Helen S. HANSEL

Obituary
  • "I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Your mother was quite..."
    - Joanna Commander
  • "Anne, Greg, Ben, Jasper, Marco and the entire Hansel Family..."
    - Kim Cole and kids
  • "Of course our families have always been close but I didn't..."
    - Amber Haslup (McPherson)
  • "May her memory be eternal, she was loved by many."
    - Geo & Louise Diakoumis
  • "I met Judge Hansel after she took the bench; she was a..."
    - Ken Swearingen

HANSEL, Helen S. retired Circuit Judge, 91, died peacefully on Dec. 10, 2013, at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, with her three sons and niece Irene and daughter-in-law Dana at her side. Helen Stephens Hansel, daughter of Greek immigrants Stephen G. Stephens and Irene Atrizos Stephens, was born Jan. 4, 1922, at the family home in Brooklyn, NY. When she started school she spoke only Greek. After graduating from Washington Irving High School in Manhattan at age 16, she majored in Mathematics at Adelphi College in Garden City, NY, and was a member of the Glee Club and the Phi Mu sorority. In World War II, she served her country as a junior engineer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, where she met her future husband, Paul G. Hansel. She pursued further studies in nuclear physics and optics at the University of Kansas and Princeton University. Settling in Long Island, NY, the couple had three sons. She served as President of the League of Women Voters in the area and was elected to the School Board of the North Shore School District in Glen Head. In 1962, she and her family moved to St. Petersburg, where she was elected President of the St. Petersburg Chapter of the League of Women Voters. Once her sons were all in school, she enrolled at Stetson University College of Law, where she founded the first co-educational legal fraternity and earned her J.D. in 1968. After practicing with the St. Petersburg law firm of Roney, Ulmer, Woodworth & Jacobs, she established her own law office in downtown St. Petersburg. In her community, she served as Chairman of the Board of Gulf Coast Legal Services; President of the Parish Council of St. Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church; and a member of the St. Petersburg Civil Service Board. In 1976, she ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, winning the endorsements of the Miami Herald and other newspapers and 21% of the statewide primary vote. She found her true professional calling as a judge. In 1982, she was first elected Circuit Judge in Florida's Sixth Judicial Circuit for Pinellas and Pasco Counties. She was re-elected in 1988 and completed her second six-year term before becoming a Senior Circuit Judge in 1995. She continued to serve on the bench in that capacity, presiding over her last jury trial at age 85 and retiring one year later. She was Secretary of the National Conference of State Trial Judges and was active in the National Association of Women Judges, The Florida Bar, and the St. Petersburg and American Bar Associations. She was predeceased by her parents; her husband of 57 years, Paul G. Hansel; and her sister, Cleopatra Canaris; daughter-in-law, Miriam D. Hansel (mother of Derek, Andrew, and Paula). She is survived by her sons, Stephen A. Hansel and daughter-in-law, Dana M. Hansel of St. Petersburg and New Orleans, LA, James C. Hansel and daughter-in-law, Anastasia S. Hansel of Old Greenwich, CT, and Gregory P. Hansel and daughter-in-law, Dr. Anne R. Rossi of Cape Elizabeth, ME; grandchildren, Derek Hansel, Andrew Hansel, Paula Hansel, Alexander Hansel and Nicholas Hansel and their mother Sarah H. Hansel, George Hansel, Helen V. Hansel, Paul J. Hansel, Benjamin Hansel, Jasper Hansel and Marco Hansel; eight great-grandchildren; nieces, Irene Canaris, Cleopatra Haakana, Marilyn White Whitmore; and nephews, Dean Canaris and David Paul Martinson; Among family, friends and colleagues, Judge Hansel was well-known for her dedication to family and friends, joie de vivre, warmth, generosity, fierce determination, adventurous spirit, love of travel, consumer advocacy, and encouragement and inspiration of women. There will be a gathering Thursday, Dec. 12th, from 6-8 pm, at Anderson McQueen Funeral Home, Tyrone 7820 38th Avenue N., St. Petersburg. The funeral will be Friday, Dec. 13th, 11 am, at St. Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church, 3600 76th St. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33710, with a luncheon to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made in memory of Helen S. Hansel to the League of Women Voters for the St. Petersburg Area, P.O. Box 11775, St. Petersburg, FL 33733-1775, www.lwvspa.org; or to St. Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church. Visit the family's personalized online Guestbook at www.andersonmcqueen.com.

Funeral Home
Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home
2201 Dr. MLK St. North St. Petersburg, FL 33704
(727) 822-2059
Funeral Home Details
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Dec. 12, 2013
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