Harry & Bryant Company

500 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC


Dana Joan Hanson

April 23, 1950May 12, 2020

Charlotte - With her constant smile and sweet spirit, Dana Joan Hanson gave more to the world than she took from it. Could there be a better legacy for a woman of grace who was taken before her time? Dana passed away May 12, 2020, two months after being diagnosed with cancer. She was 70.

Dana was born on April 23, 1950, in Hamilton, Ontario, the daughter of Daryl Wells, Sr. and Margaret Hanson. She graduated from Nightingale School of Nursing in her hometown of Toronto and made her way to Charlotte in 1975 when her then-husband, a doctor, took a job here. Dana worked for a time as a nurse but spent the heart of her career at the Charlotte campus of Pfeiffer University. After earning a B.S. degree in Healthcare Management and Master of Business Administration degree from Pfeiffer, she went to work there. Her last post before retiring in 2019 was Special Assistant to the Provost, helping with special projects.

Dana and her longtime partner, Dick Beatty, met through a mutual friend. Their first date was dinner at Primo Prime. They spent the next 18 years together, making up for what had been challenging times before their hearts became entwined. They were the best years of both their lives. Dick is 87. He always thought he’d go first.

Dana is survived by Dick Beatty; a sister, Barbara Swift, and her husband, Ned, of Ottawa; and nephew Cody Swift and niece Emele Kalinin and her husband, Cody, all of Ottawa.

A memorial service to celebrate Dana’s life is planned when such gatherings are possible. Father Frank O’Rourke, a family friend and retired priest at their parish, St. Gabriel Catholic Church, will officiate. Dana was always appreciated at St. Gabe for her willingness to pitch in where needed, including tidying up the church at Easter and Christmas.

Rather than flowers, a gift to honor Dana can be made to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org or to P.O.B. 42040, Oklahoma City, Okla. 73123.

The deepest gratitude goes to everyone at the Levine & Dickson Hospice House in Huntersville for making Dana’s final days comfortable.

Dana’s smile lit her way along life’s twists and turns. She loved to garden and tend to the birds in her backyard, especially the bluebirds. Their song goes on, but without Dana.


  • A Memorial Service to Celebrate Dana's Life is planned when such gatherings are possible.


Dana Joan Hanson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Harley Atkins

May 17, 2020

I was saddened to learn of Dana's death. Though I did not know her well, I felt connected to Dana through Dick Beatty. I've had a morning coffee regularly with Dick for several years and he has always had great things to say about Dana . Through Dick and from her obituary, I see that she was a woman of accomplishment and a sweet spirit. I am sure her passing will leave a huge gap in the hearts of those who knew and loved her. I thank God for her life and pray for God's blessings and comfort to those in grief whom she left behind.

Rob Atkins

Craig Biggar

May 17, 2020

Dana was my older cousin, so I’ve known her all my life. Our mothers were close sisters, who along with our Nana made a family of 3 since our maternal Grandfather passed away when our moms were teenagers.
Dana was the cool cousin with Beatles posters on her wall, when I was a dorky kid. She always had that megawatt smile and a sense of style and grace that was all her own. She was beautiful in her outward appearance and in her heart.
I was so proud of her and honoured to be a part of her life.
It’s hard to have her leave us so soon and so quickly. There was much more to do.
Love and deepest condolences to Dick, and sister Barb, and Ned , Cody and Emele .
Deepest thanks to those that cared for her these past months.
Sleep well cousin, see you later.
An angel just got her wings.

carol caudill

May 16, 2020

I met Dana eighteen years ago, and as time went by she became a very dear friend. Dana was more than just a good friend to me, she was a good person, too. She was a beautiful example of how to live a kind and caring life. Even when Dana was diagnosed with cancer, she was thinking of others and remained positive. When she went to the hospital the first time, she told me she was where she needed to be, and she didn't want Dick to have to watch her struggle. I will greatly miss our walks and talks, shopping trips, fun meals together, and her sweet smile. I was very blessed to have her as a friend. It just wasn't long enough.

MaryEllen Goldstein

May 16, 2020

Dana and I were friends for over 10 years. We met through work, became friends and then retirement buddies.

I never knew anyone who could plan and organize better than Dana, especially our golf tournament outings. She loved golf!

Dana was so caring and thoughtful. Every Christmas my twin grandchildren will hang Dana’s gifts of ornaments on their tree. Last year I asked my then 2 year old twins who gave them their ornaments and they said Mema’s friend Dana.

Dana was special and will be missed.

Kathleen Posey Whisnant

May 15, 2020

Dana was a shining star, that shown brighter than anyone I have ever known, because of her kindness and caring ways. Her smile always entered the room before she did. Dana was not only beautiful on the outside, but inside she possessed amazing grace, both in her demeanor and in her spirituality with the church, she loved.

Our friendship spanned over 47 yrs., beginning as single girls in our 20's. She was my only child's Godmother, who she loved dearly, from the moment he was born. We spent, with few exceptions, every holiday over the years and birthdays together, we were not only friends but family. I know that many others feel the same way about Dana, whether it's been only a few years knowing her or decades.

We shared so many wonderful memories together, and during all those years Dana never changed, even when she was faced with the worst news of all. I'll not speak of her illness here, nor how quickly she left us, instead I will say, her last gift to me was how her faith, and grace was all she needed, and all she had, because we could not be there. I will miss my friend deeply, and I count myself as one of the lucky ones who's lives she touched.

My husband Murray Whisnant and I, send our love and sympathies to her sister Barbara, and her husband Ned, and their children Cody and Emily.

Heather Kalinin

May 15, 2020

I am so glad that I was blessed to have met you, (although only for a little while) you made the room light up with your sweet smile and quick laughter.

Vernease Miller

May 15, 2020

Dana and I worked together for over 20 years at Pfeiffer University. We became dear friends and I will greatly miss her presence in my life. She was unofficial Godmother to my son, Keith. She showered him with encouraging cards always remembering his birthday and other special events in his life. We loved her and are grateful that she is now resting in peace.
My condolences are sent to Dick and Barbara and her beloved niece Emily and nephew Cody. God bless each of you.

Chase Rayfield

May 15, 2020

Dana was my godmother and an incredibly positive influence in my life. Her presence was that of kindness and understanding, she would never have an unkind word to say about anyone and always opted to look on the positive side of life. She enjoyed helping others and was able to make a career of it, helping countless people throughout her life as a nurse and later as an educator. Although she never had children of her own she was very nurturing and caring to myself and the other children she would encounter in her life; she would have made a wonderful mother. Dana is gone but not forgotten and will be missed by many.

Cathy McEniry

May 15, 2020

Cathy McEniry

May 15, 2020

Dana and I have been friends for 60 years. Our mothers were friends who knew each other before they knew their husbands. Although Dana and I went to different schools and usually lived in different towns, we spoke frequently, often daily and saw each other whenever possible. We never drifted apart.

Anyone who knew Dana would know her to be a perfectionist, capable of any challenge given to her. Throughout her many accomplishments, she remained a focused, patient, gentle woman. Her delicate influence on my life was inspirational.

Dana's devastating diagnosis coming at this difficult time when we couldn't be with her and hold her hand made this nightmare beyond dreadful. She took charge of her too little remaining time, made the tough decisions, smiled as long as she could and parted as gracefully as she lived.

I will miss her dearly, as will my husband, Amnon Waksman. We extend our sincere sympathies to Barbara, Dana's sister, her family and Dick, Dana's partner.


Learn more about the Hanson name