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Woodlawn Funeral Home Obituaries

Rhys Evan Hanson , Age: 87
July 27, 1934 - November 05, 2021


July 27, 1934 – November 5, 2021

Rhys Hanson, 87, passed away November 5, 2021, in Lacey, Washington. 

Rhys is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Jill and Steve Reinmuth; grandchildren, Sam and Kate; sisters-in-law, Janice and Joyce; and nieces, nephews, cousins, and their families.  He was predeceased by his wife, Kathleen, as well as his parents and siblings.

Rhys was born July 27, 1934, in Chicago, Illinois.  He was the youngest child of J.T. (Tillman) and Mildred Hanson, and grew up in Oak Park, Illinois.  He attended Luther College in Iowa (B.A. ‘56) and was an active alumnus throughout his life.  He also graduated from the University of Montana (M.Ed. ‘65) and studied audiology at Portland State University in Oregon (’84-’86).

Rhys met Kathleen Samuelson while teaching in the Tri-Cities.  After marrying in 1963, their first home was in Richland, and their only child, Jill, was born there.  They lived for several years in Longview, and then for 25 years in Vancouver.  After retiring, Rhys and Kathleen moved to Olympia to be close to Jill and Steve, and especially, to their grandchildren, Sam and Kate.

His early teaching career took him to Montana, Minnesota, and ultimately, Washington.  He worked as a speech therapist in small school districts before becoming an audiologist and operating a small clinic. 

Rhys was a faithful child of God; a devoted son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle; and a kind and generous friend.  He was a member of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Lacey, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Olympia, and the Sons of Norway.  A loyal Chicago Cubs fan, he was thrilled to celebrate the team’s World Series Championship in 2016.  His many interests included music, genealogy, history, and photography.  He enjoyed getting to know people, whether distant family or new friends, listening to their stories, and sharing his own.  He trusted in the goodness of others.



Earl "Duke" Simpson November 14, 2021

former dentist Vancouver , Washington

Dear Jill and family, I have such fond memories of your family and particularly how nice you all were. Your Father, Rhys, and Mother, Kathleen, hold special places in my memories and always will. I wish you the very best and urge you to smile and know your parents were exceptional human beings. Sincerely, Duke Simpson

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