Memorial on Saturday for John A. Hanson, 1944-2019

Family and friends will gather Saturday to remember John A. Hanson, and are sharing this remembrance now:

John Alan Hanson
October 5, 1944 – May 31, 2019

John passed away on May 31, 2019 with family by his side.

John was born and raised in West Seattle to Fred and Muriel Hanson, one of 5 brothers and only 1 beloved sister. He grew up on Seola Beach eating geoduck burgers, gathering driftwood for fires in their home, and swimming in the Sound. His parents would drop John and his brothers off at Denny Creek for two weeks each summer with nothing but small packs and their wits to keep themselves alive and entertained.

John loved sports. He loved to play sports, he loved to watch sports, and he loved to coach sports. John particularly loved fastpitch softball, for which he was inducted into the Greater Seattle Fastpitch Hall of Fame in June of 2000. One of his favorite trips to play ball was to Alaska, where he enjoyed all of the daylight that the land of the midnight sun had to offer. Countless young men of the community will fondly remember John as a coach of the West Seattle High School baseball team. When he was no longer coaching, he could be found offering advice from the stands.

John married Sandy on August 13, 1965. Except for a few years when they lived on Snoqualmie Pass, their nearly 54-year marriage was spent in West Seattle.

The years on Snoqualmie Pass were memorable ones, as John owned and operated his own tow truck company. Back in West Seattle, John drove trucks for Bloch Steel, where he was a proud Teamster.
West Seattle is also where John and Sandy raised their two sons, Steve and Jason.

John was always up for a really good laugh. Cracking jokes, listening to stories, or holding court, John spent much of his time with friends and family enjoying a laugh.

John relished the role of grandpa or “Bumpa” as his three granddaughters called him and was the honorary neighborhood grandpa, stocking frozen treats in the garage freezer where kids could get to them.

John loved to play card games or dice games. The last several months of his life, you could find him and Sandy at the dining table enjoying a game of Yahtzee.

John was fiercely loyal to family and friends, stood up for justice and fairness, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

John is preceded in death by his parents and brother George. John is survived by his wife Sandy, sister Wynn, brothers Fred and Jim, sons Steve (Tammy) and Jason (Joanne) and three granddaughters Lindsay, Amber, Rheese.

A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3050 California Avenue SW, on Saturday, June 15th at 1:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to West Seattle High School Baseball.

Care entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle.

To share your fond memories of John with his Family, please visit his Online Memorial Tribute Wall.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

7 Replies to "Memorial on Saturday for John A. Hanson, 1944-2019"

  • miws June 11, 2019 (9:54 am)

    Condolences to John’s family. John was among a group of folks I’d chat over beers with on my weekly late Friday afternoon after work visits to Poggie’s +/- 30 years ago. Great guy. Always friendly and enjoyable to talk with.  I was recently reminiscing of those days and he is one of the folks that crossed my mind—Mike

  • Cal June 11, 2019 (11:00 am)

    I moved in across the street from John ten years ago, I remember meeting him for the first time at nine years old and thinking he was like a cross between my own grandfather and Santa Clause – the way he’d talk to you, always laughing and joking, you could become best friends with him in an instant. Whether He was standing out at Hiawatha watching a baseball game, or out walking his dog – he was a defacto-mascot for West Seattle (and more specifically the Admiral district). John and Sandy will always be the cute almost-grandparents who lived across the street – and I will cherish every memory and moment I had with him.

  • Beata June 11, 2019 (11:43 am)
    I had the privilege of knowing John as a neighbor and a friend for 20 years. He saw my kids growing up, always smiling and giving great advice. He was very caring, giving and always helpful. His presence has been already very missed and this street will never be the same without him. 
  • JSnow June 11, 2019 (6:48 pm)

    I grew up with Jason and Steve, played baseball with them at WSHS and had many a pool tournaments in the Hanson’s basement during our school lunchtime. Sandy would stock the fridge with lunch meat/cheese so we could make sandwiches, lots of great memories at the Hanson house. After graduation I would see John walking his dog at Hiawatha and would talk baseball with him when the high school baseball team had home games. It was cool to just see him, shake his hand, talk ball and about our families. I’ll miss our talks. RIP Mr Hanson. My condolences to Sandy, Steve, Jason and the rest of John’s family. 

  • Petey From Class of 2014 June 11, 2019 (9:17 pm)

    I had a good Times with him on Ball Field at WSHS and Laughs and Talking  at a Joke & other Stuff 

  • Linda Sizemore June 12, 2019 (8:49 am)

    Rest in peace “Bumpa”! There is no replacing you in our hearts! You treated everyone as family,and never met a stranger! Those beautiful blue eyes were filled with kindness and compassion for your fellow man! How do you replace this? You can’t! Just be grateful to have known this special man! I’m indebted to his loving and kind nature. You will be sorely missed!

  • Ron June 12, 2019 (2:56 pm)

    Although I met John later  in life, he and Sandy quickly became people I felt I had known and loved for life, what a great guy, I wish I had known him since childhood, we lived so close to each other, but never met up until much later in life, RIP John………………

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