Being true to himself and doing things his own way, Richard S. Hansen 65 left us all suddenly on Christmas Eve. Ironically it was the same day that he proposed to the “love of his life” Patse Hansen, 25 years before. Richard and Patse had a Love Story that most people dreamt about. He was the first boy that she kissed in Junior High and it wasn’t until they were 40 that they reconnected. He lived life to the fullest and left us all feeling honored to have known such a kind, giving and fun guy. Richard did not suffer and died peacefully in the Emergency Room at Central Montana Medical Center in Lewistown, MT. He was born in Escanaba, MI on September 22, 1951 the son of Norman and Dagney N. (Ness) Hansen. He lived in Fargo, ND before the family settled in Billings, MT in his grade school years.
After graduating from Billings West High School, he attended MSU Billings a/k/a Eastern Montana College (which was what all us old duffers knew it as). He attained his BA in Education to teach history and took his first teaching job in White Fish, MT. For the next 29 years, he was a beloved History teacher in Miles City at the Jr. High and then in 1991 transferred to Custer County District High School to teach history and become the department head. Richard made learning interesting by his innate storytelling ability and to this day, his students still talk about how he enriched their lives. In the summer time Richard had a commercial painting business and went on to become an insurance adjustor. In 1992 Richard and Patse were married at their country home in Miles City. Richard was a loving husband and father. Their blended family included Mario Quilico, Anne Hansen and John Hansen. They all skied and loved all the ski trips to Red Lodge, Bridger Bowl and Big Sky. They used to sing in the car on their way to skiing and called themselves the Von Hansen Family. Playing tennis was another family activity and included The Big Sky State Games. This active bunch also enjoyed, camping, fly fishing, river rafting and spending time with family and friends. After Richard retired from teaching he and Patse made the best decision of their lives to move to Lewistown in 2004. Although they had no connection to Lewistown they quickly made friends and it just felt like home. Richard went to work as a full-time insurance adjustor with Farm Bureau Insurance and was highly valued for his caring and quick turnaround of their claims. In 2012 he retired from Farm Bureau Insurance and in 2014 he took a part time maintenance job with Central Montana Nursing & Rehab Center. He loved working with his hands fixing things and helping the elderly at the nursing center.
As a young boy, Richard was always bartering and selling and reselling his bicycles. His life became fully enriched when he was finally old enough to buy his first motorcycle. Over his life, he acquired hundreds of bikes and was always on the “hunt” for his next bike. He loved all motorcycles and the only affairs he ever had were with BMW’s or his ultimate love, The Harley.
He and Patse were active in the community and loved giving back and helping with events. He enjoyed helping cook for the Gourmet Club, with various fundraising events the couple were involved with, being on several boards in Lewistown but most of all being a part of Art Works volunteer group for the Lewistown Art Center. He stopped by on a weekly basis to see how he could help out Linda Tullis. He rode motorcycles with so many wonderful friends who were a big part of his life. He and Patse also loved all the years they attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. He enjoyed his family and friends for 65 years.
Richard will be deeply missed by his only true love Patse of Lewistown; daughter Anne Hansen (Chris Conrad) of Seattle, WA; sons John Hansen of San Francisco, CA and Mario Quilico (Tim Arnold) of Chicago, IL; sisters Kathy (Ed) Putnam in Illinois, Char (Allen) Crittenden of Billings, MT; brother Bob (Margaret) Hansen in Georgia; sister-in-law Judy (John) Toler in Texas; he recently fell in love with his first grandchild Nora Hansen-Conrad, never knowing he would love her so much along with his nieces and nephews.
He was proceeded in death by his parents.
It was an honor that Richard’s eyes were donated, because eye donation is considered one of the noblest of all causes. His donation will aid in restoring the sight for 2 Montana residents. This is something he was passionate about.
A Celebration of Life for Richard S. Hansen will be held later, cremation has taken place per his request and his ashes will be spread on his final motorcycle journey as well as Upper Spring Creek by his best fly fishing buddy Kirk Fleming. Like Robin Fleming said, “If Richard had a head stone, it would say “It’s All Good”.
Friends are asked to make memorials to The Lewistown Art Center or the charity of their choice and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com