Cover photo for Kelly Noel Hanson's Obituary
Kelly Noel Hanson Profile Photo

Kelly Noel Hanson

March 7, 1973 — May 3, 2022

Kelly Noel Hanson

Kelly Noel Hanson slipped peacefully away from this world on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 after suffering a major stroke eight days earlier. She spent the last week of her life surrounded and comforted by loving family and a dear friend. We are so grateful for that time together. She fought bravely against aggressive ovarian cancer for a year, and now may she rest in peace in the hearts of those who loved her dearly.

Please join family and friends at Northview - North Mankato Mortuary on Sunday October 30, 2022 from 1 - 4 p.m. for a MEMORIAL OPEN HOUSE to celebrate Kelly’s life. Kelly loved Halloween, so come in costume if you wish,  or just come to remember Kelly and enjoy some treats.

Kelly was born on March 7, 1973 to Frances (Hiniker) and Lee Hanson. She attended St. Peter and Paul’s Grade School, Fitzgerald Middle School and Loyola High School, graduating in 1991. That fall she enrolled at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Just short of completing a degree in elementary education, she switched her major to graphic design; she graduated from MSU in 1996. Her career took her through a variety of design firms in Iowa and Minnesota before she ventured out on her own as a freelance designer in 2015. Working from home gave Kelly the opportunity to fully immerse herself in her truest passion—rescue animals. She was a volunteer, dog foster care provider and board member of Mending Spirits Animal Rescue. Her two beloved doggies, Shorty and Wyatt, were what she liked to call “foster failures,” because she wasn’t able to give them up. Countless doggies stayed in her loving care over the years until they found their forever homes. After hearing her cancer diagnosis a year ago, her first words were: “What about all the doggies I have yet to save?” Kelly was fiercely loyal and tirelessly championed the causes of others. Her heart knew no bounds. She was sweet, kind and generous and had a quick wit.

In addition to spending time with and advocating for dogs, Kelly enjoyed spending time with family and friends, travel and summer lake vacations with her mom, antique shopping, live music, photography, gardening, winter vacation destinations, summers at a local swimming hole, playing Barbies and walking dogs with her neighbor girl Emma, and many traveling adventures with her best friend.

Among the many who are left behind to mourn her loss are her mother Frances Hanson, Mankato; father Lee Hanson and step mother Detta Hanson, Yakima, WA; many aunts, uncles and cousins; her beloved doggies, Shorty and Wyatt; and dear friend, Wendy Bateman, Mankato. Among those who preceded her in death and eagerly waited to greet her are her maternal grandparents John and Ann Hiniker, paternal grandparents Lyle and Virginia Hanson, and her beloved dogs Lucky and Persis.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Mending Spirits Animal Rescue where a special program for animal hospice care has been set up in her honor. In her final days, Kelly was deeply touched knowing that even after she is gone from our world, she will continue to help the animals in need of loving care. 

Mending Spirits Animal Rescue

PO Box 475

Mankato, MN 56002

(Non-profit 501c3)

Past Services


Sunday, October 30, 2022

1:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

Northview - North Mankato Mortuary

2060 Commerce Dr, North Mankato, MN 56003

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