Robert P. Hanish, 86, of Fargo passed away Sunday, October 17, 2010 at Bethany on 42nd. Bob Hanish was born July 15, 1924, the 8th of 9 children to Frank and Anna (Kaczmarski) Hanish on a farm south of Pettibone, ND.  When Bob was age 9, the family moved to Philips, WI, where he graduated high school in 1942.  At age 18, Bob enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in the South Pacific during World War II, an example of our nation's "Greatest Generation."  After the war, his brother Ed encouraged him to move to Fargo, where he attended NDSU (then NDAC).  Bob was an offensive lineman on the 1946 and 1947 Bison football teams.  At NDSU, Bob met and fell in love with Verna Van Slyck of Walhalla, ND and they were married on June 14, 1947 at St. Mary's Cathedral, Fargo. While playing football at NDSU, Bob became friends with his teammate Sid Cichy.  Bob later joined Sid's staff at Fargo Shanley and coached there until the early 1970's - a period in which Shanley football enjoyed unparalleled success including the then longest winning streak in the nation. Sid fondly called Bob, "Trapper," a fitting nickname that stuck with Bob throughout his hunting and coaching days. Bob began working at the Fargo Forum in 1951 and chose to work nights for many years to allow time to coach at Shanley.  Bob was the foreman of the mail room until becoming mailroom superintendent in the early 1970's.  In his job at the Forum, Bob took great pride in the efficiency of the mail room and that the newspaper always left the Forum on time.  He always was interested in new technology and its application to the mechanics of the newspaper business.  Bob retired from the Forum in 1989.  After retirement, Bob enjoyed the hunting camp at Robinson, ND, annual fishing trips to Canada with his children and grandchildren, and spending the cold winter months in Lake Havasu City, AZ with Verna.  He had a great love for the outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing, going for walks and gardening.  He took great pride in his tomato growing prowess and was sure to have the first ripe tomato every season.

Bob was a charter member of Holy Spirit Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus, VFW and American Legion.

Bob was proud of his ties to Wisconsin.  He took his family on frequent trips to visit his siblings and their families in Wisconsin and Iowa.  Bob and Verna attended his high school class reunion every five years and he remained a life-long Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packer fan. Bob will be remembered for his quick wit and "tell it like it is" mentality.  Although he was a Marine, a strict football coach and an avid hunter/fisherman, those descriptions only partially describe a man who was tenderhearted and affectionate, particularly as a grandfather and husband of 63 years.  He is survived by his wife, Verna; 7 children, Charlie (Kathy), Fargo, ND, Kathy (Rod) Wallin, Princeton, MN, Sidney (Marilyn), Ladue, MO, Frank (Carole), Garfield, MN, Fred (Lori), Orlando, FL, Lynn (Kerry), Badger, IA, John (Margaret) Scarsdale, NY; 23 grandchildren; and 11 great grandchildren.   He was preceded in death by his parents and all of his 5 brothers and 3 sisters, of whom he spoke often and with whom, in life, he was close. Memorials in honor of Bob may be sent to the Presentation Sisters or Hospice.

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  1. Columbus OhioTo Verna, and my niece and nephews.

    I first met Bob when he visited Walhalla while you were dating. I was on the HS football team, and he was on the ND
    SU team, which really made him my hero.

    Bob and I went on a hunting trip one time to Pettibone. We spent a couple days and got our limit of ducks. It must have been about 1951. I sure never became the outdoorsman that he was.

    I remember helping Bob build the garage on your house, it was about 1961. I was home on a break from school in Chicago. We did manage to get it done a week, although it was tough to start early in the morning and work quietly enough so that Bob could sleep after his night shift.

    In later years it was great that Barb and I got to visit and she got to know him—it was especially rewarding to attend your 60th anniversary and hear the tributes from the children and grandchildren.

    He was a wonderful life partner to Verna, and a great father. He has left a great legacy in the family that he and Verna created. He will be missed..

    With Love to you all,

    Lou and Barb.

  2. Fargo Charlie and family. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you grieve the loss of your father. Like my father, John, he was an example of goodness, dignity, and quiet strength.

  3. Florissant MO 63031I, and all the Ssiters in my community wish to extend our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Hanish and all of Robert’s family as you feel the loss of such a very special and loved person. Dr. Sydney Hanish, Maryilyn, Christian and Stefan are dear to us and we hold all of you in our hearts and prayers. We will have three special Masses said for the peace and repose of Mr. Hanish’s soul. May Jesus be with you all!
    The Contemplative Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Florissant, Missouri

    Charlie & Family: It’s obvious the influence Bob had on his son, Charlie, my manager at Merrill Lynch. Direct & to the point, capable & caring.

    Great attributes. Great men.

