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Bernice A. Hansen

December 5, 2017
Bernice A. Hansen
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Obituary for Bernice A. Hansen

Bernice Amelia (Jorgenson) Hansen passed away peacefully at the United Pioneer Home in Luck, WI on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017.

She was born to Hans and Amelia Jorgenson on August 6th, 1924 at their farm in south Milltown, WI. Her mother passed away during the birth, leaving Hans with 5 children under 10 years old. He continued to raise the older children, but asked childless neighbors, Otto and Anna Hansen to raise Bernice. She grew up next door to her siblings and as a member of the large extended family of her new dotting parents.

Bernice was baptized and confirmed (the same day as her father, Otto) in the Milltown Lutheran Church, of which she remained a member for the rest of her life. She attended and graduated from the Milltown schools in 1942. She then began working at the Balsam Lake Courthouse as a Clerk.

Bernice married Kermit Hansen, whom she had known all her life, on October 10th, 1945 when Kermit returned from his service on the Navy submarine "Peto". The following spring, they purchased their farm home and 50 acres on Hwy 46 between Balsam Lake and Milltown. (It would remain their family home for 58 years.) In 1947, they welcomed Gary to their family and Bernice became a farm wife and mother. They milked dairy cows, had angus cattle and chickens, and raised hay, corn and oats; expanding their farm to eventually include both parents' farms.

The neighborhood relatives and friends during those years, worked together to plant, harvest and help each other throughout the year. Bernice helped feed the farm crews, care for the many children who visited or helped with chores, and worked out in the barn when needed. In 1957, Billy Kellogg, a 10 year old neighbor boy, came to live at the Hansen home to help with the farm work. Being the same age as Gary, he became a part of their family for the next 5 years. (His graduation picture would be proudly displayed along with Gary's in the Hansen living room.) The boys started a sweet corn stand as a 4-H project that grew to be a family business and brought summer lake people to their doorstep as well as local residents. No one left without coffee and conversation.

When Kermit retired, he began building rustic tamarack lawn furniture, a hobby that grew into a business. Bernice supported the business by running for supplies, feeding the work crew, sealing the finished products, and keeping the coffeepot on for customers. Her welcoming smile and gracious social skills kept people coming back year after year. Her coffee pot seldom cooled or ran dry. She remained at the farm after Kermit passed away in 1998.

When hip surgery in 2004 required that Bernice move from the family farmhouse, she resided at the Whispering Pines Apartments in Balsam Lake, where she shared an entirely new and active lifestyle with both old and new friends. Then in 2014, she moved into Assisted Living at Lawson Manor in Luck, WI. Once again, her bright mind and social personality brought many visitors to her room. There was seldom a day, by her own admission, that she didn't have guests stop to enjoy some lively conversation. Although becoming unable to walk or hear well, she never stopped receiving company and never lost her sharp wit and sense of humor. She left us after developing pneumonia and congestive heart failure at the age of 93.

Bernice is survived by son, Gary (Terry) Hansen; grandchildren, Nichole (Craig) Kollman and Michael Hansen; great-grandchildren, Riley and Emma Kollman; sister-in-law, Marguerite Peterson; extended "family", Karen Alling and Rich Roush, Ken and Sue Kellogg; nieces, nephews and dozens of friends from near and far.

Many thanks to Lawson Manor and the United Pioneer Home, St. Croix Hospital, St. Croix Hospice and Rev. Angie Kutney for the loving care shown to Bernice. Special thanks to Karen Alling and Sue Kellogg for their years of devoted friendship and caring attention to Bernice.

Please consider giving memorials to Lawson Manor/United Pioneer Home in Bernice's name. There will be a Celebration of Life for Bernice in the spring.

You are invited to leave condolences, memories and photos at www.rowefh.com . Arrangements are entrusted to Rowe Funeral Home in Luck, 715-472-2444 and the Northwest Wisconsin Cremation Center in Milltown, www.wicremationcenter.com .

To plant a tree in memory of Bernice A. Hansen, visit the Tribute Store.

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