Hansen, John Thor
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81, of Phoenix, died peacefully at home on November 18. He was born to J. Leslie and Doris Hansen on December 9, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois. His family moved to Phoenix in 1945. John enrolled at Phoenix Union High School, where he graduated with the Fabulous 49ers. He then enrolled at Arizona State College, what is now ASU, where he was a member of the TKE fraternity. When John graduated in 1953, he received an Air Force ROTC commission, and was called to active duty shortly thereafter; he transferred immediately to Korea and was Commander of APO 709. After completing his tour of duty, he was assigned to Parks Air Force Base in Dublin, California, where he was in charge of the entire Pacific Far East Mail and Locator Services. Upon release from active duty, John joined his father in the real estate appraisal firm of J. Leslie Hansen & Son, where he set to work on his professional designations, including the Member Appraisal Institute (MAI) Designation. He was president of the Arizona Chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Appraisers in 1969. He joined Larry Burke and Jim Homan in 1970 to form Burke, Hansen & Homan, where he worked until his retirement in 1991. In 1990, John and Jim realized that the only time they saw each other was at funerals, so they initiated an annual Old-Timers Picnic for real estate professionals and friends. John was elected to the Phoenix Union High School District Board of Education in 1971 and served for 6 years. While serving on the Board, he proudly presented his two eldest daughters, Linda and Carol, their diplomas from West High School. Until recently, John was an active member of his cherished Rotary 100 Club. John enjoyed nonfiction, bird-watching, and Jeopardy! Over the past 7 years, he lived at Chris Ridge Senior Living, where he made many friends and enjoyed his duties as an emcee. To honor John, on October 30th Chris Ridge held its very first pre-memorial celebration, which was quite a success. John was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife Nina "Kelley" Hansen, and his sister Joy Pierce Golub Brown. He is survived by his brother M. Leslie Hansen (Madaline), his sister Joan Gorges (Al, deceased), his first wife Barbara Brandon, his eight children: Linda Hansen (Jim), Carol Hansen (Paul), Susan Hansen, John N. Hansen (Toni), Diana Mosher (Eric), Sonja Hansen (Todd), Lars Hansen (LaNita), and Michelle MacLennan (Shannon), fourteen grandchildren, his long-time business associate and friend Dora Simonson, and his devoted caregiver and loving companion Maria "Gigi" Salandanan. A memorial service celebrating John's life will be held at 1:00 pm on December 14 at Bethany Bible church in Phoenix. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:
, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix AZ 85014.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Dec. 8, 2013