WESTBY — Suzanne Bernita Christine Hanson (Dregne), 80, died Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, after exhausting all possible life from a body challenged with health issues, including 28 years of various cancers.

Suzanne was one of the first babies born at the “new” Viroqua Hospital in Vernon County, Wis., to Clarence and Clara “Kelly” (Solverson) Dregne of Liberty Pole, May 2, 1937. Suzanne was the beloved wife of Russell Hanson for 53 years and the mother of three children, Linda Hoff, Jill Servais (Scott), David Elgstuen (Kelly). She was also the grandmother to seven, Joshua and Lauren Hoff (father-Kevin Hoff), Tyler, Jacqueline, and Victoria Servais, and Matthew and Amelia Elgstuen. She was the oldest of three siblings, and is survived by Helen (Bill) Urban and their children, Janet, John and Julie and David (Jana) Dregne and their children, Chris and Kathy.

Despite the hard work, Suzanne spoke fondly of her upbringing “down on the farm” near Liberty Pole. The only student in her grade in the one-room Hinkst schoolhouse, she later attended Viroqua High School, Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Swedish Nursing School in Minneapolis, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Russ and Suzanne’s first three years together were very busy, as they lived in Racine, La Crosse and Madison, had three children, and Suzanne worked as a registered nurse.

After moving to Westby in 1971, Suzanne became busy with civic organizations. Forty years ago, she worked tirelessly for approval for the Norseland Nursing home, which would eventually become the home of her mother and then her home. Besides serving on the Norseland Board, she was also a member of the Snowflake Ski Club, initiating and leading the celebrity auction for two decades. She was a member of the Sons of Norway, and worked in the 1970s to change the liquor laws in Westby so restaurants could be established.

Suzanne loved music, travel, and entertaining. Any occasion was worthy of a party, which included live music and enough food to feed five times the crowd. Suzanne was a serious fisher-woman, dropping a line wherever her travels took her and was rewarded with several trophy catches. Some of her best days were spent at their beloved cabin at Sandy Point on the Chippewa Flowage.

Suzanne’s family would like to thank the many friends and family who visited her often, hospice workers, and Norseland Nursing Home staff who provided incredible support and comfort during her difficult journey.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, at Westby Coon-Prairie Lutheran Church, with a luncheon to follow at Borgen’s Cafe at 3 p.m. Undesignated memorials will go to the Westby Fine Arts Foundation and Walleyes For Tomorrow.

God bless her memory.

The Thorson Funeral Home of Viroqua is proudly serving the family. Online condolences may be left at www.thorsonfuneralhome.com.


the life of: Suzanne Hanson (Dregne)
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