The memories of those who have passed
Walter Eugene Hansen, Sr. died peacefully at home in Woodland, WA on Feb. 12, 2016, surrounded by family. His death was attributed to congestive heart failure. Hansen was born May 15th, 1929, in Woodland to August and Esther Hansen. Hansen's grandparents, Peter and Augusta Hansen, acquired a 100-acre farm in the Hayes area of Clark County in 1897, raising dairy cattle. The farm was later run by Hansen's father, August. Walter Hansen, Sr. owned and lived on the farm at the time of his death.
Hansen attended Green Mountain School before graduating from Woodland High School in 1947. He worked for Sears Roebuck in California and in Oregon for six years, then began a long career in the insurance business. At one time having over 300 agents working for him covering five states. He continued in the insurance business until December 2014. In 1987, he and his son Walter Jr. "Jay" established North Fork Motors in Woodland. They were partners for 25 years until Walter Jr. purchased the business in 2011.
Hansen at one time had 30 classic cars tucked away in garages. At the time of his death, he still had six, including a 1928 Ford Model A roadster that has been seen in many Planters Day parades.
Hansen was active in Woodland and the surrounding areas for many years. He started a scrap metal drive during World War II at the age of 12 to support the war efforts and hauled in over 30 tons of steel. He served on the Planter's Day committee over 60 years, and managed the annual frog jump for 47 years running. Walter and his late wife, Donna, established the original Woodland Cub Scout Pack 531 and were leaders from 1963-1978.
Hansen was a noted historian and was the "go to guy" for local history questions. He lobbied for and got historical recognition and markers for the Cedar Creek Grist mill, the Woodland Lilac Gardens, the Finn Haul Memorial and the flag pole and gazebo (which he built himself with local scouts) at Horseshoe Lake Park.
Hansen chaired the Bicentennial Committee for the Woodland area in 1976 and served on both the state centennial committee in 1989 and the Woodland Centennial committee in 2006. He ran unsuccessfully for the Woodland School board. He was elected multiple times to the Hayes Cemetery district, which he served until his death. Hansen was Woodland's "Citizen of the Year" in 2013.
Hansen was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Donna, in 2010; grandson, Ivan Bailey; sister, Donna Hansen; brother, Robert Hansen; and his parents.
Survivors include sisters, Marie Haynes of Battle Ground, WA and Hilda Wiggins-Halsey of Oregon; brother, Frank Hansen of College Place, WA; sons, Larry (Kathy) Hansen of Idaho, Monty (Shelly) Hansen of Vancouver, WA, Martin (Rhonda) Hansen of Edgewood, WA, Bradley (Lan) Hansen of Vancouver, WA, Walter (Teresa) Hansen, Jr. of Woodland, WA; daughters, Lindsey Cunrow of Mill Creek, Gena (Jim) Hansen-Bailey of Vancouver, WA, Lori (Burle) Hansen-Sargent of Woodland, WA; 18 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and an aunt he was very fond of, Gladys Burrill.
Services will be held Saturday, February 20th, 2 p.m. in Woodland at the Promise Church, 101 Hillshire Dr., with burial following at the Hayes Cemetery. Those attending are invited back to the Promise Church for food and reminiscing.
The Woodland Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.