Former Wheaton area dairy farmer Donald LeRoy Hansen lost his battle with Parkinsons disease Friday evening. Funeral services will be held Thursday, September 26th at 10:30 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Morris Mn. Wednesday night visitation will be 5 to 7 at Pedersen Funeral Home, South highway 9 in Morris. Don lived 10 months of 2018 at West Wind Village and the following 10 months at Courage Cottage. Pallbearers will be his special friends Steve and Lowell, 2 godsons and 2 nephews.
Don was born January 9, 1935 in Cottonwood County, Minnesota. Parents Jens and Edna (Shepherd) Hansen raised 5 boys. His sister Jean is 9 years younger than Don. Family was baptized when Don was 13. His schooling was in various country schools until town school at Heron Lake became the only choice. His dad died the summer following his junior year . After graduation in 1953 he farmed with his mother and brother while encouraging his grade school age sister.
In December 1957 he was drafted into Army and reported for duty the day after Hansens finished picking corn. Basic training was at Fort Lewis Washington before he was sent to Stuttgaard, Germany. His assignments were bridge-building and motorpool mechanic. He enjoyed representing his military base as player on traveling football team. After discharge in September 1959 he returned to family farm . His recreation specialties were bowling, fox hunting and playing softball with DesMoines River Rats of Westbrook. Neighbors greatly rejoiced when Don returned home to willingly overhaul their farm equipment. His shop was a tool shed with work space under the big cottonwood tree.
December 6, 1963, he married Anne Marie Bauman at St. Paul’s Lutheran at Campbell. They began farming in 1965 when Milton Cole helped them rent Fritz Skjonsby’s farm in Monson Township Alvin Vollmers family became friends and farm support. The couple purchased the John and Bianca Duffing farm in Redpath Township. They milked cows for 25 years as well as did other animal production.
Carpentry and modifying most anything to improve his farm operation were Don’s special talents. An especially satisfying accomplishment was building a shop from materials salvaged from grainary that had been built by Dave Neuman using square nails. Major land improvement was finding and developing a dependable good producing well by drilling deeply on South side of creek and through 15 feet of bedrock. Sandpoint wells were standard water supply when land is between two water systems—Twelve Mile Creek and Mustinka River.
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod involvement included various congregation offices as well as Lutheran Laymens league and Orphan Grain Train. He taught Sunday School and Junior High Bible class for 25 years. Dairy associations and his daughters’ school events were his other interests. When Hansen girls graduated from Campbell-Tintah school, Don and Anne became licensed foster care providers for Traverse County and for Lutheran Social Services. Thirteen young people lived with Hansen's for various lengths of time during the next 10 years.
Hamanns rented Hansen land when Don and Anne moved to Morris in 1997. Rental housing management at Crystal Lake and Greenbriar were their profession for 15 years. Don also helped maintain greens at Pomme de Terre golf course for a few years. He began delivering flowers for Sweet Lilies shortly after the business opened. Don and other men from Zion spent lots of time baling cardboard at Morris Salvation Army. Don was especially dedicated to Meals on Wheels service. He delivered to East side every Monday and Anne continues that commitment.
Don died on Friday, September 20, 2019 at the Courage Cottage in Morris, Minnesota. He was 84 years old.
Don is survived by wife Anne of Morris, his St. Paul MN daughter Christi and husband Mike Schneider with his 3 young adults and daughter Clare of Wahpeton, ND. Other family members are his sister Jean Pyles of West Virginia, and two sisters-in-law in Minnesota; and several nieces and nephews. Two of his children, baby John and 34 year old daughter Jan (2004) preceded him in death; as did his parents, his 4 brothers, 2 sisters-in-law and 1 brother-in-law; 1 niece and 2 nephews.
Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of arrangements for Don.