Kathleen Mary Hanson, 74, died Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Baraboo, Wis.

Kathleen Mary Hanson, 74, died Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Baraboo, Wis.

She was born May 25, 1943, in Hillsdale, the daughter of J.M. “Pete” Hanson and Eleanor Bailey Hanson. Her idyllic early childhood in this rural community of gardens, streams and woods was shared with her brother, Jay, and sister, Priscilla. Later, the family relocated to Geneseo to a historic home where Kathy developed her interest in art and interior design.

Kathy graduated from Geneseo High School in 1961 and was a member of First Congregational Church, in Geneseo. She attended Parsons College, in Fairfield, Iowa. She married Ned Erdman in 1966; they later divorced. He died in June 2017.

Her love of travel led her to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in 1971. Some of her finest artwork is her paintings of the people and places in the islands where she lived for six years. She also traveled widely throughout Europe and Greece.

Her interests in fashion and interior design flourished back in Geneseo in the 1970s. She established a chic dress shop, “Kathleen’s” and renovated an old home. Drawn to the Southwest, she relocated to Arizona and took great pleasure there. She illustrated a children’s book written by her niece, Mari, placed her paintings in a gallery in Sedona, and restored nine homes by herself. Each she decorated with family antiques and “finds” in Mexico.

A change in her health drew her back to Wisconsin in 2015 where her niece, Jennifer Hanson, cared for her during a long and valiant struggle with lung cancer. She died in St. Clare Hospital, in Baraboo, with her sister, Priscilla, at her side.

She was predeceased by her parents and her beloved brother, Judge Jay Hanson. She is survived by Priscilla Hanson Middleton and son, Peter Middleton, niece Jennifer Hanson, and her children, Sarah, Tuesday, Paige, Sophia and Signe, and brand new grand-niece Willa Marie. Also surviving are nieces, Mari, Sarah, and Kristina and their children, and many loving cousins and friends, especially Elizabeth Hedman Paxinos and Judy Swanson Schachter.

Condolences may be sent to: Priscilla Middleton, 6420 White Sands Terrace, Sarasota, FL 34231. Memorials may be made in Kathy’s name to the American Cancer Society.