Ruth Hanson walks onto the Byron football field at halftime on Friday, Sept. 28. She was one of several new inductees into the Byron Hall of Fame. Hanson was honored as a Byron Booster for her longtime coverage of Byron school events while a reporter for the Byron Review. Photo by Keith Garvens
By David Richards
Ruth Hanson, who lives in Dodge Center and who has spent the last 29 years as a reporter for the Byron Review, was inducted into the Byron Athletic Hall of Fame Sept. 29.
Hanson was inducted with the other four members of the Class of 2012 at a banquet and dinner held at Byron High School. She officially retired from newspapers this past summer.
The Hall of Fame is in its fourth year and was started by Byron head football coach John Austinson.
This year's class includes three athletes, Bob Brown, Teresa Fitzgerald Brown and Chuck Rath, one coach, David Anderson, one booster, Hanson, and the 1989 baseball team.
While accepting the honor, Hanson told about how much she enjoyed covering students for so many years.
"It's fun to see people you don't recognize because it's been so long," she said. "It was fun to be a part of your school, from the first day of kindergarten to your graduation."
Hanson was born in Liberia, West Africa, the daughter of an Episcopal clergyman. She grew up in southern Ohio, Baltimore, Md. and graduated from Iowa State University, where she met her husband. She taught English in Ellsworth, Iowa, for one year.
Ruth and her husband, David, then moved to Cottonwood, Minn., where her husband was an Ag teacher, and where their first three children were born. After five years, they moved to Albert Lea where their fourth child was born. Then they moved to Dodge Center, where her husband became the county agent, their fifth child was born and Ruth did some substitute teaching.
Ruth taught Head Start 12 years before beginning a short stint reporting for the Village Press in Dodge Center. Then Ruth began her 29-year career with the Byron Review, covering Byron and the Byron Bears.
Her daughter said she "adopted the Byron Bears after her own kids graduated from school."
Ruth's life changed as the athletic program at BHS grew, from volleyball, football and cross country in the fall to the addition of boys and girls soccer and girls swimming; from boys and girls basketball, gymnastics and wrestling in the winter to the addition of boys and girls hockey; and from baseball, softball and girls and boys track and field in the spring to the addition of boys and girls golf.
She enjoyed congratulating athletes, coaches and parents. The memories for Ruth are many, like getting knocked down on the sidelines during a football game and talking to Coach Dan Alsbury, who always said, "make sure I sound intelligent."
Ruth Hanson has clearly touched the lives of hundreds of people over her decades of work with the Byron Review.
Even Fitzgerald Brown mentioned Ruth in her acceptance speech.
"You chronicled all of our lives," she said. "We have many treasured memories."