Bill (John William) Hanlon, PhD passed suddenly on Nov 7, 2019.
He was Born June 27, 1937 in Aitkin, MN to James and Ellen Hanlon, the second of six boys. He earned his PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Minnesota. He had a long and varied academic and business career. He began as a professor of Economics at Depaw University and progressed through teaching and administrative positions at Northern Illinois University, Winona State University, and Georgia State University. He was then the Executive Director of the Georgia Council on Economic Education. His academic career culminated with his serving as the Dean of the College of Business at James Madison University where he secured the first accreditation for the College of Business from the AACSB. Subsequently, he was the Chief Economist for New York’s Commodity Exchange, an agricultural economist for General Foods and a corporate economist for The Linn Group in Chicago. In retirement, he was an adjunct professor of Economics and Finance at Saint Thomas University and Metropolitan State University. He was known and loved for his sense of humor, kindness, consideration for others and his intellectual curiosity. He was fascinated by philosophy and politics and relished a good discussion. He was eternally optimistic and maintained a positive outlook on the people around him and the possibilities of life. He was a thoughtful listener who provided valued guidance and advice and was always willing to lend a helping hand. He was a loyal friend to many. He enjoyed an occasional bingo game where he was known as “the one card wonder” and was always excited by a good hand of cards, especially with good company. His family was a great source of happiness and pride. Supporting the accomplishments and activities of his children and grandchildren was one of his greatest pleasures. Preceded in death by brothers Jimmy, Dick, and Tom. He is survived by daughters Kathleen (David) Gesensway, Carolyn (Don) Sours, and Marianne McEvoy; brothers Terry (Kathy) Hanlon and Mike (Paulette) Hanlon; grandchildren Benjamin, Julia, and Elizabeth Gesensway; and Melody and Lorelai McEvoy; and many nieces and nephews.
Service will be Friday, November 15, 2019 – 11:00 am at St James Catholic Church in Aitkin. Father David Forsman will officiate. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in St. Thomas Cemetery. Memorials preferred to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com
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