Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Ada Hanson, 90

Ada Hanson of Whitehall, Montana born to Lyman and Phoebe Parrish in Deep Creek/Tridell, Utah February 20, 1932, and named Ada Fae Parrish, passed from this life on January 17, 2023.

Ada was the eighth of ten children growing up in a very small house and a camp wagon, without electricity or running water. At the age of four, the family ran out of coal due to a harsh winter storm and nearly froze to death. Ada attended a one-room schoolhouse and traveled by horse and buggy during the early years of her life. She left Utah to work in Yellowstone National Park where she met Glen Hanson, married, and moved to Whitehall, Montana around 1950.

Raising four young children while working in potato cellars and without the modern convenience of a car or even a washer or dryer was no easy feat. Ada was a remarkable woman indeed. A great cook, with never a recipe, she was not outdone at an out-of-state trapping convention pie contest! Without access to a kitchen or an oven, she creatively put together a graham cracker crust banana cream pie and won!

Once the children were all in school, she was hired on at the Montana State Developmental Center in Boulder, Montana and ultimately became Unit Coordinator until she retired in her 60s. She began her days early, jogging before work, only to return home and take care of her husband, their four children, her mother-in-law, chickens, multiple birds, gardens, meals, and the home. Oh! and by the her spare time, she volunteered as an ambulance assistant!

But Ada was not an all-work-no-play sort of person. She loved the outdoors and enjoyed doing various activities with her family. She excelled in packing picnics for countless family outings and very much enjoyed camping, hiking, river rafting, fishing, playing football with young AJ in the front yard, cross-country skiing, AND took up downhill skiing at the age of 60!

For the past 20+ years, Ada has enjoyed daily 4-mile walks with Bryan come rain or shine or sleet or cold as well as their innumerable four-wheeling adventures. Deep sea fishing off of Orcas Island with Dennis and the family was something she looked forward to with great anticipation where she frequently out-fished them all! Ada loved to travel and had many traveling adventures with Gayle some of which included excursions of hot air balloon rides, zip lines, and hiking the Mayan Ruins at age 82! They also enthusiastically dove into snorkeling and shopping :-) Ada traveled to England and Israel with David and enjoyed exploring, fishing, and camping with him and his family. She was part of an African safari with her husband but if you think that sounds frightening that trip began with them being stranded in the airport in New York City when the 911 attacks happened.

Ada survived a shark attack in Belize and before she was fully healed of her shark-bitten hand wound she was attacked and bitten by dogs while on one of her daily jogs. Once, while on a trap line with Glen, Ada had to sit on a barrel that covered a live bobcat to hold it down so Glen could take the trap off to set it free. Ada was known for being brave and she was indeed a very courageous woman but, her real strength lay in the fact that she could, and quite often did, press through her fears. Nearing the end of life here Gayle was able to remind her that "Yes, dying is hard, mom, but you've done lots of hard things in your life."

Ada loved her family and was a very generous, kind, and honest person with numerous interests and creative, and artistic abilities. She took care of anybody around her in need giving her time and/or finances.

Some of her "favorites" included her cats, her coffee, chocolate chip cookies, sewing, exercising, her antique dish collection, and especially her dear friend Dawn Cantrell who brought her great comfort in her end-of-life care.

In the past, Ada took her weekly Bible studies seriously and was the rock of her family. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. We look forward to seeing her again!

Ada was preceded in death by her husband Glen Hanson and all nine of her siblings. She is survived by her four children Dennis (& Sheri), David (& Karen), Gayle, and Bryan Hanson: her nine grandchildren: AJ Colvin, Corrine (& Ben Hossley), Micah, Lindsay (& Cody Sinclair), Amy, Ethan, and Justin Hanson; Karissa and Dylan Heckle as well as her six great-grandchildren: Amber, Payton, and Mason Hossley and Tesla, Tavish, and Credence Sinclair. Whew! And she loved every single one of us with a passion!

Memorial services will be in the spring. For more information call Gayle Hanson at 949 509 1000 or email David Hanson at


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