July 12, 2019 – West Bend, WI – Bill and Ellen Hansen were both born in Milwaukee, and met while working at Ellen’s parent’s hardware store during high school.
Bill has a brother and a sister, and attended Milwaukee Lutheran. Ellen has an older brother, and went to Rufus King.
They have been married for 56 years, and are blessed with five children and 11 grandchildren. That number often grew from time to time, as their doors were always open to welcome neighbors and friends to join their family events and holidays, as they set another place at the table.
The family enjoyed camping all over Wisconsin, including weathering a few tornadoes. When Ellen was expecting their fifth child, Bill decided to give her a quiet break, and took the other four children camping. Unfortunately they returned only a few hours later after one of the boys wiped out on gravel with his skateboard.
As empty nesters, they took their RV all over the United States, visiting many national parks. They took a seven-week road trip from Arkansas to Los Angeles and up the West Coast. They also traveled to Alaska and Hawaii.
If the Hansen’s would have a family crest, it should feature mixing bowls and other symbols of the art of baking. Bill’s mother must have been a great baker, as she taught him the love of baking and skills he used throughout his life. He worked other jobs, but always came back to the bakery business. He worked at grocery delis and bakeries, Crestwood Bakery, Heinemann’s Kitchen, Harder Bakery, and he was manager of a Jewish bakery.
Bill was the baker for 17 years at Northwestern Mutual, where they provide breakfast and lunch for their employees. Ellen said that was his best job, as he was home nights and weekends.
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