Shirley Jean Hanson, 88, born on July 19, 1925 in Indianapolis, Indiana left this earth for the great blue yonder on December 2, 2013. A proud member of the 99’s Women’s Aviation Organization, Shirley participated in various air races such as the Cleveland Air Races and Powder Puff Derby’s (exclusively flown by women) and was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. When given a choice between receiving a fur coat or an airplane for a gift, she chose a Piper J-3 Cub, naming it “Mama’s Mink” with a picture of a rolling pin painted on its stripe. A captivating storyteller, glamorous, outgoing, and energetic, Shirley liked to make a statement upon arrival; perhaps her most memorable entrance being when she rode a motorcycle up the stairs of the Van Nuys Airport Bar in a cocktail dress in order to show a friend her new wheels.
Shirley’s children can recall learning to fly before learning how to drive and the family has fond memories of zooming through the blue skies of California. Making her quest for adventure a profession, she was an aviation photo journalist for General Aviation News, Sports Aviation, and Private Pilot Magazine. Shirley set a great example for her children and grandchildren by following her dream to obtain a Seaplane rating, which she obtained on her 70th birthday at the
Salton Sea and later became a member of the United Flying Octogenarians.
Shirley spoke of falling in love with her home the first time she saw it, therefore it is fitting that an open house memorial service will be held on December 29, 2013 in her Burbank residence from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. A time of recollection will be shared beginning at 1:00 p.m. so that family and friends can impart their fondest memories in celebration of her life. Mrs. Hanson is survived by her four children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” Leonardo da Vinci
Please call (808)281-8342 for information on attending.