Welland Andrew Hansen, 86, of Blackfoot, Idaho passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at Bingham Memorial Hospital
Welland "Rusty" was born July 27, 1926 in Newton, Utah, to Andrew Lester and Anna Kropfli Hansen. When he was two years old his parents purchased a farm and moved to Bancroft, Idaho. He grew up with his younger brother, Jim and Marguerite "Mig", an aunt four years older than him who he considered his sister. They were a close-knit family who shared the joys and struggles of farm life. He graduated from North Gem High School in 1944.
He enlisted in the Army
in September 1944, with service as an infantryman in the Pacific Theatre. He was wounded in combat on Okinawa where he received the purple heart
, bronze star
, and several other medals.
On September 9, 1946, he married Bobbie Lou Andersen in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple. They spent four years in Moscow, Idaho, where "Rusty" pursued his college education at the University of Idaho and Bobbie Lou worked to help support them. They returned to Bancroft to farm in the summers. He graduated in 1950 with a degree in Soils and Agronomy and after college they returned to the Bancroft area where they farmed for another 13 years.
In the spring of 1962 they made their home west of Rockford as they expanded their farming operation. During that time they enjoyed raising their five children and crops together. In their spare time they traveled and enjoyed their cabin at Island Park. They had a winter home in Wickenburg, Arizona for 20 years where they loved the climate, desert terrain and plants. They also enjoyed golfing together. At one time "Rusty" developed a small gold mine.
In 1998, they retired from farming and moved to Surprise, Arizona where "Rusty" worked for several years at a greenhouse. In the fall of 2005 "Rusty" and Bobbie moved back to Blackfoot to be closer to family.
"Rusty" was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many teaching callings and as ward finance chairman when the Blackfoot West and Northwest Stake Center were built.
Welland is survived by his five children, Nancy (Jack) Stark, of White Hall, Maryland, Zane (Janae) Hansen of Moreland, Heidi Hansen of Atlanta, Georgia, Natalie (Earl) Seely of Bountiful, Utah, and Michelle (Dwight) Hunsaker of Parker, Colorado; 11 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Marguerite Byington, his brother, James E. Hansen and his wife, Bobbie Lou.
A funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 30, 2013 at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 S. Shilling Ave., Blackfoot.
The family will meet with friends on Friday evening from 6-8 p.m. and for one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
Interment will be in the Riverside-Thomas Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org