Edwin Houtwed Hansen (1927 - 2016)

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A memorial service for Edwin H. Hansen, 89, of Sparta Wisc., was held on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA), 612 N Water St, Sparta, Wisc., with Rev. Mark Kvale officiating.  His cremains will be buried at a later date in Audubon. Coulee Region Cremation Group of Onalaska, WI, assisted the family.
Edwin Houtwed Hansen, 89, of Sparta, Wisc., died on Sept. 22, 2016  at Haven House, Rolling Hills.  He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Sparta, Wisconsin.
Edwin was born on Aug. 3, 1927 to Alfred and Jencena (Houtwed) Hansen who farmed near Ruskin, Neb.  He was the youngest of eight children and was baptized and confirmed at Bethany Lutheran Church.  He studied history at Dana College in Blair, Neb., and earned his M.Div. at Northwestern Seminary in Minneapolis, Minn., with ordination in June 1957.  On Feb. 4, 1957, Edwin married (Martha) Eleanor Andersen of Audubon, at Saint Paul's Lutheran Church, Lynwood, Calif.  Ed and Eleanor established their first home in Swan River, Manitoba and were blessed with four children, Gloria, Andrea, Gregory and Bradley. 
With Eleanor as a partner in life and ministry, Edwin faithfully served God in rural churches in Minnesota, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Nebraska and Pennsylvania as a Lutheran pastor (ELCA). He loved theological study, youth ministry, attending the sick and dying, and being a gentle presence for people and families in crisis. He treasured the hymns, prayers and liturgy of the Lutheran church.  He respected the faith journeys of each individual, practiced servant leadership, and embraced both the pain and the joy of living in faith and community. After leaving the parish ministry in 1975, Edwin worked as a public servant for the state of Pennsylvania. 
Upon retirement, the couple moved to Audubon, to enjoy family and friends, and re-establish their credentials as Danish-Americans.  In 2001, on Eleanor's 80th birthday, Ed drove a moving van to Sparta, Wisc., where they enjoyed their new home and made many friends.  They delighted in their grand-parenting role and enthusiastically shared the beauty of Wisconsin with the family and friends who visited.  
Edwin is survived by his wife, Eleanor, and their four children - Gloria (Stephen) Hague of Baltimore, Md.; Andrea Hansen (Curtis Miller) of Sparta, Wisc.; Gregory (Betsy) Hansen of Jonesboro, Ark.; and Bradley Hansen of Glenwood.  He is survived by five grandchildren – Julian, Marcus and Lucas Hague, and Chloe (Mack Dunn) and Sara Hansen.   He is remembered by his many nieces and nephews who tell stories of their young "Uncle Eddie" who loved water fights, California, hitch-hiking, horses, and horsing-around. His "in-law" nieces and nephews share many fond memories of visits and first adventures with Edwin.
Edwin was the last surviving child of his large family.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings and their spouses: sister Martha (Arnold) McIntosh and brothers Arnold (Lydia), Enos (Ruth), Harold (Hildegard), Harlan, David (Lillian) and Glen.  
The family is grateful to family and friends, and extends heartfelt appreciation for the compassionate care given by the staff of Haven House at Rolling Hills and the Hospice Program at Mayo.
Memorial gifts are preferred, given to Trinity Lutheran Church or your local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. 
Funeral Home
Coulee Region Cremation Group
133 Mason St
Onalaska, WI 54650
(608) 788-2188
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Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7, 2016