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Leora K. Hansen


1942 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Leora K. Hansen Obituary
Leora K. Hansen, 75, of Blackfoot, Idaho, passed away Friday, March 23, 2018, at Bingham Memorial Hospital. She was born December 19, 1942, in Abeline, Kansas, the daughter of Harold Vinson and Vera Leora Cade Rider. At the age of 11, she moved from Abilene to Kearney, Nebraska, where she graduated high school in 1961 and then earned her Bachelor's degree at Kearney State Teachers College.
In June 1967, Leora married her husband of 50 years, Lary Hansen. Their marriage was filled with many blessings, including a loving and beautiful daughter.
In search of adventure, Leora and Lary moved from Kearney to Blackfoot, Idaho, 37 days after being wed, where Leora had accepted a position in the Blackfoot School District and spent 37 of her 38 years in education coaching competitive forensics. During her career, Leora was a pioneer in the development of Idaho Speech Arts, received several awards and commendations for her service and contributions and was inducted into the Idaho High Schools Activities Association Hall of Fame and the Idaho Speech Arts Teacher's Association Hall of Fame. She also represented the speech committee for Section 8 in the National Federation of State High School Associations and retired as a National Forensic League five-diamond coach. She was a brilliant teacher and a positive, sustaining and vibrant presence in the lives of her students.
Her students won numerous Idaho State Champion Awards. She routinely dominated awards assemblies at major tournaments, and was, without dispute the most successful competitive speech and Lincoln-Douglas coach in the state.
In addition to the valuable skills Leora taught her students, her students remember the life skills. She taught them to win with grace and lose with dignity. She taught them the value of punctuality, diplomacy, kindness, and team spirit. A woman of amazing composure she modeled a grace and elegance seldom seen in today's society. Her students admired and imitated her exquisite style.
Her fellow speech and debate coaches remember her calm, confident and composed presentation. She gently shared her wisdom and mentored dozens of new coaches. She was recognized by her unimpeachable ethics, and claimed many positions of high trust. Her coaches recall her kindness, wisdom and sophistication that has never been duplicated. For her investments in the development of speech and debate in every Idaho school program she was awarded the Dick Flieshman Award for Service to Idaho Students. Presented to her by the Idaho High School Activities Association, she is one of only two forensic coaches to hold this award given almost exclusively to athletic coaches.
She loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting, camping, fishing and gardening, as well as collecting antiques. She and her family spent every Mother's Day at Yellowstone National Park. While camping, she loved Dutch oven cooking over the fire. She often visited her daughter in Wisconsin where she enjoyed attending Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers games and spending time in Door County in the fall.
Leora will be dearly missed by her husband, Lary, of Blackfoot, her daughter, Jennifer (Ryan) Moench, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and many loving relatives, friends, former colleagues and former students.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Cindy Smith.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at the Hawker Funeral Home, 132 South Shilling Avenue, Blackfoot. A visitation will be held at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.hawkerfuneralhome.com In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Yellowstone Forever, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Yellowstone National Park.
Published in The Morning News on Mar. 28, 2018
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