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In Memory Of
Mike Hanley

mike hanley smiling
Mike Hanley loved antique tractors and for the last few years has spent much time in the Yesterday's Tractors discussion forums sharing his knowledge and friendship with the many friends he made there.

In August of 2004, Mike posted a message regarding his on-going fight with his illness and his plans for the ranch. His message is full of optimism and caring for others. Mike continued to visit us and help people with their tractor questions until God called him home.

We who are left feel the silence of his passing and stand in awe of his generosity and courage. He will be missed.

The following memorial is from the family of Mike Hanley:

Michael Paul Hanley, age 60, of Cashton passed away Sunday, December 5, 2004 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born January 31, 1944 to Thomas and Manola (Sommerfelt) Hanley in West Allis, WI.

Mike worked as a cowboy in Meeteetse, WY and was a bareback rodeo rider in the upper Midwest during his high school years. He enlisted in the US Air Force as a Medic in 1961 and retired with medical disability in 1967. He was united in marriage to Judy Vinopal on July 9, 1966 in Mauston, WI. He worked for a short time for the railroad. In 1974 they moved to the Cashton area. Mike was employed at the Monroe County Sheriff's Department from 1976 to 1986, he also ran for sheriff. He was self employed as a beef farmer.

Mike has been a member of the Monroe County Republican Party since 1986; Secretary of Monroe County Republican Party for 7 terms; Chairperson of Monroe County Republican Party Resolutions Committee for 9 terms; twice on the State Republican Party Resolutions Committee and a Delegate to the State Republican Convention. He was a member of the Cashton American Legion Post #445 for 26 years, Commander of Post #445 for 7 terms, Vice Commander of the Monroe County American Legion for 4 terms, and a member of Cashton Veteran's Memorial Committee. Mike had taught high school CCD in Mauston for 3 years and in Cashton for 3 years. He was a member of the Monroe County Farm Bureau, past President of Title I Program P.A.C. at Cashton Schools, past board member of the Miss Cashton program. He enjoyed being a member of the Chicago and North Western Historical Society; model railroading, and was a general history buff. His greatest joys were his family, Herefords, horses, John Deere tractors and the "Hanley Ranch".

Some of the lives he touched were people he never met but enjoyed helping on the "Yesterday's Tractors Discussion Forum". He loved to share his knowledge of antique and John Deere Tractors. Survivors include his wife Judy of 38 years; children: Patrick (Tracy) Hanley , Daniel (Lorraine) Hanley and Catherine "Cassie" (Cory) Volden; seven grandchildren: Robert Dowell, Shawn Hanley, Sierra, Taylor and Bonita Hanley, Samantha and Nick Volden all of Cashton ; 2 brothers: Richard (Nancy) Hanley of West Allis, WI and Thomas Hanley; mother-in-law Mary Vinopal of Mauston, WI and many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant son Paul, infant sister, and father-in-law John Vinopal. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 11, 2004 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Cashton. Father Eric Berns will officiate. Burial will follow in the St. Pat's Catholic Cemetery in Mauston, WI with military honors. Visitation will be held on Friday, December 10, 2004 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. with a scripture service at 7:30 p.m. at the Torkelson Funeral Home in Cashton. Visitation will also be held on Saturday from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at the funeral home. In place of flowers, memorials in remembrance of Mike may be made to the Sacred Heart Church Handicap Accessible Fund. The Torkelson Funeral Home in Cashton is assisting the family with arrangements. On line condolences available at www.torkelsonfuneralhomes.com.

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Today's Featured Article - 1935 John Deere BN History - The History of My Tractor - by Alexander G. Knox. My grandfather, Orval A. Knox of Chandler, Arizona, affectionately known as Pa, purchased this tractor new from the John Deere/Caterpillar dealer (now Arizona Machinery) in 1935. It was his first new tractor and his first with rubber tires. He used it on his farm growing cotton, alfalfa, corn, wheat, milo, barley, and oats. My father, Norman L. Knox, recalls Pa putting a mower on the tractor during the day and then ... [Read Article]


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