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obituary
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spacer spacee Barbara Hanson

Barbara "Bar" Nash Hanson, a longtime former Belvedere resident, died of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage Feb. 6 after a long struggle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease. She was 84.

Mrs. Hanson was born in New York City to Aubrey and Kathleen Nash and attended Montclair Kimberley Academy and Connecticut College, where she earned a bachelor's in English literature and was a founding member of the Conn Chords choral group.

Singing — she was an alto voice — continued to be a passion for her after college. During her first marriage, to Robert Sullivan, she sang at hospitals and nursing homes as a member of the Junior League.

After settling in the Bay Area, Mrs. Hanson worked at the side of her second husband, Herbert Hanson, to start Hanson Investment Management Co.

She continued to do volunteer work. She served as a volunteer at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael. She also joined Palm Springs Pathfinders, an organization dedicated to raising funds for the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Springs and for Pathfinder Ranch in Garner Valley. For 10 years, Mrs. Hanson supported Pathfinder Ranch's equestrian program and provided the funds for Hanson House, a guest residence at Pathfinder Ranch; the building is so new, Mrs. Hanson had not had a chance to visit. She served as treasurer of the Palm Springs Pathfinders for seven years and was awarded the Pathfinders Woman of the Year Award in 2010.

In years past, she was a member of the Belvedere Tennis Club.

Mrs. Hanson was an accomplished seamstress who also loved needlework and crafts, and she possessed the ability to fix anything from lamps to electronics. She loved crosswords, playing dominoes and reading. One of her not-so-secret passions was watching ice hockey. She treasured her friends, some of who dated back to elementary school days.

Mrs. Hanson moved to Villa Marin in San Rafael in 2010 and divided her time between there and Rancho Mirage for the past few years.

Despite her illness over the last years of her life, she remained a positive, happy person, always with a ready smile.

"Her sparkling, smiling blue eyes and her big, heartfelt laugh would light up any group," said her daughter, Lynn.

Her daughter said she would be remembered for her strong, generous spirit.

Mrs. Hanson's husband, Herbert, died in 2010.

In addition to her daughter, Lynn Dooley of Petaluma, Mrs. Hanson is survived by her son, Jeffrey Sullivan of Littleton, Colo., and two granddaughters, Johanna and Rosie Dooley, both of Petaluma.

Donations in her memory may be made to Palm Springs Pathfinders, P.O. Box 5005, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270.

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