Carnations 1

Vera Mae (Marsh) Hanson

March 11, 1931 ~ February 20, 2022 (age 90)


Vera Mae Marsh Hanson was born March 11, 1931 in Michigan. She was a vibrant person always in forward motion, eternally optimistic, and she loved to laugh. From her experiences of being raised during the Great Depression, Vera Mae embraced a life of service in helping others. She loved to tell stories of her childhood and preserved these stories in a book she wrote for her children and grandchildren which are cherished by her family. A lifelong Seventh-day Adventist she often expressed her love of keeping the Sabbath.

A good student, Vera Mae achieved both a bachelors and masters degree and became a dietician, graduating from Andrews University.

She then completed her dietetics residency via Loma Linda University at the White Memorial Hospital in Southern California. During Vera Mae's time there, she met the man she' d marry, Grayson Hanson, while ice skating with a church group. He spotted her from across the ice and the rest was history. To every date he brought a single rose which captured her heart. They married in 1957.

Family was Vera Mae's desire and focus and she and Grayson had 4 children. She loved being a mother. The family moved to the Napa Valley in 1971 and she and Grayson settled on acreage in the Oak Knoll appellation where they fulfilled the desire for their children to have a rural upbringing. She, Grayson, and their children built their own home on the property and a side business, the Berry Patch, growing/selling red raspberries and boysenberries locally.

Vera Mae had a successful career as a corporate dietician first managing the food service division for a chain of nursing homes. The last ten years of her working life she managed the school food service for the Santa Rosa School District. She received an award from the Department of Agriculture for her prescient work. A passionate volunteer, she also received awards both locally by the Napa Chamber of Commerce and nationally via President George Bush Senior's Daily Points of Light Program for: "her dedication to helping others." She and Grayson also went on many mission trips to build schools and churches with Maranatha Volunteers International.

Vera Mae was a devoted Grandma, she and her grandchildren have many shared memories of baking Christmas cookies and sweet rolls, and traveling together both outside and in the U.S.

Always active, Vera Mae notably climbed Mt. Whitney twice, ran/walked the Bay to Breakers several times, took countless exercise and dance classes, and was an avid walker trekking 2 to 3 miles a day until she was in her late eighties.

Her life and retirement were filled with music - playing the violin and piano and singing in choirs in her youth as well as later in life playing in the Napa Seventh-day Adventist Church orchestra and singing in the choir. Always desiring to learn she took courses in language, tole and doll painting, and quilting. Her quilting works of art will always be treasured by her family.

Vera Mae is survived by her husband Grayson, 4 children: sons Dean and David and their wives Debbie and Jill, her son Donald, daughter Susan and her husband Leif Kirschenbaum, her nephew Dennis Hunt and his wife Heller, and grandchildren Eli, Eva, Tess, Eric, Grayson, James, Olivia, and was predeceased by granddaughter Echo.

Vera Mae will be missed by her beloved family, friends, church family, and Napa community. A private family graveside service was held March 4, 2022 and a life celebration/memorial service is being planned for a later date at the Napa Seventh-day Adventist Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be sent to the Napa Community Services at the Napa Seventh-day Adventist Church 1105 G Street, Napa, CA 94558.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Vera Mae (Marsh) Hanson, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
March 4, 2022

10:00 AM
Tulocay Cemetery 411 Coombsville Rd

Family to do services at later date

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