Michael “Mick” Hanson, 70, of Cody, died peacefully Feb. 19, 2019, with family at bedside, at Spirit Mountain Hospice House.
Mick was born in Deadwood, South Dakota, on Aug. 27, 1948, to Milford and Imogene Hanson, joining brother, Butch. The family lived in several towns in Wyoming before making their home in the Big Horn Basin, first in Cody, then in Lovell, before finally settling for good in Cody. Mick graduated from Lovell High School and attended Northwest Community College in Powell. About this time, Mick went to work for Walt Hoffman at Happy’s Corner Exxon, where he enjoyed the opportunity to work on cars of all kinds.
On Sept. 25, 1971, Mick married Janet Snyder, and sons Casey and Wesley were born of this union.
In 1974, Mick joined the Cody Police Department, kicking off a long career in law enforcement. In 1978, Mick and his close friend Mel Steward were both promoted to sergeant. While with the Cody Police Department, Mick served in numerous roles including shift commander, senior sergeant, hostage negotiator, firearms instructor, defensive driving instructor, liaison to numerous federal agencies, and explosives disposal expert. He taught courses in firearms and police ethics at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy in Douglas. During his law enforcement career, Mick received letters of commendation from federal agents, state judges, and several local law enforcement agencies throughout the state. He was well known in the Cody community and across the state for the lives he touched and relationships fostered through his work. In March 1998, he retired from the field of law enforcement.
On May 20, 2000, Mick married Becky May. Through this marriage, Mick added daughters Julie and Katie, and sons Shad and Bear to the family.
Mick enjoyed outdoor activities the most: wildlife and scenic photography, hunting, fishing, camping (especially with as much family and as many friends as he could muster), or later in life just shooting the breeze on the east porch. He shared his lifelong interest in shooting by sharing instruction with most anyone who wanted to learn, including most of his family.
One of his passions in life was chasing monster bull elk on Rattlesnake Mountain, which he did with every drawn tag and chance he could get. He loved camping in places that held family significance, including the Medicine Lodge Archeological Site outside Hyattville. Mick had a way of adding adventure to most any outdoor activity, but not always in a reasoned measure. Mick and Casey once spent the evening in the truck, stuck on Carter Mountain in a trip gone awry until Search and Rescue made their way to them, and we lost count of how many snow drifts were shoveled in pursuit of getting “over the next rise.” He came by his love of adventure and shortcuts honestly as many know it runs in the family.
Mick was a Master Mason and proud member of Shoshone Lodge No. 21 in Cody. He was an early member of the Cody Shooting Complex and helped procure the funding to jump start building the range up from the original five wood benches. In the course of building the range, he served in numerous roles, including multiple terms as president.
Mick was preceded in death by his parents, Milford and Imogene Hanson.
He is survived by his wife Becky Hanson of Cody, son Wesley Hanson (Kylie) of Cody, son Casey Hanson (Kristen) of Billings, daughter Julie Werbelow (Rod) of Powell, daughter Kate May (Pauli) of Casper, son Shad May (Jennifer) of Williston, son Gerald “Bear” May (Tara) of Powell, brother Butch (Jo) Hanson of Powell, 10 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Cremation has taken place. A celebration of Mick’s life will be held at the V.F.W. in Cody on Saturday, March 9, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please join Mick’s family and friends for stories, lunch, and of course, dessert.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mick’s name at Sunlight Federal Credit Union.