Irene Edith Busse Hanson
Born Wisconsin: April 10, 1925 – Passed Colorado: July 19, 2018
Married: Harry DuWayne “Duke” Hanson – 1943
· Sister: Doris “Dorrie” Alff
· Children: Toni (Frank) Mauro, Dennis (Vickie) Hanson, Cindy Hanson and Jennifer (Brian) Bartram
· Grandchildren: Hollie McIntire, Madison Hanson
· Greatgrandchild: Keith McIntire
· Many nieces and nephews
Preceded in death by her husband Duke, grandchildren Kevin McIntire and Brittanie Hanson, three sisters (Fran Remeika, Ethel “Toots” Gapp, and Ruthie Robbins), and one brother (Clarence “Hap” Busse).
Irene was born and raised in Northern Wisconsin and moved to Madison in her youth. She met the love of her life, Duke. In 1953, they built their dream house, which she helped design, on Laurel Crest. There, she and Duke raised their four kids and taught them many life lessons.
Beginning with birthday and special occasion cakes, Irene eventually became the premier wedding cake decorator in Madison. Often decorating and delivering (with Duke) over twenty wedding cakes on a single Saturday.
Once she had mastered the art and craft of cake decorating, Irene brought the joy of her passion to hundreds of students, thru adult education and her retail store (Irene Hanson’s Cake Corner) 1962 to 1992. They traveled extensively, demonstrating the unique skills and tools of cake decorating at county fairs and other related expositions.
They lived in their Laurel Crest home for over 40 years, building their businesses and sharing their life with many close friends and neighbors, until embarking on their “Plan B” - living full-time in a large motor home and traveling together, learning a new lifestyle and establishing bases of operation in several locations, but especially in their beloved Cedar Key, Florida.
Irene loved visiting casinos whenever/wherever she could in Wisconsin, Nevada, Dubuque and Biloxi, or more recently in Cripple Creek, CO. The challenge, escape and opportunity appealed to her spirit of adventure, being surrounded by optimistic and hopeful people is what drew her.
Irene was an inspiration to her children and grandchildren, providing a role model for strong and independent women.
She bravely overcame several cancer episodes over nearly fifty years, inspiring countless friends and relatives to stay strong and fight hard. Her determination and strong-willed attitude were her strongest weapons, along with her determination to not complain “because no one wants to hear it.”
Since moving to Canon City, CO she has also enjoyed her weekly bingo games at the Golden Age Center, where she made new friends, whose enthusiasm and energy provided a much-appreciated dose of social interaction.
We will miss Mom – her cheerful outlook, her strength and determination, her eagerness to engage in meaningful conversations and to hear another’s point of view, her readiness to travel at the drop of a hat, regardless of the destination, her love of all things red. And mostly we will miss her love of family.
“The redder the better!”
“If not now, when?”
Johnny Rebeck . . . . ROCKS!