John K. won numerous awards for professional, civic, and fraternal activities including selection as Iowa Small Businessman of the Year in 1965. In 1983, he was inducted into the RV Hall of Fame and the Iowa Business Hall of Fame. The following year, 1984, he was named to the Babson College Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs and received the People of Vision Award from the Iowa Society to Prevent Blindness. Hanson was also honored as a native son of Norway by the King of Norway on June 23, 1984, at the opening of the “Promise of America” exhibit which was held at the Sonja Henie Museum and Nels Onstad Art Center in Oslo, Norway.
In recognition of his contributions to the long-term growth and prosperity of the RV industry, Hanson received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association in 1988. In 1990, he was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame in Minot, North Dakota. In 1995, Hanson was honored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) as an industry pioneer during their annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In 1995, Hanson also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Waldorf College, Forest City, for a lifetime of achievement in business and for service to the college, the church, the community, the nation and the world. Also that year, the city of Mason City honored him with the 1st Annual Meredith Wilson Humanitarian Award.
Some of the awards he was most proud of include earning the Eagle Scout Award from Boys Scouts of America (1929) and receiving the Boy Scouts top honor in business: the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (1975). The award honors those who exemplify the ideas and principles of scouting through a business career. John K. remained involved and supportive of the Boy Scouts, participating in many Eagle Scout presentations throughout the north Iowa area.