In memory of
John David Hansen
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In memory of
John David Hansen
John David Hansen 1933 - 2017 John David Hansen (83) passed away of a heart attack on January 8, 2017, at Promontory Point Rehabilitation in Idaho Falls after a decline in health. John, who was born on March 1, 1933, in Idaho Falls, was the son of Farrel and Lily Hansen. He often described his upbringing by saying that he was just a farm kid from Osgood. And, as we have all learned, farm kids can grow up to be great too. In addition to his memories of piglets in straw-stuffed boxes near wood stoves, he grew up in a family-centered home. In 1954, he married Donna Mae Lebsock, with whom he had three children, Linda, Patricia, and Steve. After John and Donna divorced, he married his good friend Michele Landrieu Brown. John and Michele enjoyed many good times together golfing, rafting, skiing, traveling internationally. Family played a large role in their lives, and they spent time with various children and grandchildren soaking up the new generation's energies. John graduated from the University of Idaho with degrees in agricultural economics and law. He also attended one year of undergraduate school at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon, which encouraged his already outward looking view of the world. In 2010, John received the Distinguished Lawyer Award from the Idaho State Bar Association. John's son Steve recalls that his father loved people and had written in his memoir "I wanted to learn about the ordinary things, the everyday lives of people." As an attorney, if a client was unable to pay, John was perfectly satisfied to accept bartered lamb for the freezer or lines painted in a parking lot in return for his legal services. He understood life's difficulties and how they affected people. His love of people played a large part in bringing him to the practice of law, and ultimately into the arena of lawmaking in the Idaho State Senate. There his interests in both education and the environment constituted his major focus. During his 12 years in the Senate, he served as Chair of the Senate Education Committee, which was particularly important to him personally as it allowed him to be a positive influence for education in the state. The Idaho Falls Education Association presented him their prestigious "Friend of Education" award for his championing of education. During his years in the State Senate, John was thought of as collaborative, extending his hand across many different aisles to reach mutually beneficial solutions to the state's problems. He taught his children to love the land and followed this love into the hills, climbing, with his brothers, several mountains in the Americas. John remained a life-long student, reading extensively on many subjects. He was a founding member of the Idaho Falls Men's Book Club, which he continued to enjoy for several years. He was also a founding member of the Idaho Falls City Club. Astoundingly, he always did crossword puzzles in ink—a hard act to follow. Some of his more cynical friends thought he secretly solved the puzzles in pencil and then produced them on Sunday morning in ink! Either way, it was a real accomplishment. John was preceded in death by his sister Mary Freund and his brothers Farrel, Norman, and Reed. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Michele, his children Linda Hansen, Patricia Hansen, and Steve Hansen; his brother Orval Hansen (June); his sister-in-law Marilyn Hoff Hansen; and his step-children Roger Brown (Hilary), Camille Brown Cegnar (Randy), and David Brown. John 's grandchildren John, Elizabeth, Timothy, Grace, Titus, and Parker, will miss their Grandfather and remember him fondly, as will his great-grandson Johann and many nieces and nephews. In the best epitaph a person can have, his son Steve says: "When I grow up, I want to be like him." The family is particularly grateful to the staff at Promontory Point Rehabilitation for the loving care they provided to both John and his family during his final days there. A celebration of John's life will be held later in the spring. Condolences for the family may be sent to Wood Funeral Home at: wood@woodfuneralhome.com. The family suggests contributions to Eastern Idaho Technical College Foundation (1600 S. 25th East, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83404) in lieu of flowers.
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