World War II veteran, Richard â€œDickâ€ Lawrence Hansen passed away in Powell, Wyoming March 9, 2015, at the age of 96. He was born on May 4, 1918 in Cheraw, Colorado to Hans Christian Hansen and Anna (Jorgensen) Hansen. He was the oldest and only child of his parents. His mother died from burns from a coal oil explosion in their stove when Dick was 2 years of age. His father remarried and Chris and Alma gave Dick two younger sisters and a brother.
Dick graduated from Cheraw High School in 1938. He attended the Aviation Institute of Denver in 1941. He was a Technical Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps with special qualifications of Aircraft Mechanic and Metalsmith serving from 1942-1946. February 1944 to July 1945 Dick served in the Hawaiian Islands area.
In 1949 Dick applied for a Wyoming homestead through the GI bill, Bureau of Reclamation, Heart Mountain Division. He cleared the land and lived in a relocation camp barracks for over 6 years.
Dick met his future wife, Barbara Plumb, on the steps of the First United Methodist Church in Powell. They were married September 27, 1953 in Greeley, Colorado. They raised three daughters Ann, Jayne, and Sharon and one son, Gary. Their infant daughter, Joan, died of a staph infection in 1956.
They moved from their barracks into their newly built home before Jayne was born. Dick later built a lambing shed, creep shed and lambing â€œjugsâ€ for his 350 head of ewes that were lambed out the first of each year. He always had a dog, some were better sheep herders than others. They later acquired an amendment above the Heart Mountain canal and also bought another farm. They raised malt barley, pinto beans, peas, alfalfa, timothy grass, and radish seed on their 350 acres of irrigated farm ground.
Dick loved to build and was an inventor of things that would make the farm life easier. He built a moss screen with brushes to keep the irrigation tubes from plugging up with trash. He designed and built a creep shed to feed his lambs, and built 'live' traps to catch varmints.
Dick served on the Heart Mountain Irrigation District board, was active in Farm Bureau and the Powell Lamb Pool. In 2004, Dick and Barbara were honored as 50 year members of the First United Methodist Church in Powell where they were very active members.
Dick was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara; infant daughter, Joan; grandson Zach Copenhaver; sister, Thelma Southworth; and daughter-in-law, Maureen Hansen. He is survived by his daughters Ann (Mark) Copenhaver of Powell, WY, Jayne (Gene) Haggen of Holiday, FL, Sharon Hansen of Billings, MT and son, Gary Hansen of Renton, WA; three grandchildren: Sarah (Ryan) Shdo of Puyallup, WA, Weston Haggen (and financee Stephanie) of Orlando, FL and Jeff Hansen of Renton, WA and two great grandchildren. He also leaves behind his sister, Betty (Mel) Wright of Lompoc, CA and his brother, Hans (Gerry) Hansen of Cheraw, CO along with many nieces and nephews including Don Dunleavy (Ginny Singer) and Mike (Symona) Dunleavy of Powell, WY.
Services will be held at 10:30 am Friday, March 13, 2015 at the First United Methodist Church in Powell. Burial of his cremains, with full military honors, will follow at the Crown Hill Cemetery.
Dick's family would like to thank the staff of the Powell Valley Care Center and the Heartland Assisted Living for the years of wonderful care given to Dick and Barbara.
Memorial donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Powell.
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