Welland Andrew Hansen, 86, of Blackfoot, passed away peacefully 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 2 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 he whom 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 Sept. 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, Ariz., 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, Ariz., 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, Md., Zane (Janae) Hansen of Moreland, Heidi Hansen of Atlanta, Ga., Natalie (Earl) Seely of Bountiful, Utah, and Michelle (Dwight) Hunsaker of Parker, Colo.; 11 grandchildren; and eight 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 at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 30, at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 S. Shilling Ave. in Blackfoot. The family will meet with friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and for one hour Saturday prior to the service at the funeral home. Interment will be in Riverside-Thomas Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family at condo lences@hawkerfuneral home.com.