Obituary: Merlin James "Jim" Hanson April 17, 1936 - August 23, 2023


September 6, 2023

Merlin James "Jim" Hanson

Merlin James "Jim" Hanson, 87, died peacefully on Aug. 23, 2023 from complications of congestive heart failure surrounded by his wife Margaret (Midge) and daughters Brit, Laura and Kari.

Jim was born in McGregor, N.D., the sixth-born child of Minnie and Erwin Hanson. His life journey included the roles of Lincoln Lynx, UW Husky; U.S. Army officer; and insurance man. Jim was a member of the 101 Club, found golf late in life at the Skagit Golf Club; an adventurous salmon fisherman and boater; and an avid fan of all sports played by daughters, grandkids, Storm, Seahawks and Mariners but especially his Huskies. As a father of three girls, he became an enthusiastic supporter of women's athletics, both Husky and pro. Sadly, he never got to meet his idol, Sue Bird.

The family moved to Seattle in 1944. His first job was a paperboy in Fremont. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1954 and went on to attend the UW, where he was a member of Theta Chi fraternity; he graduated from the UW in 1958. After college, Jim served in the U.S. Army as a training officer in New Jersey. He made a few months' salary betting on the Huskies in the Rose Bowl against Minnesota.

After military service, Jim returned to Seattle and began a career in the insurance business. After a few years he met his soon-to-be wife, Margaret Citron. They moved to northwest Seattle and raised three girls, Brit, Laura and Kari. This was the beginning of many years of family adventures boating, fishing, crabbing and camping throughout the Salish Sea.

It was through boating that Jim and Midge found their summer home in Shelter Bay. This became the jumping off point for those adventures, and their home after Jim's retirement. Jim loved his home in the trees next to the Rainbow Bridge, right on the La Conner Channel.

In retirement, Jim and Midge spent many Novembers in Arizona with his brother, Erwin, and the dreary days of January and February in Cabo with a crew of friends and family.

He was known by many names to those who knew and loved him: Jaime, El Presidente, Jefe, Papa, Hot Pad, HP, Jim and James (when Midge was mad).

Jim was preceded in death by both parents; brothers Oliver of Seattle and Erwin of McGregor, N.D .; and sisters Pearl Bjodstrup of Edmonds, Fern Barkley of Gig Harbor, and Elene Duncan of Sequim.

He is survived by his wife, Midge; daughters Brit (Doug Kramer), and their children Megan, Douglas and Tara; Laura (Rowland Morgan), and their children Owen and Jane; and Kari (Jeff Belevender), and their sons Jaxon and Kevon. In addition, he is survived by his sister-in-law Janice Hanson of McGregor, N.D., and Sun City, Ariz., and numerous nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate his life on Saturday, Sept.16, 1- 3:30 p.m., at the Skagit County Golf Club and to sign his online guestbook at: Hanson?obId=28825979#/obituaryInfo.

Flowers are welcome, and other contributions can be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project:


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