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Doris Jean (nee McClay) Hanson, 87

Doris Jean (nee McClay) Hanson, 87, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on March 20, 2023.

 Doris was the fifth of seven children born in Fremont, Nebraska to Floyd and Irene McClay. She had a love of music that according to her siblings started from her crib, stating that she sang before she talked. She married the love of her life, Lawrence Hanson, in 1959 and they had three daughters, Dawne Patterson, Carla Staffen, and Kathy Kaminski. They lived most of their family life in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Doris was a quiet person who calmly and efficiently managed to successfully carry out multiple careers, was a dedicated volunteer in a variety of civic activities, and above all had a rewarding family life as a wife and mother. She had her priorities in order because even though she had a demanding job and was involved in many outside activities, she always placed her family first.

Doris graduated from Draughon’s Business University and later in life, studied art at Ferris State University. She worked as an executive secretary for the City of Big Rapids. She was also an accomplished sketch artist and painter whose art was not only given to family & friends but displayed and sold at Art Works. In her spare time, she held many board positions of the Intermediate Women’s club including the president; she helped with arts & crafts at Hillcrest Elementary school; was a Sunday school teacher; volunteered at Friendship Club, a program set up with the local mental health clinic for outpatients; introduced Patch the Pony program to elementary schools which was designed to teach children the dangers of accepting rides with strangers; sang in the church choir; played in a musical group, the Sunshine Strings which played at many nursing homes and town events. So generous in trying to make her community better, she was named woman of the year in 1982 in Mecosta County. She was also awarded the Working Mother’s Day Proclamation by President Ronald Reagan that same year.

Doris was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband, Lawrence Hanson, her sister, Arlene Graham, and her brother, Charles McClay. She is survived by her daughters: Dawne Patterson (Rich Brown), Carla (Tim) Staffen, and Kathy (the late Michael) Kaminski, and grandchildren Joey Patterson, Sara (Nate) Maddern, Nick Staffen, Krystyna Kaminski, and Andrew Kaminski; great-grandchildren, Roman, Braylynn, and Sienna; her siblings: Leroy McClay, Verla Swearingin, and Janice Sommers and Ralph McClay; Wilbur (June) Hanson and Virginia Filipe, along with numerous nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

 The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff at The Brook of Big Rapids, Isabella Medical Care Facility, and Promedica Hospice who helped make Doris’s life enjoyable in the last years of her life. A celebration of life is being planned for later this summer so that her extended family can be together to honor her life. In lieu of flowers, to honor Doris and her generous spirit, please consider giving to your favorite charity or church. Care and arrangements are entrusted to the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids. Share a memory or express condolences at


Local High School Schedule & Scores

Week of 06/05/23:

Big Rapids:

Tuesday 6/6:

   - Girls Soccer Regional vFreeland @Clare: 5:00pm

Saturday 6/10:

   - Softball Regional vGaylord @Cadillac: 10:00am


Chippewa Hills:

Wednesday 6/10:

   - Softball Regional vRavenna: 10:00am



Tuesday 6/6:

   - Girls Soccer Regional vElk Rapids: 7:00pm

Wednesday 6/7:

   - Baseball Regional vSpring Lake: 4:00pm


White Cloud:

Wednesday 6/7:

   - Baseball Regional vBenzie Central: 5:00pm

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