Robert E. Hanson knew the grocery business.
The longtime owner of House of Hanson, the Eighth Street Market and Harvard Market died Sunday at the age of 81.
Hanson ran the House of Hanson grocery store for 63 years, eventually turning it over to his daughter Laurel Bauer, who now operates the business.
Jim Rosengren, 38, who worked for Hanson since he was in the 11th grade, eventually bought the Eighth Street Market. He said Hanson was always there to help, even after he sold the business to Rosengren.
“I was the owner, but he was still the boss,” he said. “That’s how much respect I had for him.”
Many Dinkytown residents knew Hanson, and he would often allow people to purchase things even if they were short of money. Most would return to pay him what they owed, Rosengren said.
Hanson began working in the grocery business at the age of 16, although he left to serve as a Marine in World War II and to work for several years as a Honeywell engineer.
Rosengren praised Hanson for his decency, knowledge and kindness.
“Everything I know, I learned from Bob,” he said. “The man I am today is because of Bob Hanson.”
In addition to Bauer, Hanson is survived by his wife Bertha, son Terrell, daughter Judith Boyd, a brother, two sisters and grandchildren. Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at University Lutheran Church of Hope, 601 13th Ave. S.E.