Cover photo for Alice Hanson's Obituary
1936 Alice 2022

Alice Hanson

February 25, 1936 — July 21, 2022


Alice Elizabeth (Ripp) Hanson, age 86, of Middleton, Wisconsin, passed away on July 21, 2022. She was born on February 25,1936, to Martin and Clara (Acker) Ripp in Ashton, Wisconsin. On June 21, 1958, she wed the love of her life, Lawrence Ivan Hanson. Together they raised five children.

Alice graduated from Middleton High School in 1954 and went on to earn her associate degree in teaching from UW-Platteville. This began a fulfilling and impactful 40+ year career, 36 of which were at Elm Lawn Elementary in Middleton. While teaching full-time, she continued her own education and received both her bachelor’s degree from Edgewood College and her master’s degree from UW-Madison. She took pride in being a “bear” early each school year, but she knew she was helping her students learn respect for themselves and others as well as teaching them integrity and responsibility.

The world has lost a truly ambitious and caring person. In their 61 years of marriage, Larry and Alice truly believed in paying it forward, particularly working to help those who were less fortunate and assisting others in achieving sobriety.

After retiring, Alice continued to help others and enjoyed playing cards, reading, and spending time with her many friends, family, and relatives. Above everything Alice truly loved her family. She was caring wife, devoted mother, adoring and proud Nana where memories were made and her 9 grandchildren were spoiled.

Alice is survived by her five children and nine grandchildren: Jerry (Cheryl) and their children Valerie (Mike), Kyle (Lisa), Monica (Joe), and Laura; Todd (Sue); Denise and her daughters Celeste and Skye; Mark (Sara) and their children Isaac, Adam, and Lydia; and Kirk; eleven (with a twelfth on the way) great-grandchildren; her sisters Mary Ripp and Jane (Bob) Kalscheur; her sisters-in-law Ardythe Cobb and Gladys Manzo; and many more loved extended family members. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Larry, her parents, brother Herman and brothers-in-law Roger Cobb and Chuck Elkins.

A mass and celebration of Alice’s life will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2022, at 11am at SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS CHURCH, 602 Everglade Drive, Madison - LiveStream , with Father Bart Timmerman presiding. Visitation will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 6021 University Avenue, Madison from 4pm to 7pm on Friday, August 12, 2022, and again at the church from 10am until the start of the Mass on Saturday. Lunch to follow the celebration at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church and burial ceremony will be held after lunch at Saint Peter’s Catholic Parish-Ashton, WI.

Cherish. Love. Faith. People - These are the words that Alice lived by. She liked and exemplified President Calvin Coolidge’s famous saying: “Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” She loved all of You, Jesus, and Mary the Blessed Mother.

In lieu of flowers please consider donating to , , Elm Lawn Elementary School, or the charity of your choice.

I would like to say a few thoughts about Mom.

Everyone here may not know this, but Mom wrote her own obituary - Even in her passing she was always helping us. So, I wanted to focus my talk around THREE of the words Mom wrote down and lived by - and those word were Cherish, Faith and Love.

Let us start with Cherish – What did mom Cherish? I think everyone here knows this answer. She cherished all of us here today and all people. Mom Cherished togetherness. Today - The world today seems different in this wonderous trait so – I thought to myself…  - Where did her fondness of people derive?

I must believe it was engrained into her soul early in her life from her early days working on the farm in Ashton, WI – in a community of family - Her Sisters here today Aunt Jane and Aunt Mary, all the friends and relatives. Including 14 Aunts and Uncles and 120+ first cousins running about.

Working in the Barn, going to baseball games, Picnics, and celebrations with countless numbers of people – Ripp’s, Ackers, Kalscheur’s, Hillenbrand’s, Burncut’s, Adler’s, Kline’s, Holme’s, Maier’s and Statz’s were engrained into her life from an early day. You know she cherished people because she remembered every one of them by their entire lineage – She would often say you know (So and so is getting Married – And I would say who is that? Mom replied - He is your Grandpa’s Brother - Uncle Peters, Son Harry – You know Harry! And I would be like – Oh Yeah Harry – Mom – I am 8 and I need to get to soccer practice.

Mom’s early years of big get togethers definitely carried through into her years of raising her own family - as she cherished celebrating all events and happenings with great joy. Weather it was Easter, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving or Christmas. --- Soooo many Weddings, So many trips and vacations and All Birthdays were never a small feat. All of us were so often on the Receiving end of Mom’s determination and persistence to celebrate life’s milestones and events with people.

Every event was planned with meticulous detail. From the napkins and plates on your table to the countless individually wrapped gifts of something as small as a pack of gum with a dollar hidden inside. Every birthday, every holiday was served with more food than anyone could eat, more choices than anyone could choose and grand smiles, energy, happiness, and cherishment in your presence. Anyone could arrive in a bad mood, and no one would leave with anything but a smile on your face.

