Eugene Hanson

Obituary of Eugene Hanson

Eugene (Gene) Paul Hanson, 77, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 11, 2018, surrounded by his loving family.

Gene was born on May 22, 1940, in Willimantic, Connecticut, to Virginia and Jacob Hanson.  He spent his childhood years in the New Haven area, attending the St. Lawrence School and West Haven High School.

Gene earned both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Connecticut at Storrs. He taught English at Tri-State (Trine) University in Angola, Indiana, and later served honorably with the U.S. military in Vietnam.

Gene received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law. Following graduation, he joined the New York office of the U.S. Department of Justice, specializing in antitrust litigation.  Gene later joined O'Melveny and Myers, LLP, working in their Los Angeles and New York offices on civil and criminal litigations. In 2015, Gene retired from his law practice and relocated from New Jersey to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his wife Mary.

Gene was a self-described audiophile, with a passion for classical music. Throughout his life, he reveled in and frequented performances at Lincoln Center in New York. Gene’s second love was literature, with his interests ranging from historical texts to the classics of literature, poetry, and philosophy. Gene read avidly during his retirement years in Chapel Hill.

Gene’s most profound love was for his three children, Kate, A.J., and Annie, and later his granddaughter, Eva. He introduced both generations to a love of music, starting at an early age with children’s concerts with the New York Philharmonic. He is lovingly remembered as a committed and talented reader of bedtime stories. Gene’s children and granddaughter all inherited his soft spot for dogs, bowling, and root beer floats.

An introspective person, Gene had a dry sense of humor and a fun-living spirit. He was an avid and vocal supporter at soccer and field hockey games and a committed fan of his son’s rock bands. Gene spent happy hours nurturing his granddaughter’s love for animals with trips to local farms.

Gene is survived by his wife, Mary Winston Hanson, his daughters Kate Hanson and Annie Hanson, his son A.J. Hanson and daughter-in-law Aaryne Elias, and his granddaughter Eva Karaköylü. Gene is preceded in death by his parents, Virginia Hanson Canning and Jacob Hanson, his stepfather, John Canning, and his older brother, Jack Hanson.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Chapel Hill, on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 11:00am.  The family received visitors Friday evening from 5-7 pm at Walker's Funeral Home, 120 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, with a Vigil service at 6pm..

Please visit for more photos and memories of Gene.