February 17, 2020, 09:10:50 am

2nd Lt. William Hanson

Started by ironputts, November 04, 2019, 01:48:34 pm

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ironputts



November 1, 2019

2nd Lt. William Hanson
Floyd Bennett Composite Squadron
New York Wing

William D. Hanson
September 03, 1954 - October 18, 2019

On Friday, October 18, 2019, a beautiful sun warmed morning, Bill Hanson set out in his glider plane to soar along the ridges of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Nearing the end of an amazing flight, of over 350 miles, Bill was almost home when he suffered a fatal medical emergency that prevented him from landing safely.

Bill was introduced to the world on September 3,1954, as William David Hanson Jr. to his now late-parents, Mary (Horan) and William Hanson, in Brooklyn, the capital of the world. Over his too-short 65 years, Bill lived and experienced enough for two lifetimes.

Before graduating from St Francis Prep High School in 1971, Bill joined the Prep's and Sebago Canoe/Kayak Team. He embraced his passion to travel through racing kayaks. While earning a Bachelor's degree from City College of New York, he continued to train, race and set goals for the 1980 & '84 Olympics. It was during this time that a life-changing relationship blossomed between Bill and Nancy Weibel, who would become his wife, business partner, and "crew mate".

On September 12, 1981, Bill and Nancy committed to a life together and settled in Rockaway Beach. Bill found success and enjoyment through sharing his many passions with others. Eager to offer his experience and expertise, he joined with local families and founded the Rockaway Olympic Canoe Kayak Club. Bill's unique, diplomatic leadership was recognized and he was selected to manage the Junior World Team in Poland and the Summer Olympic Team in Korea.

Bill personified the expression "sleep, work, and play in Rockaway" when he and Nancy moved their business, Roxbury Mills, from Brooklyn and increased the local population with their five beautiful children. Family and community resonated throughout his actions. For decades, Bill sat on the board for the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation and the Community Board 14. After the closing of Roxbury Mills, Bill's professional career relocated to Manhattan, joining Ideal Interiors Group in the role of CFO. Most recently, he joined SavCon as Head of Accounting.

Later in life, as his children grew older, Bill's enthusiasm for flying was rekindled. His competitive spirit reawakened and he yearned to race sailplanes, also known as gliders. The instructors at Valley Soaring Club NY were instrumental in expanding Bill's technical skills for racing.  Wurtsboro Soaring Club NY and Aero Club Albatross NJ soon added "WH", his plane's call signs, to their membership rosters. Bill's eagerness to share his love of soaring lead him to volunteer as a Captain with the Civil Air Patrol, where he taught young cadets about aviation.

Of all his accomplishments, though, Bill's eyes shone brightest when sharing stories about his family. This past year alone, he witnessed the birth of his first grandchild by his eldest son, danced at his second son's wedding, had the privilege of working alongside his third son every day, watched his youngest son graduate from the FDNY Academy, saw his only daughter enter medical school, and cheered on his wife during the adaptive-surf clinic, Surf-For-All.

Bill's signature, Christmas-time bouillabaisse will be sorely missed by his father-in-law, Jim Weibel, and his 24 brother- and sister-in-laws. His effervescent optimism and playful wit will remain in the memory of his many, many nieces and nephews.

Bill is survived by his wife Nancy and his children, Eric, daughter-in-law Marija, Nicholas, son-in-law Burton, Adam, Lucas, and Paris. His younger brother, Kevin, shares the loss.
Greg Putnam
Lt. Col., CAP