Originally Published: May 13, 2018 6:03 a.m.
Lillian Ruth Hanson (Woolley) passed away peacefully May 3, 2018, with her niece, Deborah and her nephew-in-law, James Miller, by her side. She was 91 years young. Lillian was born July 4, 1926, to Benjamin and Laura Woolley in Lake Ozark, Missouri. She was born in a cabin that was later submerged under the manmade Lake of the Ozarks.
Lillian was the youngest of seven children and preceded in death by her mother, father and all of her siblings. She was also preceded in death by her late-husband, Harold Hanson.
Lillian had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed experiencing new and different things. She worked as a waitress, cook, motel proprietor and many other varied jobs. She grew up in Missouri and later moved to Colorado to be near the mountains, eventually settling in Central Arizona. Lillian loved the outdoors and nature in general. She had a special love for flowers. She was an avid walker, walking 4 to 9 miles a day until she was almost 90. Eventually health issues forced her to cut back, which was very difficult for her to accept. She was also an avid hiker, hiking up many mountains in Colorado, Arizona, and Alaska, as well as anywhere she found a friendly looking trail.
There were a few years in her life when she lived at Bar Lazy S Flying Pinto Ranch. It was there that she learned to train Painted ponies (AKA Pinto ponies) to do tricks by Ace Brannaman. Together they went to schools, senior centers and other institutions to put on performances for all to enjoy. Their performances brought joy and smiles to all who saw them.
Ace also taught Lillian how to tool leather and together they made many items that they tooled and dyed, including saddles, horse tack and many smaller household items.
Lillian was talented in many areas. For years she performed assorted volunteer work throughout Prescott Valley. She was recognized many times for her outstanding community outreach and volunteerism. This is attested to by numerous articles written about her free giving spirit and sense of community that she held so dear. Lillian gave much to the Prescott Valley community at large and will be greatly missed by those she touched with her unselfish giving as well as by her loving family and friends. Lillian is survived by her daughter, Dee Whithead; niece, Lois Dean Hulsey; niece, Marleen Anconetani (Woolley); and her children, Matthew and Leah. She is also survived by her niece, Deborah Miller (Woolley), husband, James and their children, Zachary, Ashley Miller and Krista Mendiola (Miller) and husband Roque and their four children. In addition, she is survived by other nieces and nephews. No services are planned. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority, either in person or mailed to: 8603 E. Eastridge Dr., Prescott Valley, AZ 86314, in memory of Lillian.
Information provided by survivors.