Life Tribute – John Hansen  

John Hansen  

Dec 19, 1926 – Feb. 18, 2020


John Hansen died peacefully at home Feb. 18 at the age of 93 in Bend, Oregon.

He was born and grew up on Prospect Avenue in Susanville and was the only child of his parents Otto and Katrine Hansen, immigrants from Denmark.

He graduated from Lassen Union High School in 1945. His dad Otto worked for years at the high school as custodian.

John enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1945 and became part of the occupation forces in Japan. He then earned a BS in mathematics at Chico State. Upon graduating he joined the Air Force and it sent him to the University of Washington for a degree in meteorology.

There he met his future wife, Carole Wilson. They married in Seattle, Washington in 1953.

After graduation the Air Force sent them to Paris, France. Then they were stationed all over the U.S: Washington, Texas (earning a master’s degree at Texas A & M), Hawaii and Virginia.

John spent a year in Pleiku, Vietnam. The final move was to Maryland, where he served at Bolling Field and the Navy Yard. He retired as a Lt. Colonel.

John and Carole wanted to return to the West Coast to retire and decided the (then!) small town of Bend, Oregon suited them. They rented while John designed and built their two-story cedar log home. They have lived in Bend since 1974.

He worked hard at maintaining their six-acre property — he could fix anything. His son Gary says the most lasting thing he learned from his dad was his work ethic. “Work hard and do better than a ‘good job’ always.” John was a thrifty man, but we never wanted for anything.

John was an avid reader who always wore red socks. He loved the family’s many dogs and cats. He built a Strojnik motor glider which he spent many enjoyable years flying out of the local airport.

John’s main job the last few years was using his cane from his recliner, to open the sliding door (very frequently) to let the cats in and out.

John is predeceased by his parents, his youngest son Dean and two great-grandchildren. He is survived by his wife Carole (Wilson), his daughter Karen, of Portland, and his sons Gary (Sue) of Bend, and Eric (Judi) in California, as well as three granddaughters and five great-grandchildren.

John’s interment, with military honors, and a family gathering to celebrate his life, will take place at a later date.

A longer, more detailed obituary can be found at

Remembrances may be made to St Charles Hospice, Bend, who were magnificent.