Richard Bert Hansen (1930 - 2016)

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December 8, 1930 – June 20, 2016

Richard Bert Hansen was born in Cordova, Alaska on December 8, 1930 to Grace and William Hansen. He passed away Monday June 20, 2016 in Palm Springs, CA.

Richard grew up in Cordova and Juneau, Alaska. He grew up loving sports, particularly basketball. His Juneau High School basketball team won the state championship in 1950. In his 20s, his city league basketball team won the Gold Medal Championship and he was named MVP. After serving in the Marines during the Korean Conflict he returned to Douglas and married Patricia Ann Balog on April 30, 1955.

He and his young family headed to college in Bellingham where he earned a teaching degree from Western Washington University. Later he earned a Master's degree from Penn State University. During his career in education, he was a teacher, vice principal, and principal in Petersburg, Sitka and Wrangell. He coached basketball, cross country, track and baseball. He served as President of the Alaska School Activities Association. Many in Sitka learned to drive with him as the Driver's Ed teacher. After retiring from education, he worked for the Sealaska Corp. Some of his other jobs included fisherman, logger, fishing lodge handyman. For the past 25 years he enjoyed playing golf and traveling between Alaska and Palm Springs, California.

Richard is survived by his wife Patricia Ann (Balog) Hansen and his children: daughter Cathie (Jim) Strickland, grandchildren Jason and Tricia (Michael) (great granddaughters Ally, Emma); daughter Cindy (Jon) McGraw, grandsons Jon, Mitchell, Joshua (great grandchildren Hunter, Faith, Rowen, Joshua Jr., Maile; son Richard B Hansen Jr. (Leslie), grandsons Adam (Tiffani), Kristofer (great grandsons Beckett, Maddox, Paxton); son John Hansen (Erin), grandchildren Renee, Kyle, Jeannette, Kory (Lindy), Haley, Lee (great grandchildren Grace, Rita, Landon, Sawyer, Jonah, Alyssa, Jacob, Natilie, Amelia, Phinely); son Ron Hansen (Cindy), grandchildren Destry (John), Casey, Ronnie, Annie, Donna, Sam; and daughter Christie (Terry) Howard, granddaughters Amanda and Maddy. Richard was one of 12 children with two surviving sisters Mae (Hansen) Lange, and Gertrude (Treffers) Whitely and many nieces and nephews.

In so many ways Richard was a champion to so many kids: basketball, track, cross country, Little League and Junior Babe Ruth baseball. He had a great zest for life and always had a smile for anyone he met. If you asked him what his best accomplishments were, he would always say he was so proud of his children and grandchildren and he had a deep and abiding love for his wife Patricia. He was truly a good husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.

In lieu of flowers consider a donation to the Richard "Itchy" Hansen Scholarship Fund. This scholarship will benefit young Sitka athletes. Donation can be made at the Wells Fargo Bank, 300 Lincoln Street Sitka, Alaska. Account number 1574040554.

A Military service will take place at 2 o'clock pm on Friday, July 15, 2016 at the Sitka National Cemetery, 803 Sawmill Creek Road Sitka, Alaska. Following the service, there will be a celebration of life reception at the Sea Mountain Golf Course, 301 Granite Creek Road from 3 to 6 pm.
Published in The Juneau Empire from June 29 to July 29, 2016
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