Saturday, April 18, 2015


June 14, 1924 - April 16, 2015

Clark Leroy Hanson, 90, passed away very peacefully on April 16, 2015 after suffering a massive stroke late on the evening of April 10th. Devoted husband of Jean Hanson for 68 years, loving and caring father of Leslie Lightfall, Carole Van der Mark, Craig Hanson and Brent Hanson (deceased), grandfather of Kelli Luevano and Jessica Angel, great-grandfather of Elise and Anna Gloria Luevano, Cayden, Khyler and Chayce Angel, he was a highly creative, capable, strong but gentle man, offering deep and abiding love that he more often expressed through action than with words. 

Born in Laporte, Minnesota, Clark served in the Navy at the end of WWII, graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in agricultural engineering, and worked as a agricultural engineer for International Harvester in Richmond, Indiana for 15 years.  

In June 1959 he received a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and began working at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (then known as the University of California Radiation Laboratory) in September as an engineer in the Mechanical Engineering Department.  Clark Hanson was a valued employee as well as a thorough and inventive engineer for over 24 years at the Laboratory, eventually retiring in 1984.  Clark remained in the Mechanical Engineering Department throughout his time at the Laboratory, eventually becoming a group leader for the Mechanical Engineering support of the Experimental Test Accelerator and the project engineer responsible for support for the Magnet System Group. 

Clark loved to ride his bike to work, and after retiring at age 60, he successfully completed a solo cross country bicycle trip from California via Minnesota to his brother’s home in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Local people were familiar with the sight of him riding his bike, his favorite way to get around town well into his late 80's.  

A dedicated tennis player, Clark much preferred playing singles.  He was an active member of the local tennis club well into his late 80's and was highly prized by young tennis players as a doubles partner for a couple of the century tournaments.

He loved the out-of-doors and many family vacations were spent camping in state and national parks. He passed a deep love of nature on to his descendants.

He touched the hearts of many, many people in his own quiet way and will be sorely missed.


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  2. Clark was a very special uncle to me. There was a unique warmth and kindness about him. One of my favorite memories was the time he, Craig, my dad and brother rented a motorhome and took a 3 week road trip to BC. The fishing contests we had along the way (poor Craig always lost to my dad) and the ferry trip to Alaska (we got to spend a total of 3 or 4 hours in Ketchikan, at least we could say we finally made it to Alaska!). The laughter and fun we shared will stay with me. Clark, you weren't just a good man, you were a special man and I'm glad you are and always will be my uncle. I will miss you until we meet again.

  3. Jean, Leslie, Carole, and Craig, thank you for sharing Clark with the rest of us. Clark left this world a better place. Most of my memories of Clark result from family reunions in Minnesota, backpacking in the Sierra's and our fishing trip to British Columbia with Craig, Chris, Dad (Gordy) and I.
    Much of my appreciation for nature came from those experiences. Most importantly, the appreciation for love of family and unconditional love was always there. Clark was a man of few words, though the love he shared was limitless, even when we were short sheeting his bunk…
    I imagine Clark and Gordy are sitting on a riverbank in Heaven, their fishing lines are in the water. You know they're not talking, they don't want to disturb the fish. Perhaps they can talk latter. Lord knows it won't be tough to get a word in. In your grief may the warmth of Clarks love provide you some comfort in your loss.
    Carl Hanson