Margaret Hanken

Margaret Hanken



Margaret Ann Hanken, 80, of Ossian, Iowa died Wednesday, January 20, 2021at Ossian Senior Hospice, Ossian, Iowa. Margaret was born September 26, 1940 to Henry and Margaret (Kleve) Wenthold.  She graduated from St. Francis de Sales High School in 1958.


Margaret was united in marriage with Gervase Henry Hanken on June 18, 1960 in Festina, Iowa. To this union, 5 children were born. Together they lived in Ossian and the surrounding communities of Decorah and Fort Atkinson.  In the 1970’s, Margaret worked as the Ossian librarian and then as the Library Supervisor at Northeast Iowa Community College from 1978 until her retirement in 2003.  As the Ossian Librarian, she organized and completed the transfer of the entire library collection book by book from the original Ossian library located in the old City Hall building to its current location in the Ossian Community Center with the help of dozens of elementary school students forming the Great Ossian Book Parade.  Margaret shared her love of books and reading by partnering with the local schools for summer reading programs for Ossian youth.  Margaret was a member of the St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, the Rosary Society, and the Silver Springs Golf and Country Club.  She enjoyed traveling across the country to see friends and family especially enjoying her snow-birding years with Gervase in Arizona and numerous visits to Oregon.  She loved reading, doing Sudoku, crossword puzzles, golfing, gardening, and having coffee and good conversations with friends and family.  Margaret was the personification of love, of strength, of courage.  She was given the cruel diagnosis of kidney cancer over 16 years ago.  Through too many surgeries and experimental chemo treatments, she always lived life to the fullest buoyed in her faith and deep love of friends and family.  She was so grateful and proud to see her grandchildren grow into adults cherishing and cheering on their accomplishments whether near or far, in person or through video. You could always expect tears and hugs of joy when you visited her and tears and hugs of love when you left.  Margaret truly made the world a better place and she will be remembered long into the future. 


Margaret’s memory will forever be cherished by Heidi (Ron) Herold of Calmar, Jon Hanken of Ione, California, Brett Hanken of Guttenberg, Melissa (Jeffrey) Heying of Calmar and Dennis (Kari) Hanken of Beaverton, Oregon; her four grandchildren, Taylor (Ethan) Meng of Des Moines, Jerod Heying of Cedar Rapids, Chloe Hanken of Brooksville, Maine, and Sophia Hanken of Portland, Oregon; her siblings, Greg Wenthold of Ossian, Iowa, Ray (Marsha) Wenthold of Decorah, Iowa, Ron (Marlene) Wenthold of Ossian, Iowa, and Norine (Bob) Drahozal of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; her sisters-in-law, JoAnn Wenthold of Ossian, Iowa, Germaine Hanken of Maple Grove, Minnesota, Molly Hanken of Buffalo, Minnesota, and Inez Gallinaro of The Villages, Florida; and many nieces and nephews and friends.


Margaret was preceded in death by her husband, Gervase Hanken on June 21, 2016; her parents, Henry and Margaret Wenthold; her siblings, Evelyn (Ralph) Wiltgen, Edwin (Leona) Wenthold, Rita (Francis) Wiltgen, Thecla (Oscar) Ott, Agatha (Leo) Burke, Francis Wenthold, and Linus Wenthold, and her in-laws, Cyril (Evie and Lucille) Hanken, Donald (Irma) Hanken, Nick Gallinaro, Vernon (Marie) Hanken, Roger (Diane) Hanken, Orville Hanken, and Alan Hanken.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 pm on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Ossian, Iowa with Rev. Robert Gross as the celebrant. There will be a two-hour visitation from 10-noon at the church on Saturday.  In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given to the Ossian Hospice, Ossian Ambulance Service, or will be used to help further fund the Gervase and Margaret Hanken Educational Scholarship in the MFL-Mar Mac School district.

Inurnment will be held at Hillside Cemetery, Ossian, Iowa.


Schmitz-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Ossian, Iowa is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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