Douglas Arlyn Hanson


It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of Douglas Arlyn Hanson, 56, on Monday, June 10th, 2024. Doug was a long-term resident of Nevis, Minnesota and most recently resided in Cannon Falls, MN. Doug was born February 2, 1968 in Owatonna, MN, to Roger and Sharon (Reynolds) Hanson of Kenyon, MN.

He attended Kenyon High School, graduating in 1986 where he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2015 for his academic and athletic excellence in cross country and track and field. His running superiority continued in his five years at North Dakota State University (NDSU) where he graduated with honors in 1991 with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. His fierce dedication to running was overwhelmingly observed as Doug is still the most decorated athlete in NDSU history, in any sport. Under coach Don Larson, Doug was a 7-time National Champion: twice in cross country, three times in the 10,000-meter outdoor run, and twice in the 5,000-meter indoor run. He was a five-time North Central Conference (NCC) track and field champion: twice in the indoor 5,000, twice in the outdoor 5,000, and once in the outdoor 10,000. He earned Division II All-America honors 12 times: nine in track and field and three in cross country. Along with being named the NCC’s most valuable indoor track and field athlete, his academic excellence was acknowledged with two CoSIDA Academic All-America College Division Awards. Doug still holds records at both the high school and collegiate levels. He valued being the President of a local Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter and also toured Europe as a member of Athletes in Action. Doug was named to the U.S. Track/Cross Country Association Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002 and inducted into the NDSU Men’s Cross Country, Men’s Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2006 where he was honored to be included in the NDSU field house memorial wall.

Doug utilized his mechanical engineering degree in various ways after college, working countless hours to design his own patents on concert related spotlights - even seeing his prototype at a Pink Floyd concert. Working for companies like Tandy Computers, Vari-Lite, and eventually moving on to be a global sales manager at APW, his combined outgoing personality and engineering knowledge made him shine. His magnetic personality, quick wit, and sense of fun and adventure was contagious - a person you wanted in the room.

On February 4, 2004, Doug, age 36, suffered a tragic snowmobiling accident which resulted in a traumatic brain injury. In dire condition, he was hospitalized for 3 months, and became paralyzed on the left side of his body. His family was told, if he survived at all, he would never walk or gain back his quality of life. As you can imagine, Doug refused to accept his diagnosis; he surpassed everyone's expectations in gaining his mobility, life, and independence back. He experienced a setback no one could imagine, yet persevered with such integrity, tenacity, faith and grace - a true inspiration to those around him.

As Co-Head Cross Country Coach and Assistant Distance Track and Field Coach for Nevis High School, Doug utilized his athletic expertise to coach younger generations of runners for 16 years with fellow coach Tom Stambaugh. It was said that Tom was the science behind their training program but Doug was the strategy and heart. With numerous hours on his bike, Doug loved to extract the potential out of every athlete, no matter the age or talent. Doug said his proudest coaching moment was guiding Nevis High School athlete Jade Rypkema to 7 Minnesota State Titles - matching his 7 NCAA titles.

Doug was most proud of his two children. His son Breck (30) with severe autism is currently living in a wonderful group home run by Creative Care for Reaching Independence (CCRI). Doug visited Breck nearly every week for their treasured routine of riding bikes, shooting baskets, and eating chicken tenders at Chili's. Doug was Breck’s favorite person to tell him "Good Job!" after he made a basket or after he placed the right puzzle piece. Their relationship was a cherished piece of Doug's life. His daughter Riley (29) is currently a practicing dentist. Watching her achieve years of academic work to fulfill her goal of becoming a dentist was a proud and momentous occasion.

They also shared their love of athletics as Doug traveled far and wide to watch her play volleyball, and even shared in the title of 'National Champion' as Riley won two in her volleyball career. His support and love for his children was unwavering and undoubted as any chance given he would speak of being a proud father and NEVER missed an opportunity to be there in support.

Of the utmost importance to Doug was his faith. Early on, Doug accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior; striving toward the goal of living with integrity in all aspects of his life. Doug was a devoted member of Faithbridge Church in Park Rapids, MN, a committed member of Gideons International, and thoroughly enjoyed fellowship and Bible Study with multiple small groups throughout the years. He found joy in supporting various ministries including Reign Ministries where his sister, Darla, serves.

2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Doug is survived by his parents Roger and Sharon Hanson, son Breck Hanson, daughter Riley Hanson, two sisters Darla Hanson and Denise (Steve) Osborne, nephew Josiah (Haley) Osborne, niece Jinise (Nathan) Trueblood, and great nephew Jameson Trueblood.

Two memorial services will be held: the first up north on Wednesday, July 3rd at Faithbridge Church in Park Rapids, MN, and the other to be held down south on Saturday, July 6th at New Life Church in Wanamingo, MN. Both services are to be held at 11:00am. For those attending the memorial services, please wear green or yellow to commemorate Doug’s impacts on two great places.

In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to Reign Ministries or Creative Care for Reaching Independence (CCRI) in Doug's memory.

Donate to CCRI online at, or you can mail a check made out to CCRI in honor of Doug Hanson to: CCRI, 2903 15th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56560

Donate to Reign Ministries online at , or you can mail a check Reign Ministries, 5401 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55428 with a note for Hanson Memorial.