  5. Fargo N.D
    akMy prayers and sympathy are with you, Charlie and Kathy, as you grieve the dath of your father, whom I remember with great respect for all he did while at Shanley. And I remember both of you as students of whom I will always be proud for being such exceptional students. May god bless your father with great peace and may you find peace knowing that he has reached his final goal in life…his last touchdown!
    Prayerfully, Sister Petronilla

  6. West Fargo ND
    I worked with Bob from 1976 to 1989 when he retired. We had so much fun as co-workers.
    I just loved him it was like haviing my Dad at work. He was just a great man.
    I am sorry to hear of his passing.
    my thoughts and prayers are with you Verna and family.

    Marianne Johnson
    The Forum Circulation Dept

  7. Shawnee KSWe are so grateful for our connection to the Bob & Verna Hanish family, and will dearly miss Bob’s presence. With his zest for life, he was clearly a positive force in many lives, and leaves this world with a beautiful legacy of faith, hope and love.

  8. Orlando FloridaTo The Hanish Family
    Our prayers and condolences are with you. We thank God for your Father’s Life and we pray for strenght and peace for your family. May the Lord give you peace and comfort. We love you Fred, Lori, Ashlyn and Reagan. Please give our condolences to your family.
    The Fullers

  9. Spring Hill FLWe were so glad to have the visit with Bob last March and the wonderful converstion he & I had just before his death. He was like my brother. I will truly miss him calling me Sis.

  10. San Carlos, CA With fond memories and great appreciation for the positive impact Coach Hanish had on so many young lives. Semper Fi.

  11. Plymouth MICharlie…my old friend…it’s been so many years. I envy McShane his continued relationship with you and your family.
    But the last time I saw you, I also saw your dad. It was one of those earlier class reunions. While most of us were bragging up our young kids, he was kind of doing the same about his…he was very proud of you all (and was kinda grousing about not enough gandsons!). Today, my thoughts and prayers are only for you and your family. Larry

  12. Apache Junction AZ
    I am so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. I only knew him for a short time on a fishing trip at Mahkwa, but he made an impression on me like so many others. My condolences to Fred and the entire family.

  13. Saint Louis MissouriOn Thursday, October 28, we will celebrate a special Mass for Robert P. Hanish, recently deceased father of our long-time friend, Dr. Sidney Hanish, at The Chapel, Contemplative Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Florissant, Missouri. We offer our prayers for Robert Hanish and is family.

  14. Scarsdale NYI told Rose and John of their grandfather’s passing last night. Little John was sad because he would not be able to learn more about fishing…they both have fond memories of their trip to North Dakota
    . Rose made her own card using all she learned about passing in her CCD classes. Life has not ended but changed as we are taught to believe. We will miss you Bob but we will not forget our times together.

  15. sioux falls south dakotaDear Verna and family,
    One never knows when one reads a newspaper what they will discover. You are all in my thoughts and thus in my prayers. Love to each and everyone of you, Carol “Fitz”

  16. St. Louis MissouriTime passes too quickly, and distance can make visits sweeter. Both Christian and Stefan loved getting to know their grandfather Bob. They looked forward to their trips north to spending time on the lake with him swapping fish stories and learning a new trick or two on catching them. They watched in fascination as he cleaned them.
    I am grateful for these moments of sweetness. Of pure boyhood of grabbing a fishing rod and heading to the dock with grandpa. Of looking forward with great anticipation of how many they could catch no matter how big in an hour or two.
    They will miss these very special moments, but I know each boy has been touched deeply for having known him.
    With love and memories, Marilyn

  17. Orlando FloridaBob,
    Your legacy lives on in your grandchildren. We have fond memories of Mahkwa, summers at Charlie’s cabin and your visits to Orlando. You always had to catch the biggest fish! I remember the time you were visiting us and little Ashlyn was fishing in the pond with her Barbie rod and caught a big one. You must have quizzed her for an hour it seemed asking her what bait she used! We are thankful for all the times you and Verna came to Orlando to visit us. You made Grandparents Day extra special for them. We will always cherish your memory. You were gruff on the outside but we always knew you were a softy on the inside! Reagan and Ashlyn will always love and remember their Grandpa Bob…we’ll make sure of it! All our love and prayers.

  18. I am married to one of Bob’s granddaughters (Sue) and I got to know Grandpa Bob over recent years. I am very happy that Payton got to meet his Great Grandpa! My best memories of Bob were of him coming in from the lake after a long day of fishing. I will always remember the sports talks, especially football, we had at family gatherings. Even though I am a Vikings fan, I would have to admit, the Packers got the best fan they could ask for! I hope Bob enjoys his lifetime season tickets to Lambeau Field! I send my love to all of the Hanish Family!

