Gerald Hansen

Gerald A. Hansen

Saturday, June 14th, 1930 - Monday, July 20th, 2020
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On 07/20/20 at age ninety, Gerald Albert Hansen began his final trip and no doubt found the most perfect cabin near a lake with the sound of a loon calling in the distance. Gerald, also known as Jerry was the second child of six children born to Hans Hansen and Mildred Hansen (nee Klug) on June 14, 1930 (Flag Day). He would reside with his family in West Allis, WI and then Muskego, WI when the family moved to a farm in 1945. On May 24, 1951 Jerry was inducted into the U.S. Army in which he would serve as a Private First Class and as supply clerk on an Army Base in the Territory of Alaska. (Alaska not becoming a State until January 3, 1959). Jerry was technically "overseas" for one year, six months and 3 days. He was released from active duty on April 16, 1953 and was honorably discharged on November 23, 1956 upon expiration of his status as a member of the inactive reserves.

After spending a number of years as a successful florist on the southwest corner of 92nd and National Ave. in West Allis and then as a campground owner in northern Wisconsin, Jerry's inherited Danish wanderlust combined with his intense dislike of Wisconsin winters took hold. Thus began his many years of living in the Southwest and South always finding new business adventures and new fixer uppers to renovate...many times singlehandedly. Jerry, recalling the many good times spent as a child at the family cabin on Marion Lake near Watersmeet, Michigan, found he missed the summers and the lakes up Upper Michigan, which led him to purchase his first cabin on a lake near Crystal Falls, Michigan. So began numerous trips north for him for many summers to come.

Jerry's constant companions for many years were Fritz and Paco, his pet Macaw parrots. Wherever he might travel they accompanied him in his box truck which he loved to drive. Even as he aged, Jerry would drive from his southern residence to his cabin in Upper Michigan using only a well worn paper map to help his navigate the route often with Fritz and Paco looking over his shoulder.

In 2018 Jerry's health started to deteriorate which prompted his family to convince him to move from Camden AR and return home. This allowed his sisters to assist him in getting medical attention and care and for them to provide him (and Fritz and Paco) with some good home cooked meals. For nearly two years, Jerry and his feathered friends lived in a farmhouse on West National Avenue in New Berlin. When Jerry neared the end of his life, the birds were transferred to the CARE FOR ANIMAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION, INC, in Waukesha, WI. Paco and Fritz are expected to remain there as permanent residents.

Jerry will be remembered for his attire of flip flops, shorts, and cap, his ascerbic sense of humor, his generosity, and his desire to live life on his own terms.

Gerald is survived by his brother Glenn Hansen, sisters Ellen Sprawls, Laurel (Robert) Evans, Gayle (Rich) Pawlak, Step-mother Edel Hansen, special niece Amy Sprawls and many other caring nieces and nephews.
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