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Edward Joseph Hance, age 77 of Buffalo, passed away Saturday, February 8, 2020 on the Hance family homestead. He was born October 4, 1942 in Buffalo, the son of Wilfred Alphonse and Helen Genevieve (Reintjes) Hance. 

Ed attended St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Buffalo until the 8th grade and graduated from Buffalo High School in 1961 where he was very active in the FFA. At the age of 15, after his father had passed away, Ed and his brother, Larry, kept the family dairy farm running with their mother for many years. Ed served in the Army National Guard for six years during the Vietnam era.

On May 19, 1973, Edward Joseph Hance and Erva May Snyder were united in marriage. Their wedding was the first conducted at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, which was founded by Erva’s father, Leon C. Snyder. Ed and Erva were blessed with three sons. 

Through his early years, Ed tried out many occupations. He worked as a salesman at Boyd’s and Burkland’s, restaurant manager, candy and cigarette delivery truck driver, vocational teacher, U-Pick berry farmer, and assisted Erva with home daycare. Ed and Erva also grew and sold Minnesota-hardy azaleas. 

Ed’s ambitious drive led him to go back to college at St. Cloud State University at the age of 47 to finish his degree in Social Work. He worked 18 years in Wright County as a social worker until his retirement. He truly enjoyed his job and the people he worked with and met along the way. He was known as a strong advocate for his clients. 

Ed enjoyed reading, storytelling, bird-watching, swimming, politics, dogs, country music, theatre, sports -especially the Minnesota Gophers, and he loved spending time with his grandchildren. 

Ed truly was a people person and wanted to make everyone happy. He was a character who was known to say things to shock people in a loving way. He was a gregarious individual who was also warm, loving, and compassionate. He had an innovative and optimistic personality. He will be missed by all who knew him! 

He is preceded in death by his parents, Wilfred and Helen Hance; siblings, Kathleen Gnitka, Joan Schaust, Rita Kunkel; siblings-in-law, Janet Hance, George Schaust; and nephew, Matty Schaust Jr. 

Ed is survived by his loving wife, Erva May Hance; sons, Andrѐ Lawrence Hance (Dawn Benson-Hance) and his children: Onar Cu’Chulain Ireland-Hance and Saoirse Iseult Ireland Hance, Karsten Edward Hance, Jeremy Leon Hance (Tiffany Joy Roufs) and their daughter: Aurelia May Hance; siblings, Jerome Hance (Delores), Estelle Schaust (Matt), Lawrence Hance (Diane); siblings-in-law, Ralph Gnitka, Arnie Kunkel; special friends, Craig and Maggie Lilja; and his beloved dog, Shane. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Sharing and Caring Hands. 

Visitation will be held Wednesday, February 12, 2020 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo. A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 11:00 AM, with visitation one hour prior, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Buffalo. 

Serving the family is The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo. 763-682-1363.

8 Guestbook Entries

  1. Shelley held

    His heart and love will be missed

  2. Jerry Varner

    Eddie was a lover of the Chicago Cubs and Ernie Banks. Always knew him as a happy and friendly person. We enjoyed grade school together. Never knew him to have an enemy. I think of him as loving life.

  3. Erin Meyer

    Ed always demonstrated imagination by being a pilot on the airplane to Hawaii or a big scary gorilla at Halloween. My childhood at the Hance daycare was filled with safety and consistent calm. Ed and Erva, their boys and the farm will always be home. Ed is sitting in heaven with one end of his glasses hanging while he is reading a newspaper. All my love to the Hance family.

  4. Don Mleziva

    My deepest condolence to Ed’s family. He will always be remembered as one of the social worker STARS who worked in Wright County Human Services. He touched countless lives of so many people with his skills, compassion, and grace. It was my honor to have worked with Ed for many years. I will always cherish my fond memories of those years. Rest In Peace, Ed.

  5. Mike Snyder

    I feel very lucky to have grown up knowing Uncle Ed, Erva and my cousins. I have fond memories spending time, albeit not enough time, on the Hance farm. Ed was a kind man who was fun to have as an uncle. I am sorry I cannot attend the funeral and celebration of Ed’s life. I really love all my Minnesota relatives and wish I could be there with you. Know that you are in my thoughts.

  6. Tim Gnitka

    Well said Mike Snyder. I’m a nephew on Ed’s side (Kathleen’s son) and still my mind spins with old memories of family gatherings at the Hance Farm. Spinning mainly because every darn one of those Hance brothers and sisters were talking… at the same time! I could always hear Ed’s voice above all!! Now 60 years old myself I feel an extra special kinship as my friends, co-workers, and family say the same things about me. Thanks Ed we are soul brothers. Erva… an Angel. and your son’s and Grandchildren… Blessed gifts indeed

  7. Rick Jordan

    Great guy, will be missed. God bless the family, RIP

  8. Sue (Lind) Carlson

    Dear Erva Hance and Family, all of you will always hold special places in our hearts. We are so grateful that you loved and cared for and shared countless lessons and experiences with Erin and Josh when they were in your day care home. We remember dodging the geese in the yard and picking and eating the luscious berries from your farm. Your winter “trips” to Hawaii and Mexico were highlights as Ed was the pilot and Erva the flight attendant for adventures with leis. luaus, and pineapple, and sombreros, tacos and mariachi music. The kids were so excited to pack their bags; they honestly believed they had been to the exciting places you created for them. It was a joy to be young families together, sharing our lives and our children and our days. We miss you all. Ed, you were indeed a “good and faithful servant” and a loving, kind man. Rest in Peace. Our love and prayers are with you all.


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