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Ralph E. Hanson Fund
By Jean Cohoon / December 31, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...
Ralph Hanson first became involved with Linden Place in 1988 when a group of concerned citizens joined forces to prevent the historic Federal style mansion in the heart of Bristol from being turned into condominiums. The following year, the group formed the nonprofit Friends of Linden Place and purchased the mansion.

Ralph served the Friends as a docent, a member and officer of the board of directors, and on various committees. As treasurer of the board, he was a driving force behind the organization's transfer of its endowment to the Foundation in 2003.

Now, through a charitable gift annuity, Ralph, who died in September 2013, is further providing for the “crown jewel” of Bristol: the Friends of Linden Place will receive gifts in perpetuity from this fund. The goal, he explained to the Foundation in a 2005 interview, was not only to further support the Friends, but also "to lead by example," encouraging others to remember Linden Place in their estate plans.

Born in Stoughton, MA, Ralph enlisted in the Navy just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and served with the Hedron Fleet Air Wing 12 out of Key West, FL. After the war, he enrolled at Babson College. While a student, he met his future wife, Lillian, on a blind date.

Ralph graduated from Babson in 1949 with a degree in business. The couple married the following year, with Lillian working for New England Telephone and Ralph beginning a 36-year career with Nabisco. Working initially in territory sales in Plymouth, MA, he later became an account manager for the Rhode Island region.

The family - which had grown to include four children - moved to Bristol in 1957. The children all attended and graduated from the Bristol public schools. Today, Elizabeth and Mark live in Massachusetts and Jeffrey lives in Rhode Island.

Lillian died in 1992, and a daughter, Barbara, also predeceased him. In addition to his support of Linden Place, Ralph was active in the community through Rotary and as chairman of the scholarship fund at Babson College. His survivors also include his longtime partner Connie Stanley.
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