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Robert Hansen

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Robert Quentin Hansen began his journey on earth on Dec. 16, 1925. He passed from this life on April 5, 2018 after a brief stay at Ava’s House in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Dad’s parents, Reuben and Effie Hansen, created a family southeast of Freeman, S.D. on Highway 81. Dad, an older brother, Ronald and a younger sister, Marilyn (Hansen) Andersen were links in their family circle. He attended a country school southeast of Freeman. Born to a farming family, Dad developed a love for the farm life. His time at home at a young age was spent outside with the animals and his parents Reuben and Effie Hansen. Farm life made an impression on him that lasted a lifetime. 

Dad attended Freeman High School where he met the love of his life, Vilma Wipf, one of the Seven Wipf girls. On June 16, 1946, Dad and Mom were married and created the team of “Robert and Vilma.”  They embarked on a life together, claiming their stake in the world. After a brief job experience at Morrell’s in Sioux Falls, they returned to their love of farming and worked shoulder to shoulder planting and harvesting field crops, breeding cows, chickens, pigs, sheep … this was the life they chose to spend together. With horses, they started the hard work of farming and soon started to acquire farm machinery and more land. Early mornings, long days, hard work and always side by side — the life they chose together. 

Dad was very creative. He was always thinking of ways to make a job easier. At one point he revamped a tractor for picking up hay bales — something he had done hundreds of times. He built a loader on the back end of the tractor and turned the driver’s seat around and faced the work of picking up bales with the loader. Their kitchen table was often loaded with his drawings and ideas of how to build something to make a job easier.

The links in Dad and Mom’s family circle include the birth of Jo, John and Don. By example, they taught the value of hard work, honest dealings and keeping love and family first. After 40 years of farming, they decided to make a change and tried the life of cross-country trucking with Hansen Trucking. They purchased their own Kenworth semi-truck and took to the road and sharing the driving responsibilities. The long hauls required the driving shared driving abilities.

After a few years of trucking, they realized this wasn’t for them. They missed the life they loved — being together and home every night. They moved to Freeman in 1987 and Dad continued to find ways to stay with what he knew — farming. He worked the farm fields of Doc Pankratz and helped his sons, John and Don, with their farm operations. 

In 1994 Dad retired and his sole purpose was to live a happy life with Mom. They spent time in their home in Freeman. They could often be seen sitting on their swing on the deck. Many conversations on the swing were about the life and memories they shared for so many years. 

After a month of illness and hospital stays, Dad was taken “home” on April 5. We can envision him sitting and talking with his son, Don.

Dad was preceded by his parents Reuben and Effie Hansen, brother Ronald Hansen, sister Marilyn Hansen and son, Don Hansen. 

Cherishing the moments and treasuring the memories of Dad are his wife, Vilma; children: John and Jo; grandchildren: Chad, Matt, Nick and Nate, Peg, Paul, Kim, Kari; great-grandchildren: Hannah, Emily, Owen, Judd, Amiah, Carlie, Sarah, Cody, Haylie and Jaycie; and great-great-grandchildren: Ruger, Sebastian, Maisy and Murphy. 

A memorial service was held April 10 at Bethany Mennonite Church of Freeman. Honorary pallbearers were Chad Hansen, Matt Hansen, Nate Hansen, Nick Hansen and Paul Pietz. Psalms 121: 1-8 was read and music was provided by Greg and Kathy Kleinsasser.