Gary Lloyd Hanson

  • Born: March 2, 1951
  • Died: May 18, 2017
  • Location: Ravenna, Ohio

Bissler & Sons Funeral Home and Crematory

628 West Main Street
Kent, OH 44240
Tel. (330) 673-5857

Tribute & Message From The Family

Gary L. Hanson

Gary L. Hanson perfected his skills as a broadcast journalist for 25 years -- and then he taught those skills to thousands of Kent State University students.

Professor Hanson, 66, died Thursday (May 18, 2017) at home.

Born in Carrington, North Dakota, to Lloyd W. and Edith C. (Olson) Hanson, he developed a love for broadcasting while a speech major at the University of North Dakota. He worked at KDAK-AM in Carrington and at KFJM-FM in Grand Forks. He began his television career in 1971 at WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks. He then was news director of KXON-TV (now KDLT) in Mitchell, South Dakota, where he met his wife, the former LuEtt Rahn. They married in 1975.

From 1984-97 he was news director of WKBN-TV in Youngstown, Ohio. He earned his master of arts degree from Kent State in 1999. He then joined the faculty of Kent State's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he taught news reporting and producing and advised the student television station, TV2.

He was promoted to full professor in 2011, and that same year he received the university's Distinguished Teaching Award.

Gary was particularly proud of his work launching International Storytelling, a course that allowed him and LuEtt to take more than 100 students to six different countries between 2011-16. He and LuEtt retired from Kent State in 2016.

He was honored in 2016 with the Edward L. Bliss Award for Distinguished Broadcast Journalism Education by the Electronic News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

He also was chairman of what was then known as the Radio-Television News Directors Association, and represented RTNDA on the Accrediting Council for Education for Journalism and Mass Communication, the body that accredits university journalism programs. He served as a member of the ACEJMC Site Visit teams to 13 universities around the country.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his stepmother, Lorraine Hall Walker Hanson.

Calling hours will be 6-8 PM Wednesday May 24th and 10-11 AM Thursday May 25th at Bissler & Sons Funeral Home in Kent, with the celebration of life at 11 AM Thursday May 25th at the funeral home, with the Rev. Kenrad Pederson officiating.

Following cremation, Gary's ashes will be scattered near his childhood home in North Dakota.

Memorials may be made to the College of Communication and Information Study Abroad Award, c/o Kent State University Foundation, Kent, Ohio 44242.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I am so sorry to hear of Professor Hanson's passing. He was my Professor at YSU and was so kind to this non-traditional student. My sympathy to his famiy and friends.

Posted by Liz O'Hagen - Kent, OH - Student   June 08, 2017

He will be missed. Prayers to LuEtt and family.

Posted by Miriam Matteson - Columbus, OH - Friend   May 25, 2017


Allan and I were so saddened to hear of Gary's passing. Since his retirement I've missed hearing his wonderful "radio voice" announcing the Commencement ceremonies. Our thoughts and prayers are with LuEtt and the family.

Posted by Belinda Boon - Akron, OH - Acquaintance   May 25, 2017

So saddened to hear of gary's passing.
it's great to see how many lives that he touched.
The dictionary says that the idea of leaving a legacy is the need or the desire to be remembered for what you have contributed to the world. In some cases, that contribution can be so special that the universe is unalterably changed.
This was certainly the case with Gary.
Again, my deepest condolences.

Posted by jack safier - OH - Friend   May 24, 2017

Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.

Posted by - OH   May 22, 2017


I had the privilege of growing up in Carrington, ND with Gary. He lived in the house next to ours before we moved to a different location in the Northeast part of town. I remember they had a large vegetable garden and Edith also grew flowers. Lloyd worked as a postman and served as our Boy Scout Master where he took the troop to Hawksnest on camping trips.
There were numerous meals with Gary and his family. For some reason I recall the multi-colored aluminum glasses. They had an aluminum Christmas tree with a rotating light (on the floor) with multiple colors. We would go to church on Christmas Eve.
They had 2 Siamese cats and Lloyd had a work shop in the basement. Gary had a telescope and one day we took it to the Courthouse. There was an obstructed view from the second deck looking south down the road to main street (maybe 7 blocks). We took turns riding our bikes up and down the road watching each other.
He was the student manager for the basketball team and was one of the only people that could palm the ball. He also worked at the Chieftain Motel.
I moved to Jamestown in the middle of the school year in 1967. I recall onetime Gary came to visit and we went to a basketball game at the college in town and he did a mock play-by-play.
I graduated in 1970 and joined the USMC and other than a Christmas card had no contact until a family reunion in the late 1990s. During the reunion in Carrington we visited numerous homestead sites to include Emil Smith's abandon home site. To the dismay of all there we enter the house (not a solid structure) and moved to the second floor and waved to all below. We also walked down Main Street and peered in the window for the KDAK station and noticed that everything was automated.

Posted by Monte Smith - Carrington, ND - Friend   May 22, 2017

RIH Gary. I worked with Gary at WKBN as a News Photographer. Always professional and a great Boss to be around. Will definitely miss him.

Posted by Duane Harris - Newport News, VA - Coworker   May 22, 2017

may you look to our GOD of all comfort for comfort so needed at this time of your grief HOSEA 13:14.

Posted by A friend   May 21, 2017

Sending sympathy and heartfelt prayers. Gary was a kind man, a great boss and I will always be grateful for my break into the Newsroom because of him. The things I learned and solid foundations formed about Journalism/Reporting were from my newsroom days with Gary at WKBN and I carry that with me today. What stood out most to me is his character, integrity and the wonderful way he treated his lovely wife, LuEtt.

Posted by Nicole (Knisely) Karnowski - Duluth, MN - Coworker   May 21, 2017

Sending sympathies and special intentions from the Stark campus.

Posted by Lisa Waite - Canton, OH   May 20, 2017

Cousin Gary knew what he wanted to be even as a very young child. His dad made him a movie camera from wood. It was on a long legged tripod, that would swivel and he'd turn the handle, as he directed you. Sometimes we'd "make movies", or read news articles as he ran the camera. But when it was his turn to read the news article, while we'd " film him", he sounded like a TV broadcaster for real! Gary's passion was unending and brought him so much his entire life.

Posted by Pam Kutz - Sykeston, ND - Family   May 20, 2017

Offering our deepest sympathies during this time.

Posted by The Staff of Bissler & Sons Funeral Home - Kent, OH   May 20, 2017

Even though Gary was a star, he (and LuEtt) were down to earth real people who made no judgements about anyone. Honest, kind, just folks. Happy to have known him even for a short time. He will be missed

Posted by David Trebing - Hiram, OH - Coworker   May 19, 2017

Gary was a good friend and colleague and one of the finest men I have ever known. While both of us were working at KSU we shared many lunches together and late evening discussions in our offices. And at social occasions at both his and LuEtt's house and ours, we shared good food, wine and, on occasion, good whiskey. We will miss him.

Posted by Greg and Marta Blase - Peninsula, OH - Friend   May 19, 2017

Family Album

Gary L. Hanson