  19. We will greatly miss Grandpa Bob. I am one of Charlie’s 5 daughters and were blessed to have been given the opportunity to grow up with near Grandpa and Grandma. We got so spend nearly all of our birthdays and holidays and Grandpa. Over the most recent summer I gave Grandpa a framed saying of the below, he kept it with him at Bethany:

    “When you have come to the edge of all the light you have known and step into the darkness, faith is knowing that one of the two will happen to you there will be something to stand on or you’ll be taught how to fly”

  20. Overland Park KSCharlie…my thoughts and prayers are with you, your mother and family. Living only a couple blocks apart, I spent a lot of time at your house. Weight room in the basement, basketball goal in both our driveways, baseball field at the fairgrounds outside Barnett Field…and the summer you swore you were gonna get me in shape…nice try bud, I did appreciate the effort.
    Your dad was so different at home from the “Coach” we were used to at Shanley. he was quite the man. I’m glad I got to see that side of him.

    God Bless
    John Landry

  21. Most people who knew Bob Hanish (Mr. Hanish to us) knew that he and my dad were very good friends. I still remember so vividly—it must have been around 1959, judging from what I recall of our living room couch—walking into our front hall and finding Dad and Mr. Hanish engaged in a lively and heated conversation. Their voices rose and fell, but mostly rose, and their topic was Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.” They both had just read it, and both had more to say about it than their busy lives allowed. Mr. Hanish was on his way out the door, and their conversation didn’t end, it just had to stop. But together they left me with a permanent belief in the absolute importance of ideas and of words. And of friendship.
    My heartfelt condolences to all of the Hanishes. Bob’s passing is, for this Cichy, the end of an era.
    —Mary Cichy Grady

  22. Watertown SDSorry to hear of the passing of Robert. Our prayers and warm wishes are with your families at this time.

  23. Grand Forks ND
    Charlie, Thinking of you and your family with love and caring thoughts ~ your Dad will be missed by many!

  24. Plymouth Minnesota
    “Uncle Bob” Hanish was a great line coach. He knew just how to prepare us for games and practice, he knew just what to say to inspire us, he cared for all of us and we knew it. It was an honor to play for him at Shanley and an even greater honor to have the privilege to call him “Coach” ! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Sincerely, Leo Collins and Family

  25. FairFax VirginiaTo Bob “Trapper” Hanish and to his family.
    He was a great coach and taught me so much about the game of football.
    i will always be grateful for the gift and the wisdom he gave me.
    Sincerely, Thomas B. Greving/Shanley class of 1971

  26. Our thoughts and prayers go to Fred, Lori, Reagan and Ashlyn. Safe travels and know we will be thinking of you. We love you! The Mealeys

  27. Orlando FloridaTo Fred, Lori, & family,
    We are so sorry to hear of your father,s passing. What a great dad and I am sure that you have so many great memories. We will keep you in our prayers.
    Patti & Alan Dowling

  28. fargo n.dakcharlie hanish-can you just see in heaven your and vince talking packer football and him and sid cichy planning their next duckhunt GOD BLESS HIS MEMORY

  29. Spring Park, Minnesota
    To my dear friends – The Hanish Family.MY friendship with the Hanish Family started 50 years ago when Charlie and I met in the 7th Grade on the football field. Two years later at Fargo Shanley I met Bob, who became my line coach. After high school, he too, became a life long friend of mine. Whenever I got back to Fargo, I would see my folks, my siblings and the Hanishes. Often Bob and Verna would be around. WE had kind of an unwritten code that we were both soldiers. I’ll miss those chats when I used to see him. I was fortunate to see him at Bethany with Charlie shortly before his venture to Heaven. I’ll miss him as we all will. Not many like the “Man Who Walked Like A Bear”.

  30. Scottsdale AZ
    Dear Charlie and family,

    Our prayers are with you and yours.
    Denny, Lawrence, and Ann now have
    good company in heaven!

    They are all probably enjoying Grandma Kozeys fried chicken and some Perogi –
    and lots of good chuckles and wonderful memories – as we have of them.

    Our thoughts are with you – –
    Karyl, Ben, Max, Rocky, and Winn
    Hanish (Family of Dennis Hanish).

  31. I’ll miss you dearly Gramps!! You and grandma were a second set of parents for me growing up. Holidays, sporting events, graduations, sunday night dinners… I was lucky to have you there and the opportunity to know you so well.
    I hope you find peace and love in heaven and watch over us in our daily lives that we might meet again someday.
    I hope they have lots of fishing, Green Bay Packer games, snickers, and apple pie in heaven.
    I love you Grandpa Bob!!!


    “Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free I took His hand when I heard him call I turned my back and left it all. If my parting has left a void then fill it with remembered joy. My life’s been full, I savored much good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss ah yes, these things, I too, will miss. Perhaps my time seemed all too brief don’t lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your hearts and share with me God wanted me now, He set me free.”

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