I look back and think: How did she make so many celebrations all happen? I can only think that Mom would get a celebration idea in her mind, and She would then exert her time and endless energy, many times till 3 AM - getting up at 6 AM maybe 5, to ensure we cherished our special day together.

Many of us would simply say planning and organizing so many Celebrations - Simply “Cannot Be Done”

I am sure she had thousands of reasons to point out to her one by one, The dangers that waited to assail her. But Mom just buckled in with a bit of a grin, Mom take off her coat and got to it; Mom just started into a sing as she tackled the thing - That “cannot be done,” and she did it.

So Moms’ 2nd word she lived by FAITH – How does one sum up Mom’s faith as a whole?

Mom’s faith shined bright in her dedication to the Church, Jesus and the Blessed Mary. Mom’s faith shined through in her car rides with her parents, children and grandchildren throughout her life always “asking” on car rides – Who here wants to say the rosary? And of course, getting kids comments back to her like: Who here votes we Don’t say the rosary?

Either way we were saying the rosary. We said the rosary with Mom even in the hours of her death – to her testament while saying the rosary with Mom by our side her faith shined bright with 4 giant turkeys walking past her window. Animals had an affinity to Mom too.

BUT – Mom was also so Full of Faith in so many ways:  I looked up a synonym for Faith and the word Optimism popped out at me. – Mom was Faithful forever in her Optimistic attitude in life.

Although Mom was not as big of a joke teller - I want to share with one she did often tell that tickled her fancy regarding optimism:

“The joke concerns twin boys of six years old - The boys had developed extreme personalities – one was a total pessimist, the other a total optimist – their parents worried they were so diverse and took them to a psychiatrist.”

“First the psychiatrist treated the pessimist. The psychiatrist brought the pessimist into a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. 10 Min’s later the psychiatrist came back to check on the boy but instead of being happy with delight, the little boy was found sobbing in tears. 'What's the matter?' the psychiatrist asked. 'Don't you want to play with any of the toys?' 'Yes,' the little boy bawled, 'but if I played with these toys I may injure myself or I'd only break them.'”

“Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to dampen his out look, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. 10 Min Later the psychiatrist came back to the room and the optimist had clambered to the top of the pile manure, there he sat dropped on his knees, and was gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands throwing the manure in the air and side to side. 'What do you think you're doing?' the psychiatrist asked.  --- 'With all this manure,' the little boy replied: 'there must be a pony in here somewhere!'”

I think the Joke is really a window into who mom was and why it tickled her fancy so. -  She had faith and endless Optimism. If Mom did not like what you were doing she simply faithfully, optimistically, guided you in another direction. In her Teaching for 40+ years - mom faithfully changed the lives of young 3,4th, 5th grade elementary kids. If Middleton is The Good Neighbor City / Alice Hanson is the Teacher of Good Neighbor Teachers. MOM - You rolled up your sleeves and with Faith and Optimism – your goal was to help and you did it. You are – A force of good in this world.

I am so proud that she helped not just her family but all people throughout her life – Young, Old, Rich, Poor, Alcoholic, Sober, Straight, Gay, Black, White, Latino, German or even if you were French.

Danish or Even Syrian - Mom happily married into a wonderful, amazing family with my Aunt Ardy and Aunt Glad here today - And Aunt Ardy and Aunt Glad – Mom did and does Love you both so much.


So Cherish, Faith and Now her 3rd Word - Love

Hmm – The love of your mother. My Mother’s Love of me? and Alice’s Love of each and every one of us. I think we all know - Mom – Truly loved us.

– With her infectious smile and her Wonder Woman cherishing, faithfully optimistic energy – How could we NOT know that she loved us?

Speaking of Wonder Woman - ������ - I just want to break a moment and talk about Mom at Weddings. One of her loves was she loved to dance; and dance she did. Mom danced with the kind of Wonder Woman energy and strength that would put Lynda Carter to shame. Mom Loved to Dance so much that even with 5 Children, Her Husband and Countless other friends and relatives - we were all often in need of taking turns dancing with Mom because - WE ALL - simply could not keep up throughout her life! – Mom’s love for all of us was and is truly superhero.

But Love is a hard one to sum up for Mom – She obviously loved us all in so many ways. How to sum up Love? I thought I would end with some poetry about Love-Mom Loved Dad – Truly Loved Him – One bit of poetry I want to share came to mind that sums up love. One bit of poetry My Dad would often recite to Mom and one my Mom Loved to hear my Dad recite: And Rather than myself reciting the words -- I thought I could end with listening to Dad’s voice recite - How do I love thee to Mom: - Roll Video -

Please share your memories at

Cress Center

6021 University Ave. Madison

(608) 238-8406

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alice Hanson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, August 12, 2022

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Saturday, August 13, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

602 Everglade Dr, Madison, WI 53717

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Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

602 Everglade Dr, Madison, WI 53717

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