Eleanor Hanson, age 82, recently of Post Falls, ID, passed away peacefully in her sleep early Wednesday morning, April 15, 2020, in Seattle, WA.
Ellie was born in Chicago to Joe and Anna Schmid. From her German immigrant parents, Ellie learned her lifelong sense of adventure. In college, she earned a scholarship to study at Munich University for a semester. Her time in Munich further shaped her adventurous outlook on life. After college and a year or two teaching elementary school in the Chicago area, Ellie moved to San Jose, California. Family vacations as a child had convinced her she should live in the beauty and nature of the American West. “As a teacher,” she said, “I could go anywhere and teach. So, I might as well go where I want to live.”
Ellie was an avid skier and hiker. At Heavenly Valley ski area, she met her husband, Ron, in the lift line. They rode the lift together. Ron offered her a Winter Green Lifesaver. The rest was history.
Ellie and Ron were married soon after in Carson City, Nevada, in 1962. Ron’s work as a hydrologist with the United States Geological Survey took them to a number of cities, including the birthplaces of their children Christi (Palo Alto), Carl (Washington, D.C.), and Steve (Tucson). The family also lived in Oklahoma City. After retirement, Ellie and Ron split their time between Tucson and Post Falls, ID, where they lived until Ron passed away on May 1, 2018. After which, Ellie moved to Seattle to live close to her children and grandchildren.
Wherever Ellie lived, she made deep, lasting friendships. People were drawn to her warmth, her generous spirit, good cheer, optimistic outlook, and sparkling wit.
Ellie is survived by her three children and their spouses, Christi (Dave), Carl (Sarah), and Steve (Alesha); by her grandchildren Fiona and Ciara (Christi and Dave Drum) and Dascher and Racel (Steve and Alesha); and by her brother Robert “Hans” Schmid (Erna).
Ellie’s immediate family gathered for a celebration of her life on Saturday, April 18. The day included some of her favorite music (Beethoven, John Denver), and food (pancake breakfast prepared by her grandchildren; Bratwurst and German beer for dinner).
Ellie was passionate about supporting young children's emotional well-being and education. If you wish to make a donation in her memory, the family would suggest a donation to your local children's library or school, or an organization such as Childhaven (childhaven.org).
The family would like to thank the staff at Merrill Gardens First Hill, who have become our friends over the past two years. They took wonderful care of Ellie, and she was happy there.
Private family services will be held at a later date. Please be sure to sign the online guest book to share your memories of Eleanor.
To plant a tree in memory of Eleanor Marie Hanson, please visit our tribute store.