David “The Hammer” Hanson
David “The Hammer” Hanson passed away at home with family by his side on July 13, 2021. Dave experienced a stroke in 2017, and t he complications from that catastrophic event ultimately took his life. Dave departed this world far too soon and he will be greatly missed as a husband, father, brother, teammate, colleague, and friend.
Dave was a devoted family man. He is survived by his wife of 30 years Diane Firmani and their sons Chancie and Cooper, as well as Dave’s brothers John Hanson and Larry Hanson, sister Kathleen Jeanson, and their spouses.
Dave’s adventurous spirit and outdoor skills were evidenced by the numerous trophy mounts in his log cabin home. He loved to hunt and fish and spend time at his cabin on the Little Susitna River. Dave had many friends because he knew how to be a friend. Whether he was handing out a kind word with a cup of coffee, telling tall tales over a beer, or being a solid presence when someone needed a listener, Dave made a difference in the lives of those around him.
Dave was born in North St. Paul, Minnesota on May 14, 1955. His lifelong love of hockey started early as he grew up across the street from an ice rink and spent many hours there after school and on weekends. He was a defensive standout and captain of his high school team, lettering all four years in hockey and tennis. Dave received a full scholarship to play hockey at Colorado College, where he earned a degree in Business Administration. He was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 1975 before a career-ending knee injury in his final college game. Dave moved to Alaska in 1977 where he remained a steady force in the recreational hockey community. He touched many young lives in his 37 years as a USA Hockey referee, particularly at the high school level. In a span of 40 years, he played in the Anchorage Men’s League (Most Penalty Minutes), Valley NHL (Noon Hockey League), Over the Chill Co-Ed, and worked at all three Mat-Su indoor ice arenas. A great sheet of ice awaited anyone fortunate enough to skate after Dave drove the Zamboni. Dave’s professional career also included 14 years at Fed Ex where he retired in 2004.
Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life on Friday, July 23, 2021 at The Barn Mat-Su, 6013 N Crested Butte Drive in Wasilla. Food and fellowship 4:00-6:00 PM, formal program 6:00-8:00. The family welcomes flowers or a donation to Dolly Parton Imagination Library.