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James Merton Hansen

02/26/1930

06/14/2019

James Merton Hansen, age 89, was peacefully called home to the Lord on Friday June 14, 2019.

James (Jim) was a longtime resident and advocate of Cascade Township, Michigan, devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, 33-year kidney transplant recipient, as well as avid encourager, and friend to all he met.

He was preceded in death by the love of his life, wife of 59 years, Norma Ann Harper Hansen; mother Andrienne Lucille Mayworm, father Clarence Hansen, brother Robert Hansen and sister Betty Polzin.  “Big D” to many is survived by his four sons: Mike (Judy) Hansen of Sydney Australia, Mark (Carol) Hansen of Dublin Ohio, Brian Hansen of Oxford Township Michigan and Kevin Hansen of Cascade Township Michigan; grandchildren Erica (Luke) Gleeson, Lauren Hansen (Paul Dadd), Trevor (Angela) Hansen, Kelsey Hansen, Erik Hansen; and great grandchild Amelia Gleeson.

Jim was a born & raised “Yooper” from Hancock, Michigan. He was a proud U.S. Army Korean War Veteran and Honor Flight attendee. He also led the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) group and Friday devotionals at Breton Woods Manor of Holland Homes, where he lived life to the fullest for the past 15 years.

After the war he attended his beloved Michigan State University on the GI Bill where he met and married Norma. Jim had a sincere love for serving our Lord and made a career out of helping others. Whether professionally as Owner of the Cascade Insurance Agency (CIA), or as a voluntary Deacon, and Elder of Cascade Christian Church. He was also a strong advocate for the Cascade Fire Department while serving sixteen years as Cascade Township Trustee.

Visitation will be Friday, July 5, 6:00-8:00 pm at Cascade Christian Church, 2829 Thornapple River Drive SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Funeral with Military Honors will begin on Saturday, July 6 at 11:30 a.m. in The Sanctuary of Cascade Christian Church, with visitation one hour prior. Pastors: Jill Forton, Frank Guter, and Paul Bailey will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cascade Christian Church: the James Hansen Crystal Lake Camp Memorial scholarship fund. Funeral arrangements being coordinated by OʼBrien-Eggebeen Gerst Funeral Homes  www.gerstfuneralhomes.com (616-949-7350).

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5 Responses

  1. This is a lovely tribute to a very caring and giving man.

    As Norma’s sister I have known Jim for decades. The first day I met him he was planning to come to our farm in Vicksburg and meet our parents and me. He was caught in a blizzard, abandoned his car and walked the least two miles. Since that day so long ago I have known Jim to be devoted to Norma and to his ever-growing family.

    Lou and I are holding all of you in our hearts.

  2. I have fond memories of Jim & Norma when I was a young freshman at Michigan State. Over the years we have many good memories of the families getting together for various functions. Our thoughts are with the four boys and their families.

  3. I had the privilege of being Jim’s community guardian for his trip to Washington DC with Talons Out Honor Flight. We had such a wonderful day and I will never forget him. He shared so many stories about his military service, his love for our country, and his love for his family. My sincere condolences to his friends and loved ones. I know he will be greatly missed. It was an honor to have the opportunity to know him and thank him for his service.

  4. Jim and I grew up living across the street from each other. Sleigh riding together in the winter down the street between our homes is a pleasant memory of our early years.
    Jim was known as “Little Hunz” as his older brother Bob was known as “Big Hunz”.
    Jim was easy to be with and I just remember laughing a lot during our years together.
    He was a gentleman and a gentle man and he will be missed.

  5. I had the pleasure of caring for Jim during the first few years of his kidney transplant. Jim was the best of patients, friendly, thoughtful of others, and invariably cheerful. His smile and sense of humor will long be remembered.

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