Ross Erwin Hanna (“Pops”), a true icon for Dixon, passed peacefully on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 after 91 years of life well lived. He was surrounded by his wife, all of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He will be remembered as a loving husband, family man, band leader and friend to all.
A music celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 10 am at the Dixon Methodist Church.
Ross was born in San Francisco, CA, on October 20, 1922 as the youngest of six children to Tom and Wanda Hanna. He grew up in the Alhambra Valley with his four brothers and sister. He spent his childhood roaming the hills around his home and enjoyed spending summers in the Sierras. His love of the outdoors was a legacy from his grandfather, naturalist John Muir. An injury in junior high school postponed his involvement in high school sports, but prompted his interest in playing music. He played the trumpet faithfully for the next eighty years.
Soon after graduating from Alhambra High School in Martinez, Pearl Harbor was bombed. He enlisted in the California Coast Guard and served with the Navy in numerous landings in the South Pacific. WWII sent him to the Pacific for four years, but built friendships that continued to grow for seven decades.
After the war he went to Stockton, CA to attend the College of the Pacific (now University of the Pacific) where he graduated with a degree in business, and was a fraternity man at Alpha Kappa Phi Fraternity. Music was still a major part of his life and he led the Ross Hanna Orchestra during college. There he met a young Gladys Ann Stoeven who would later become his bride. They married in San Mateo, CA in June of 1948.
Over the next 66 years they had much to celebrate. A year to the day after they were married, they welcomed their first son, Hal. They moved to Dixon soon after his birth and two years later welcomed son Michael. Four years after their two boys, they welcomed a sweet daughter, Lynne. Ross and Gladys enjoyed raising their children in Dixon.
He moved to Dixon to work for Stoeven Brothers Meat Packing becoming a partner in the 1960’s. He worked for Stoeven Bros. until his retirement in the early 80’s.
Ross imparted his love for nature to all of his children and grandchildren. Pack trips in the mountains, fishing in streams and lakes, hiking and enjoying nature are all a part of their memories. They enjoyed trips with their family to Hawaii while their children were growing up, and later, after retirement, chose to live on the island of Kauai. They enjoyed time there for more than a decade and then returned back to their Dixon home to be closer to family and friends.
Ross was a man of great faith. He was a founding member of the Dixon Community Church where he served as Choir and Music Director for more than 50 years. For the last ten years, he and Gladys have been members of the Dixon Methodist Church.
Ross loved to entertain, and started a jazz band in 1959. He led the Phabulous Phirehouse Philharmonics to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and Europe. His music touched many lives and reached many places.
He left this life to join his parents Tom and Wanda Hanna, brothers Strent, John, Dick and Bob, his sister Jean and numerous family and friends who have gone before him. He is survived by his loving wife Gladys of 66 years; son Hal and wife Kathleen, son Michael Muir and daughter Lynne Hanna-Lincoln; grandchildren Tim Hanna and wife Jamie, Liz Fuller and husband James, Allison Theubet and husband Jerry and Mei-Lin Hanna. He lived to see eight great grandchildren join his family; Kilian, Stephen, Natalie, Timmy, Gabby and Kolbe Theubet and Ross and Matthew Fuller. He will be missed by immeasurable friends and family members and his love and music will play in their hearts forever.
Please join his family for a music celebration of his life at the Dixon Methodist Church on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 10 am.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions to the Ross Hanna Memorial Scholarship be made c/o First Northern Bank to allow his spirit of giving to continue.