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Funeral for former Rainbow board director set for Feb. 8

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Feb 05, 2014 - 10:35 AM |
Former Rainbow District School Board director of education Jean Hanson passed away Feb. 3. Her funeral will take place Feb. 8. Supplied photo.

Former Rainbow District School Board director of education Jean Hanson passed away Feb. 3. Her funeral will take place Feb. 8. Supplied photo.

The funeral for former Rainbow District School Board director of education Jean Hanson will take place at St. Peter's United Church at 11 a.m. on Feb. 8.

Her body is resting at the Jackson and Barnard Funeral Home on Larch Street. Friends may call from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on Feb. 7.

Hanson, 63, passed away Feb. 3 after a long battle with cancer. According to her obituary, she was born in 1950 in Toronto to Kenneth and Mabel Braidwood.

She met her husband, Bob, in 1973, in Barrie. They were married in 1976 and purchased a camp on the shores of Long Lake on the same day.

Hanson gave birth to her daughter, Jessica, in 1983 and their son, Russell, arrived after a long hiatus in 1990. The family spent a great deal of time with extended family.

The obituary said Hanson's daughter, Jessica, is engaged to marry Joe Lonsdale of Christchurch, New Zealand. They share a newborn baby girl – Meehan Charlotte Lonsdale, who was the light of Hanson’s final days.

Moving to Sudbury in 1976, Hanson worked for the Sudbury Board of Education at Southshore School. Borrowing from her ethic of reaching every child, she became a special education consultant for the board.

She then became principal of Gatchell Public School, Ruth MacMillan Centre, George Vanier Public School and Lansdowne Public School, imparting her love of education on all students and staff.

Hanson then became superintendent and then director of education with the Rainbow District School Board, retiring in 2010.

In a press release put out by the Rainbow board, chair Doreen Dewar described Hanson as a colleague and a friend.

“Rainbow Schools extends its deepest sympathy to husband Bob, children Jessica and Russell, and family and friends,” she said. “Our thoughts are with you.”

She said Hanson's death marks a “sad time” for the Rainbow board community.

“Jean Hanson was an exemplary role model and advocate for children. She provided exceptional leadership in education during a time of tremendous change. She demonstrated tenacity in the face of adversity. Regardless of the challenge, her spirit never wavered. She has left a lasting legacy.”

The family is asking for donations to the Jean Hanson Memorial Scholarship (Rainbow District School Board).

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