Mary Alice Hansen
Wed, 05/07/2014 - 11:20pm News Staff
Mary Alice (Larson) Hansen, long-term resident of western Colorado and more recently of Hendersonville, N.C., passed away peacefully at home in her sleep on Friday, April 18, at age 98. Mary Alice was born on Dec. 20, 1915, in Chickasha, Okla., the eldest daughter of Clarence and Clarice Larson. After graduation from high school in Oklahoma City, she attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa, receiving her B.A. in English in 1937. On June 25, 1939, Mary Alice married Kenneth Hansen — a marriage that lasted 56 years until Ken passed away in 1995. The family lived in the Midwest for the next 10 years. In 1949, they moved to Gunnison, Colorado, where Ken accepted a professorship of education at Western State College (now Western State Colorado University) and where they raised their three sons. This began a period of residency in western Colorado for Mary Alice that lasted 60 years. In 2009, she moved to Hendersonville to be near her family. Though living elsewhere around the country after the mid-1960s, Mary Alice and Ken maintained their official residence in Colorado. They acquired a summer cabin on Spring Creek, north of Gunnison, in 1975. Thereafter, they spent nearly half the year there, snowbirding to Arizona, then later to Montrose, during the winter months. Even after Ken passed away in 1995, Mary Alice continued to spend at least part of every summer at the cabin until she was in her early 90s — enjoying the mountains, tending her garden, painting, feeding the birds — and chasing away the squirrels and chipmunks! Mary Alice was an active participant and leader in church and community groups. She joined P.E.O. while living in Montrose and remained active with the group until her passing. She was a gardener, a baker, an artist and loved the outdoors. She was an avid reader and loved a good game of Scrabble. She developed passion and skill for watercolor painting, and for nearly 40 years pursued her art, winning several ribbons for her work. Most important, Mary Alice was a superb, loving and beloved daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Mary Alice was preceded in death by her husband Ken, sister Evelyn Claire Davis, and brother Robert Larson. She is survived by her three sons — John (Judy) Hansen, Henry Hansen, and Chris (Jamia) Hansen-Murray; two former daughters-in-law, Peggy Hansen and Mary Hansen; six grandchildren; and 11 greatgrandchildren, as well as a number of nieces and nephews. A celebration and commemoration of Mary Alice’s life will take place this summer at Hillcrest Congregational Church in Montrose, on Saturday, August 2, at 1:30 p.m. Donations may be made in Mary Alice’s memory to the Western State Colorado University Foundation (Kenneth H. Hansen Memorial Education Scholarship fund, Western State Foundation, P.O. Box 1264, Gunnison, CO 81230), the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Foundation (Larson Memorial Medical Scholarship fund, 1100 N. Lindsay, Oklahoma City, OK 73104), or Hillcrest Congregational Church (611 South Hillcrest Dr, Montrose, CO 81401).