Henry Hanson, Foreign Service officer, teacher

Henry Hanson, 94, a former Foreign Service officer and retired community college professor, died Dec. 30 of respiratory failure at Greenspring retirement community in Springfield.

A daughter, Ingrid Butler, confirmed the death.

Mr. Hanson served 26 years in the Foreign Service before retiring in 1968. The son of Swedes, he specialized in Scandinavian affairs, and his postings included Finland and Sweden.

After his retirement, he became a history professor at Montgomery College. From 1971 to 1974, he taught history and government at Southwest Virginia Community College. He then joined the Northern Virginia Community College history faculty and taught on the Manassas campus until his retirement in 1986.

He published several scholarly articles on Swedish immigration.

Henry Hanson was born in Middletown, Conn. He was a 1940 graduate of Wesleyan University and, a year later, received a master’s degree in history from Harvard University. He served in the Navy during World War II.

Mr. Hanson was a past president of the American Scandinavian Association and received its lifetime achievement award in 2008.

He lived in Fairfax County before moving to Greenspring in 2011.

His wife of 67 years, Mildred Bernsten Hanson, died in October. Survivors include two children, Rolf Hanson of Leesburg and Ingrid Butler of Alexandria; and four grandchildren.

— Megan McDonough

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