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June 23, 1953 – Friday, December 27, 2013

Service Information
Minneapolis American Indian Center
Saturday, January 4th, 2014
10:30 A.M.

Visitation Information
Minneapolis American Indian Center
Friday, January 3rd, 2014
Beginning at 5:00 P.M.

Marvin Hanson, “Gah Gii Gih Dode Ishkode” (Talking Fire), journeyed into the spirit world on December 27, 2013.

Marv was born to John “Swede” and Isabelle (Morrison) Hanson on June 23, 1953 in Red Lake, Minnesota.

Marv attended and graduated from St. Mary’s Mission School, St. John’s Preparatory School and St. John’s University. Marv also attended graduate school at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Marvin served in the United States Army, Army Reserve and Minnesota National Guard.

He enjoyed playing softball, basketball, golfing and hunting.

Marv was the owner of “The Marvelous Fish House,” starting the first Native American Restaurant in Bemidji, Minnesota focusing on providing local cuisine and employment for Native Americans.

Marv had numerous accomplishments in life enjoying employment stints as a Manpower Planner for The City of St. Paul, Executive Director of American Indian OIC in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Corporate Vice President for Grand Casino’s Inc and CEO of Red Lake Gaming Enterprises, leading the casino expansion and Waterpark development at Seven Clans, Thief River Falls and Seven Clans Warroad. Marv’s last stint for his tribe was working as Executive Director for New Beginnings where he developed employment for tribal members with Polaris and Walmart.

Marv was a foster parent for many years in the cities caring for numerous Indian Children when there was a high need for Indian foster homes.

Marv played a crucial role in the passage of the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act and also served as an expert witness involving the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act.

Marv is survived by seven children: Renee Walsh (Pat), South St. Paul, Minnesota, Lisa Hanson, Mounds View, Minnesota, Apryl Lussier (Roland), Red Lake, Minnesota, SunDown Lattergrass, Duluth, Minnesota, Douglas Iron Necklace (Jill), Bemidji, Minnesota, Marvin Hanson, Jr., Bemidji, Minnesota, Megan Hanson, Bemidji, Minnesota and special friend Sherrie Clapp of Puposky, Minnesota; grandchildren: Devin and Tristan Koster, Alex and Lauren Walsh, Caleb and Carter Iron Necklace, and Madyson and Ryland Lussier.
Marv was a huge proponent of education, pushing his children to pursue education achievement. He was especially proud of his daughter, Megan Hanson, who received the opportunity to attend school in Melk, Austria as a student of St. John’s Preparatory School from which he was also a graduate. Megan is the first Native American to participate in the oldest foreign exchange student program in the United States.
Waiting for Marv in the Spirit World are his parents: John “Swede” and Isabelle Hanson, brothers: Hubert Roy, Fabian Strong and Edward Hanson.

Funeral Services will be held at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Avenue, in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday, January 4th at 10:30 a.m.

Interment will follow at a future date at the St. John’s Abbey Cemetery on the shores of Sagatagan Lake

An all night wake will be held on Friday, January 3rd, 2014 beginning at 5:00 P.M. at The American Indian Center in Minneapolis.

Honorary Casket Bearers will be Tom Haeg, John Korich, Roger Strong, Junior Strong, John Norton, Tom Keaveny, Bob Thunder, Herb Thunder and Bob Neadeau.

Casket Bearers will be Greg Good, John Boyd, Ed Boyd, Marvin Hanson Jr., Douglas Iron Necklace and Rob Beaulieu.

The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted, Minnesota is serving the family. Online condolences may be made to

12 Guestbook Entries

  1. Joseph M. Papasodora

    Love you Uncle. You’re on your way. Tell everyone that I will be OK. My heart is heavy and full of grief. My mind is still in disbelief. Your smile filled up the room. I’m so sorry that you had to leave so soon. May you find the peace that you were looking for. I will love you forevermore.

  2. Angela Charnoski

    RIP my friend, I’m sure going to miss terrorizing eachother! You will be missed!! 🙁

  3. Thomas Burr

    My deepest and most sincere condolences at this difficult time. Marv was a good friend and will be missed. I wish him god speed on his journey.

    God Bless.

  4. Lorna LaGue

    My deepest condolences to Marv’s family. He was a great person with a huge heart and wanted nothing but the best for everyone, especially those he loved so dearly! Marv will be missed as he ventures on to the spirit world, I pray his journey is well and he is blessed with peace.

  5. Leo Desjarlait Jr

    Our condolences go out to your family in this time of sorrow.

  6. Rock and Rose St John

    We met Marv at OIC in the late 80s, early 90s. He had a good sense of humor, thus he was a good friend.
    For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

  7. Dan Close

    That person is a success who lived well,
    laughed often and loved much.
    Who gained the respect of intelligent people and the love of children.
    Who filled his niche and accomplished his task.
    Who leaves the world better than he found it.
    Who never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty.
    Who always looked for the best in others
    and who gave the very best he had.

  8. Allura May

    My sincere condolences, Marv was a classmate of mine at St. Mary’s Mission and chatted whenever we saw each other. May you find comfort with one another. Peace

  9. Nicole & Ray Waukazo

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May you find peace in your journey.

  10. Dana & Maureen Lyons

    God bless you Brother you will always have a special place in our hearts, we will miss you dearly. Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Marvin Douglas Hanson. May the angels embrace you and the heavenly Father surround you with love and happiness. May you Rest in Peace.

  11. Doug Twait

    Goodbye Marv. I always loved working with you. Thanks for all the good you have with us. May your journey be well.

  12. Greg & Phyllis Miron

    I first met Marv when hr joined the 214th Military Law Center in the mid 80’s. I was the administrative officer for the unit. We became fast friends; golfing, fishing, hunting and going on trips together. I lost touch with him when he moved up north. Marv always lite up the room, was a loyal friend, loved his tribe and was proud of graduating from St. John’s. I have missed him over the years. My condolences to his family and may Marv rest in peace.


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