hole in your hearts be filled with many wonderful memories that you can you can carry with you always.  It will be impossible to ever forget his smile and laugh, both were infectious.  We know how strong your family is and we know that you will all come together and get through this tragedy.  Prayers of strength to you all.


The Behnken family

Linda and family, Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with your family.  Denny was always a bright spot in the room as soon as he came in the door at the St. Charles Golf Club.  We will all miss him greatly on Wednesday nights especially.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hanson family. Denny was truly one of a kind and his passing will be felt around the community; he was a true champion for the City of Rochester. Rochester Area Builder events will not be the same without his ideas, energy, and sometimes (okay, often) irreverent sense of humor. I appreciate how he made me feel at home in my first year and a half with RAB, he was a treasure.

John Eischen and family 

I am on vacation with my family out in Colorado and Rich Peterson just gave me the news..... Denny was the best. He always made
me feel special and counted me as a friend. His leadership was second to none. 'May his soul rest in peace...'. Prayers for courage and strength to the whole family. Faithfully, Fr. Nick

Denny -

Thank you for so many good memories my friend!  I am going to miss you so much and just can't accept that you are no longer physically with us.  Rest in Peace my friend!  I will think of you every day Denny!  You touched so many lives and you dropped what you did to make things better for everyone.  You were a true public servant in your profession, public service and with your family and friends.  God Bless!  Heaven gained an angel - that is for sure!

I am overcome with sadness with the news of losing Denny!  I met Denny on my 6th week of moving to Rochester at a City Council meeting. I was impressed with his ability to be serious with the issue, but also fun and pleasant to those he was talking to.

 So many events I attended...he was there...promoting Rochester.  I have loved Rochester these last 6 years. Unfortunatley, I will be leaving Rochester in a few months, but I will always consider Denny Hanson the Rochester "GoToGuy".

To the Hanson Family,

It was devastating to hear the news of Denny's sudden passing. He was a delightful person to know, interact with, and enjoy life with. Denny was able to light up a room with his wit and positive attitude. He will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. 

Mike & Linnea Benike

Please accept our most heartful sympathies for your loss.  Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.  We are deeply sorry for your sudden loss.  

Muhammad Khan and Anjum Khan     

To the Hanson Family -

Our deepest sympathy goes out to as your mourn the loss of Denny. He was a wonderful community leader with an huge heart. He will be missed by all that knew him. I feel very fortunate to have worked with him over the years in many different aspects. May god bless you and keep in his arms during this time of loss.


Josh Johnson and Family

To the Hanson Family, Denny and I met eight years ago through the Rochester Area Builders Association.  He took me under his wing and introduced me to numerous people in the community.  Most importantly, he was always there to help and guide is when either my organization or the association need direction.  I saw him last Monday at Somerby, you could always hear his distinct laugh from accross the room.  Denny was a natural born leader and was liked by not only his friends, but his advisaries as well.  He always was fair and his sense of humor helped ease those uncomfortable situations that sometimes come about.  His love for this wonderful city could never be challenged.  His personal committment to giving to other charitable groups and associations was known throughout the state.  He never said "No!"  Denny Hanson, you will be missed by all, but never forgotten.  

Tony Joseph and Wendy Wolfram 

It is hard to imagine a chamber event or sports commission social without Denny's smile and laughter.  Always upbeat and getting every ounce of happiness out of life.  His passing has left a huge hole that his friends and family will need to fill with the many, many wonderful memories of Denny.  Prayers to his family that they may find peace over time.

Today Rochester lost a little of its shine. Dennis is going to be missed and Rochester will miss him and his smile! I will miss his smile and his great joy that he had. Take care my friend and i know you would have made a great Mayor!

Linda and family,

I was heartbroken to hear the news and I want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you...I pray you find comfort in many wonderful memories of a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend!  He was always able to put a smile on our faces and laughter in our hearts!  There is a great void to be filled, but I know that the depth of love that you and your family share for each other and for Denny will pull you through. Honor his memory with that love and the wonderful memories you share.  He truly was one in a million!


Dear Hanson Family,

I looked forward to each time I would run into Denny, whether it was by chance or at softball, hockey, events around the city or out to eat.  He was always the first to get up and give me a hug and say "JILL", with that enthusiasm of his...I always walked away smiling ear to ear.  I feel like it was a great privelege to have known him for so many years and call him a family friend.  I have no doubt that in this time of need your family will be surrounded by love and support.  May god bless you all during this difficult time.

Love, Jill Brady

Dear Hanson Family,

My sincere sympathies to you.  Denny was a great guy and will be missed by many. 

Phil Schroeder

Linda and family -- words cannot express our saddness at Denny's passing.  He was a great all-around person -- a great husband, father, neighbor, city leader, and, more importantly, a great friend.  Always there when he was needed with a smile and a way to make you laugh to brighten up your day.  South Park friends and neighbors were privileged and bless to have him in our lives.

Hanson Family,

Our most sincere sympathy at this time of loss.  May you all find peace as you celebrate this great man's life together.  Our prayers are with you all.

Dave Kinneberg & Family

Linda + family - We are deeply sorry the loss of such a great guy!  We will feel the loss of Denny and his sense of humor for a long time.  If there is anything that your family needs, please call.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Dear Linda and family,

No words can adequately express the grief we are feeling in the loss of Denny.  Our most sincere condolences go to all of you at the time of your tremendous loss.  We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Bob & Connie Saunders