Worcester Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
founded 1949

in memoriam     LeROY   K.  HANSON

LeRoy Kenneth Hanson, 71 Minister of Music Emeritus of Wesley United Methodist Church, died Wednesday, February 21, at his home in the Elms, Briarwood Retirement Center, Worcester.

He was born on March 5, 1929 in Glenwood, MN, son of  Selmer J. and Minnie M. (Sonstegard) Hanson. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. Olaf College in 1951, with dual majors in Music and Mathematics. He was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Following this he attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City, receiving the degree of Master of Sacred Music in 1951. While there, he received the alumni scholarship as the highest-ranking first year student. Mr. Hanson served as organist and choir director of United Brethren Church, Union city, NJ from 1951-52 and Calvary Lutheran Church, Cranford, NJ from 1952-53. He was installed as Minister of Music at Hope Congregational Church in Springfield, MA in 1953 and served there until accepting the call to Wesley United Methodist Church in Worcester in 1961. He was also Organist-in-Residence at Springfield College from 1956-1968. To honor Mr. Hanson on his 25th anniversary in 1986, Wesley Church commissioned two anthems for the celebration. The first, a paraphrase on the Psalm 100 theme was written by Austin Lovelace, an American composer of sacred music. The second anthem, "Father, We Thank You" was composed by John Rutter, an English composer of many outstanding anthems based upon traditional texts. The Wesley choir performed many of Mr. Rutter's compositions and Mr. Hanson had a great respect and love for his music. Following his retirement in 1994, Mr. Hanson worked as a part-time realtor in Worcester, MA while spending his winters in San Diego, CA. He is survived by his sister, Carolyn Hanson Devine of Salem, OR and two nephews, David Devine of Aitkin, MN and Daniel Devine of Dagsboro, DE.

A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 3, in Wesley United Methodist Church, 114 Main St.

Donations may be made in his memory to:
The Music Fund - Wesley United Methodist Church
114 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01609

-- Submitted by Dr. Marjorie Ness, Minister of Music and The Arts, Wesley United Methodist Church