Cover photo for Ernest Irving Hanson's Obituary
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1937 Ernest 2022

Ernest Irving Hanson

August 18, 1937 — November 2, 2022

Ernest I. Hanson, age 85, bid farewell to his earthly journey on 11-2-2022.

Ernie was born on August 18, 1937 in Woodstock, IL to Ernest E. and Leona (Hansen) Hanson. He then spent 4 years in Lake Bluff, IL before moving to DeKalb, IL. He graduated from DeKalb High School in 1955 as class valedictorian. He attended Michigan State University and graduated in 1959 with a BA in accounting. He continued at MSU to receive an MBA in 1960 and a DBA in 1963. While working on his doctorate he met his future wife, Diane Davis. She was the supervising teacher in the campus laboratory pre-school and an instructor in child development. They married on September 9, 1961. They spent a year in Los Angeles while Ernie worked with Arthur Young & Co, a CPA firm. They then returned to MSU in 1964 where Ernie was a visiting assistant professor. They moved to Madison in 1965 when Ernie joined the UW business school faculty.

Ernie spent 37 fulfilling years as a faculty member. He was a dedicated and positive teacher as he engaged students at all levels of instruction. Over the years thousands of students shared the classroom with Ernie at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as various adult education programs. He influenced business students worldwide as the co-author of two accounting textbooks. He chaired the accounting department from 1975-82 and chaired the committee that created the evening MBA program, serving as its first executive director until his retirement in 2002. He chaired the campus recreational sports board for several years and spent a decade on the University Club board. He taught CPA review courses in Wisconsin and Illinois. He spent over 20 years as audit committee chair and board member of the UW Credit Union and was a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Madison. Post retirement he was active on UW Retirement Association and Sharing Active Independent Lives (SAIL) committees.

Ernie received the Elijah Watts Sells Silver Medal for the second highest score on the national CPA exam in November 1966. Other awards include the Erwin A. Gaumnitz Distinguished Faculty Award, Lawrence J. Larson Teaching Award, the Wisconsin Institute of CPAs Lifetime Achievement in Accounting Education Award and a 1991 recognition by the Wisconsin Student Association as one of the top100 campus professors.

Ernie and Diane shared many activities during their 58 years together as their love for each other flourished. They biked in Wisconsin, Mississippi, and France, hiked in the Baraboo Bluffs and the Lake Tahoe region. They enjoyed live theater, tennis with friends, fine dining and working on landscaping projects.

Ernie was preceded in death by his wife and his parents. He is survived by a son, Dr. Keith Hanson of Reno, NV and two sisters, Carolyn Musket of Richardson,TX and Sharon Warner of Northbrook, IL/Indio, CA. Barbara Davis of Spencerville, OH and Colin and Sue Webster of Marshfield, WI/The Villages, FL have been supportive and caring sisters-in-law and brother-in-law. Numerous nephews and nieces further enriched Ernie's life.

Per Ernie's wishes, there will be no visitation nor funeral service; his cremains will be buried at a family plot in Illinois. Any memorial donations may be designated for the SAIL Endowment Fund at Madison Community Foundation, 111 N. Fairchild Street, Suite 260, Madison, WI 53703.

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3325 E. Washington Ave. Madison
(608) 249-6758
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