Music 05


Nellie Hanson

January 19, 1927 ~ January 20, 2019 (age 92)
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Nellie Hanson was born in Chur, Switzerland on a cold January 19, 1927 and joined her Lord on January 20, 2019 at the age of 92 in Eureka, California.
When she was only 6 months old, Nellie and her mother Elizabeth Knaus immigrated to Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada at the invitation of Elizabeth's brother Otto. Nellie grew up on a farm with 3 puppies as her playmates while her mother worked as a housekeeper for 25¢ an hour to pay for her daughter's education. After graduating the 9th grade Nellie entered the Alberta Business College, graduating in 1943 at age 16.
The church became important to the Knaus' from the moment they arrived in Canada and remained their foundation throughout life. Nellie attended two churches: the Lutheran Church to learn German and the German Baptist Church to learn English. They moved to Vancouver, British Columbia for a few years where Nellie worked as a nurse's aide at the Royal Columbian Training Hospital. They now attended the Missionary Alliance Church.
Otto Knaus moved to Loleta, California, so the two ladies took a trip to Eureka in 1946. Nellie worked as a telephone operator for the Travelers Hotel and her mother got a job as a cook for St. Joseph Hospital. Liking Eureka, Elizabeth and her daughter made the decision to move to California. They returned to Canada for a year to obtain their permanent visas. During this time Nellie Knaus took the Chicago School of Nursing home study course, qualifying as a "Trained Practical Nurse" with an average grade of 98%, then returning to Eureka in June of 1947.
Now both Nellie and Elizabeth worked for St. Joseph Hospital; Nellie as a nurse and her mother in the kitchen. They soon became members of the First Church of the Nazarene. Nellie stayed very active in her church for 71 years. She met Melvin Hanson through a friend at the church and they were married in 1956. Two years later Nellie Hanson became a Naturalized United States Citizen.
Nellie taught Sunday School, helped with children's church, Child Evangelism and sang in the choir. She also became a Caravan leader along with Floyd Hubbard, Leona Holmes and Ronnie Kirkemo when the Church of the Nazarene started the youth program. Besides the church, she was active in Grange, Eastern Star, the Humboldt Swiss Club and Runeberg Lodge. She retired in the 1990s as a bookkeeper. Nellie had switched to bookkeeping from nursing at St. Joseph and also worked for North Shore Orthopedics and Coast Central Credit Union. Nellie became active with Senior Adult Ministries, Prime Timers for the Faith Center and the Eureka Rescue Mission. She helped with bus trips to the Rogue River, Ice Follies, Sacramento's Singing Christmas Tree, Gospel concerts, Passion Plays, Reno and even the Skunk Train. Nellie and her mother, "Granny" Knaus took 5 trips to Switzerland to see where she was born and to meet relatives.
After living a full life filled with many friendships, Nellie Hanson passed away peacefully in her sleep, after a brief illness on Sunday, January 20, the day after her 92 birthday. Nellie was preceded in death by her mother, Elizabeth Knaus and her husband of 45 years, Melvin Hanson and is survived by her son Lornell and wife Elaine of Sacramento; grandchildren Kent & Debra Knaus of Washington, Tory Knaus of Oregon, Trudi and Bryan Karr of Missouri and Kelly and Amber Knaus of Lodi, plus many great grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at the First Church of the Nazarene, Humboldt and E Streets in Eureka at 1 PM. Refreshments will be available afterwards.

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