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1919 - 2011 Obituary Condolences
Lawrence E. Hansen, age 91, a native pioneer of Skagit County, passed peacefully surrounded by his loving family at his side on May 3, 2011. He was born to Walter and Nellie Watkinson Hansen October 3, 1919 at Belfast, Washington.

His first schooling began in Belfast with a total school enrollment of 30. In March 1926, the family moved to Allen where he also attended school in a two-room school house. At his graduation in 1937 from Burlington High School he was very embarrassed to be called up, along with four girls, for a perfect attendance award.

Lawrence spent his early years in Belfast fishing Friday Creek. At the age of 5, his family moved to Allen. He rode on the wagon as their cattle were driven down the Sam Bell Road and then down the Allen West Road to their new farm. From there he fished the Samish River. Of course, being born with the fishing bug he eventually fished rivers and lakes from Alaska to British Columbia and Washington. His biggest fish was a 20 foot long shark that was caught on a hook that he talked the machinist on his sub chaser into making for him; a steak (bait) that he got from the ships cook; then used the ships winch and boom as a rod and reel.

He was working at the Carnation Plant in Mount Vernon when the war broke out. He joined the Navy as an apprentice seaman right after Pearl Harbor. He was a signalman on a sub chaser in the South Pacific. He earned enough money in the Navy playing poker to buy his beloved property on Bow Hill where his son Don and wife Mary currently live. He was discharged out of the Navy in January 1946.

After the war, he went back to work at the Carnation Plant and also took over the family farming operations at home. He also was a part-time milk truck driver for the Darigold Plant in Burlington for 14 can routes.

For most of his career, he hauled livestock from the local dairy farmers to the Marysville Livestock yard as well as the sale barn in Snohomish. He retired from that when he was 62.

He was always an entrepreneur and also did a lot of logging as well as becoming a real estate agent selling lots at the Samish River Park.

He loved to hunt as well as fish. He taught his children well, and thanks to him, we are passing the love of fishing, hunting, and love of the outdoors on to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He had his last deer hunt at the age of 87. We dropped him off in the woods, told him to shoot a buck and that we will go make camp and be back in about an hour. Upon our return he had a nice 2 point buck all dressed and ready for skinning. We could not have been happier or prouder of our dad. At the time he was with a son, grandson, great-grandson and a great-granddaughter.

He moved from the Allen West Road farm in 1967 to the Ershig Road and fulfilled a dream of living on the Samish River. He greatly enjoyed all the activities living on a river could bring. He watched the many species of birds that came to eat and drink; the mink and beaver; the salmon in the fall; and of course, steelhead and cutthroat fishing. He even had a visit by a four point buck. In the winter it became flood watch as the Samish surrounded the house and rushed by.

He was a self published author with his books, Samishgold Memoirs and Western Wildlife Wanderings. He also wrote articles for the Washington Fishing Holes and Salmon Trout Steelhead magazines.

Lawrence's parents instilled in him an intense lover of all nature. He truly was an outdoor enthusiast.

Lawrence was married to the "girl across the street" Bernice Aase Wahlgren for 55 years. She preceded him in death in 2006. He was also preceded by his brother, Floyd Hansen, and sisters, Vernice Brown and Margery Farnsworth-Swanson.

Lawrence is survived by sons, Burt (Linda) Wahlgren of Marysville, Don (Mary) Wahlgren of Bow, Marvin (Connie) Wahlgren of Bow, daughters, Colleen (Rick) Buckley of Maple Valley, Marlene (Doyle) McCalib of Burlington, his brother, Ronald (Angie) Hansen of Agassiz, BC, his sister, Mildred Stratton of Anacortes, sister-in-law, Ruth Sexton, brother-in-law, Walter Deming, and 15 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

The family extends heartfelt thank you to the staff at the Sedro-Woolley Life Care Center for their special care and concern during his time there.

A memorial service will be held at the Edison Lutheran Church, Saturday, May 21st, 2011 at 11:00 am. A potluck reception will follow.
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