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Obituaries » Richard Roy Hansen

Richard Roy Hansen

March 25, 1929 - September 13, 2015

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Richard Roy Hansen, 86, of Ankeny, Iowa passed away at the Madrid Home on September 13, 2015 after prolonged illness from pancreatic cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
A funeral mass will be held 1:00 p.m., Friday, September 18, 2015 at Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Church, in Ankeny, IA. A visitation will be held Thursday Sept. 17th, from 5 to 7:00 p.m., with a Rosary at 4:45, and prayer service at 7:00 p.m., also at the church.
Richard was born in Shelby, Iowa on March 25, 1929 to Roy Peter and Frieda Boettger Hansen. He graduated from Tennant High School and attended business school in Omaha, Nebraska.
At a dance in Burress, Nebraska, he won a bet between friends by successfully asking a pretty girl across the room to dance. He and his soul mate, Elizabeth Menke of Exeter, Nebraska, married in June 1949, and shared over fifty happy years together before Elizabeth’s death in 1999.
While living in Omaha, Richard helped his father on the farm and held an office position at Phillips Petroleum. After marrying and moving back to Iowa, he farmed ground in Shelby County, and later Crawford County. After leaving the Crawford County farm, he took a job as a foreman on a turkey and grain farm near Kirkman, IA. When the opportunity became available, he moved his family to central Iowa, and for 25 years, until his retirement, he was proud to be an employee of the Iowa State University Agronomy Department, working on research farms in Ankeny and Ames, Iowa. Despite sometimes holding two jobs, he always had time for his family. There are many fond memories of baseball games-he was a great pitcher, first bike riding lessons, tractor rides, drives into town for a hamburger-a rare treat, and Squeak tournaments-always with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
After retiring from the Iowa State research farm, Richard enjoyed life with his wife, children, and later, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was able to spend more time on his carpentry and woodworking hobbies, a passion he inherited from his father. His love for farming became an ambitious hobby, as he and his son meticulously restored several vintage 2-Cylinder John Deere tractors, which he and his family drove in Ankeny, Ames, and other local area parades for many years. He loved seeing the joy on children’s faces as he drove by, and was happy to show his tractors to other John Deere enthusiasts.
Richard had a great sense of humor, and loved to make his children and grandchildren laugh. He had a saying: when a long project was drawing to a close, and you remarked that this was finally the last step, he would say, with his famous smirk and a twinkle in his eye, “Well, why didn’t you start with that one?”

Richard is survived by his children; Sherri (John) Webb, Connie (William) Esker, Rick (Lisa) Hansen, and Cindy Hansen; Grandchildren, John Webb III, Robert Esker, Heather Webb, Elizabeth Hayslip, Christiane Petty , Ashley Alloway and April Hansen. Great-Grandchildren- Randy, Eric and Emily Webb, Liliana and Sydney Esker and Harley Bleu Hayslip, a sister, many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Frieda, an infant sister, Mary Ann, and his wife, Elizabeth.
Richard was very proud to be an Iowan, and his love for the land was apparent. After retirement, he often talked about how important farming was in feeding the world. Memorial funds will be established for a one-time agronomy student scholarship at Iowa State University in Richard’s name, the Bell Tower fund at OLIH church, and research for pancreatic cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Richard’s family would like to give a special “thank you” to Mary Jo Wickman, patient care manager at Wesley Life Hospice, and the care providers at Madrid Home.

Once you have lived on the land, been a partner with its moods, secrets, and seasons, you cannot leave. The living land remembers, touching you in unguarded moments, saying, “I am here. You are part of me.”
Ben Logan

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