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1919 Roberta 2020

Roberta Hanna

October 29, 1919 — May 10, 2020


Roberta May (Norris) Hanna, age 100, went to her eternal rest on 10 May 2020 at McReynolds Hall in Gaylord, Michigan.  She was born 29 Oct. 1919, near New Weston, Ohio.  She was the daughter of James and Elizabeth (Hixson) Norris.  She was born during the Flu Pandemic, and neither she, nor her mother, nor her sister were expected to survive.  All three lived to advanced ages.  She grew up without electricity or running water.  She got her high school diploma from the Valley School, a one-room school house in Darke County, Ohio.  She learned to drive a Model T before driver’s licenses were required in the state of Ohio, so that she could assist her father on the farm, due to him being crippled by polio. During World War II, she married her childhood sweetheart, Welden L. Hanna.  He served in the Army Air Corps in North Africa.  Together they raised four children.  In 1956, they purchased a resort on East Twin Lake, near Lewiston, Michigan, where she lived for the next 60 years.  Welden also started a lumber business, Northwest Hardwoods, which is still operating.  During the 1950’s & 1960’s, her hobby was interviewing the old-timers in the area.  Later she published “The Lewiston Story” based on those interviews.  She also worked at Sachs Hardware in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  She was a member of Lewiston U.C.C. church, where she played organ for decades and was past officer of the Lewiston Eastern Star.  Last October her 100th birthday party, titled the “Party of the Century”, was celebrated with a large family gathering, including her 102-year-old cousin who came from Ohio for the occasion. Roberta always said that she had seen more changes in her life than most people ever will.

She is survived by children, Corinne (Perry Egan) of Atlanta, Michigan, Mark (Sheree) of Fife Lake, Michigan, and Kay (Tad DeLuca) of Gaylord, Michigan, and by 13 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren; and daughter-in-law, Mary Lou Paul of Grand Ledge.  She was preceded in death by her son, William Hanna; parents, James and Elizabeth Norris; sister, Ruth Gibboney, and husband, Welden in 1985.

Roberta will be laid to rest in Albert Township Cemetery. A memorial will be held in celebration of her life at a later date.

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