Cover photo for Lowell Thomas Hanshaw's Obituary
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1931 Lowell 2021

Lowell Thomas Hanshaw

December 19, 1931 — April 28, 2021

Lowell Thomas Hanshaw, age 89 of L'Anse, MI passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at Canal View in Hancock, MI with family by his side.

Lowell was born December 19, 1931, in L'Anse, son of Lee Ander and Martha Elizabeth (Kinnunen) Hanshaw. He graduated from L'Anse High School in 1949. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Germany as a cook. While there he enjoyed downhill skiing as much as possible in his free time. Upon returning from the service Lowell lived in Chicago where he figure skated in his leisure time. He was spotted by a talent scout and was encouraged to turn pro and travel. He was unable to pursue that dream because he had to return to L'Anse and care for his mother. In the summer of 1963, he met Barbara Johnson at Tony’s Steakhouse and realized he made the right choice in moving back to L’Anse. On September 26, 1964, he and Barbara were married at the United Lutheran Church in L'Anse.

Lowell worked for 39 years as a butcher and meat manager for Super Quality and then Fraki's Market, retiring in 1994. He was a member of the L'Anse United Methodist Church, the American Legion Post 144, the Masons, the Order of Eastern Star, and was a founding member of the Baraga County Historical Society. He was the Grand Soloist for the Barton-Hayes Grand Family, Order of Eastern Star of Michigan. He was Past Master of the Masons L’Anse Lodge #547. He was Worthy Patron of Maplewood Chapter 511 OES for many years. Lowell was a member of his church choir, leaving Barbara as a "choir widow” every Sunday. He also sang with a local group, the Lightkeepers, for 20 years. The Lightkeepers were Harlan Tollefson, Garry Tollefson, Leslie Elmblad, and then Garland Davis who stepped in after Garry’s passing in 2008. They were accompanied by Delores McMullin and Bertha Hommer on piano. Over their years together, the Lightkeepers recorded two studio albums. For over 60 years Lowell sang as a soloist for funerals, weddings, banquets, and wherever there was a need. His mother once told Barbara that he was singing before he could talk. Lowell was often referred to as the "Baraga County Caruso."

Lowell’s hobbies included going to Copper Country estate sales and weekend auctions, refinishing furniture, flower gardening, cooking, barbecuing, and all things music. He enjoyed spending time with his kids and grand kids.

Surviving are his wife Barbara Hanshaw of L'Anse; son David (Meg) Hanshaw of South Range, MI; daughter Amy (Firas) Sakkijha of Greensboro, NC; grandchildren, Jinna and Zaid Sakkijha, Lilia Hanshaw; sisters, Sharon Ferris of Milwaukee, WI, Barbara Funk of Menasha, WI; brothers-in-law Robert (Cheryl) Johnson of Holland, MI, Ray (Elaine) Johnson of Holland, MI, Bill (Lori) Johnson of L'Anse; and sister-in-law Jean Smith of L'Anse; and many nieces and nephews.

"Well done, my good and faithful servant" Mathew 25:23. Preceding him in death are his parents, Lee and Martha; brother Curt Hanshaw; sisters, Lillian Johnsen, Betty Braun, and Donna Alatalo Breno.

A graveside service with prayers by Rev. John Henry and military rites conducted by the Baraga County Area Veterans will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. in the L'Anse Evergreen Cemetery. Jacobson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bay Ambulance of Baraga County, the L’Anse Police Department, or the L’Anse Fire Department.

Friends may sign Lowell's guest book or send condolences at .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lowell Thomas Hanshaw, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, June 5, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

L'Anse Evergreen Cemetery

US Highway 41, L'Anse, MI

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