University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to VandalStar.

In Memoriam: Casey Hanson

July 13, 2018

Casey Lynn Hanson, 49, a resident of Viola, passed away on Monday July 2, 2018 at Gritman Medical Center in Moscow.

Casey was born on a beautiful summer morning on August 12, 1968 in Orofino. She spent the first six years of her life in Orofino, and then moved with her mother to Boise where she attended grade school. The family, including her stepfather Ralph, moved to Lewiston for a time and Casey played the flute at Jennifer Junior High School. The family, now including her little brother Chad, then returned to Boise where she graduated with honors from Boise High School.

In the spring of 1987 she started at the University of Idaho earning two Bachelor of Science degrees and a minor in five years. While attending her last year in college she met Dan Hanson and they were married on January 27, 1993 in Moscow with a wedding service on May 22 in Orofino. Casey started her career working in the Alumni Office at U of I while Dan finished school and she continued on this professional path to be an accomplished fundraiser in multiple roles for U of I and WSU in Pullman. She loved U of I and truly enjoyed working with alumni and others, and making many lifelong friends from all over Idaho, Washington, and California. At the time of her death, she had just transitioned from the director of Corporate and Foundation Relations to the director of development for the College of Education at U of I.

Casey always wanted a horse and she finally got her dream when her Grampa Dude gave her Elito, a beautiful chestnut Arabian gelding. Elito had been abused and it took a lot of work, but they bonded and he was truly her horse. As a college graduation present, her parents gave her a golden palomino gelding named Spook. They were a treasured part of her life for 30 years.

Casey was blessed with two children: Paige, 17 and Lane, 15. They were the light of her life, and Casey infused her children with a zest for life and adventures.

Casey loved to travel and go on adventures. She would decide on the destination and would plan the trip for months ahead of time. Thanks to her hard work, the family had many wonderful trips all over the U.S. and even a magical trip to Europe where they visited 17 countries. Casey’s last adventure was in August 2017: a day trip to Wallowa Lake in Eastern Oregon with her family.

Survivors include her husband Dan Hanson, son Lane Hanson and daughter Paige Hanson; mother and stepfather, Julie and Ralph Burkey of Star; mother-in-law and father in-law Doriene and John Morton of The Dalles, OR.; grandmother Margaret Fine of Orofino; brother Chad Burkey (Chantil) and his family of Shoshone; three step-sisters Amy Clawson, Lori Cannon and Tiffiny Burkey all of Portland, OR; sisters-in-law Shelly Schwers, Pam Watson, Becky Durant and Chelsea Hanson. Casey is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

To honor her memory, Casey’s family established a fund for a bench and some plantings in the University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Garden, where Casey enjoyed spending time. To contribute, stop by or send donations to the "Casey's Prayer Warriors" account at Latah Credit Union, 912 S. Washington, Moscow, ID 83843. You can also make a gift through the University of Idaho Foundation to Arboretum Projects and select a memorial fund contribution honoring Casey Hanson. Call 208-885-4000 for more information.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at