June 7, 2017 – West Bend, WI – Robert T. “Bob” Hansen, 85, of West Bend, formerly of Milwaukee, passed away on Saturday, June 3, 2017, at his home with his family at his side.
Bob was born on December 16, 1931, in Milwaukee, the son of the late Alfred and Jeanette (Koceja) Hansen. On February 14, 1953, he was united in marriage to Illa Mae Nelson at St. Rose Catholic Church in Milwaukee.
A renaissance man of his age, his favorite poet was Rod McKuen. He enjoyed music, and played guitar and harmonica. He also had a beautiful tenor voice and loved to dance, especially with his beautiful bride, Illa Mae.
While known for his garden and landscape designs, many did not know that he was an accomplished artist. Starting with watercolors, for which he won awards, he later switched to oil and acrylics, showing and selling them at art shows. His gardens were also decorated with figures that he designed, made and painted. No holiday went by without a homemade figure in the yard, celebrating the holiday.
An outdoorsman, he liked hiking and walking. He loved anything with water, canoeing lakes and rivers in Wisconsin and exploring the waterways of Florida in his pontoon boat. He also loved fishing and was an avid fly fisherman.
In his younger years he was a boxer in Milwaukee. When he went to college at 32, he was a diver, competing for UWM. In his later years, he played tennis, racquetball, softball, and was an avid golfer.
After serving in the Korean War, he became an active member and commander of Milwaukee Chapter #1 of the Disabled American Veterans, and produced the chapter newsletter for several years.
He became a physical education and health teacher. He loved teaching and also loved coaching diving at the high school level. He also enjoyed working with children, he volunteered at the summer camp at the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Janesville, WI, and often taught swimming and diving during the summers.
Although they lived in many places in the United States, including Wisconsin, Texas, Michigan, Florida, Indiana, and Kansas, his favorite place was their farm in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin. His favorite movies, television shows and books were westerns and mysteries.
He loved life, adventure, and doing things with his hands. He wanted to do things that made others happy and he was constantly on the go. But above all, he loved his family.
Those Bob leaves behind to cherish his memory include his wife, Illa Mae; four children, Pamela Ruben of Menomonee Falls, Sharyn Ann (Jim) Massung of Linwood, Michigan, Keith (Lori) Hansen of Appleton, and Jean Marie Hansen of Olatha, Kansas; 11 grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; a sister, Alice (Lee) Hines of Manassas, Virginia, other relatives and friends.
In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by a brother, Alfred Hansen and a son-in-law, Jim Ruben.
A memorial Mass for Bob will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, June 12, 2017, at Holy Angel’s Catholic Church, 138 N. 8th Avenue, in West Bend. Bob’s family will greet relatives and friends at the church on Monday from 1:30 p.m. until the time of Mass.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory or honor of Robert T. Hansen to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) are appreciated.
The Myhrum Patten Miller & Kietzer Funeral Homes have been entrusted with Bob’s arrangements.