Jean Hill Hansen, age 87, passed away peacefully on May 16 at Prairie Ridge Village in Glasgow, Montana surrounded by her loving family.
Jean was the fourth child of Finnish immigrant parents from Hamilton, Montana, and was born on May 10, 1929 to Herman and Mary (Noponen) Hill in their home 3.5 miles west of Hamilton. Jean attended school in Hamilton, graduating in 1947 as valedictorian of her class. She received a scholarship to Cottey College in Nevada, MO and graduated in 1949 with an Associate of Arts degree in English.
In 1949 she went to work for the Montana Department of Public Welfare as a caseworker and was assigned to Valley County. Jean went on a date with Bob Hansen on New Year’s Eve 1949 and they were married October 27, 1950 in Hamilton at the German Lutheran Church. Five children were born to this union; William Robert, Mary Lillian, Laurie Jo, Kathryn Kay and Stephen Carl.
Jean was able to be a stay at home mom and busied herself with her children’s activities and community service. Among these were Parent Teachers Association, Cub Scout Leader, Lutheran Sunday school teacher, Lutheran Church Circle, Scotty Band Parents Supporter, 4-H Leader, Homemaker’s Club, P.E.O., Republican Women, Republican Central Committee and Bridge Clubs. Jean was very proud of being a 65-year member of P.E.O. Chapter U of Glasgow.
Jean was very proud of her Finnish heritage and exemplified “sisu” in every aspect of her life and instilled this characteristic in each of her children. A highlight of her life was a trip to Finland in 1987 to trace her genealogy and visit the villages where her parents were born.
Jean thoroughly enjoyed her seven grandchildren and attended many of their school and sports activities.
Jean is preceded in her death by her husband, Robert, in July 2001 and daughter in law, Margery (William), in October 1994. Jean is survived by her children, William Hansen (Karyn) of Phillipsburg, Mary L Hansen of Billings, Laurie J Hansen of Maplewood, MN, Kay Hansen Bitney (Bye) of Kalispell and Steve Hansen (Peggy) of Glasgow and her grandchildren Stephanie Dworak (Steve) of St. Louis Park, MN, Marina and Madison Hansen of Bozeman, MT, Andrea and Salomon Hansen of Glasgow, Katy and Carl Bitney of Kalispell and numerous nieces and nephews.
There will be a celebration of Jean’s life at First Lutheran Church in Glasgow on May 19 at 10AM. Memorials may be made to Cottey College, P.E.O. Foundation, First Lutheran Church of Glasgow or the charity of your choice.
Jean’s family is hoping there is bridge club in heaven!