Elf Home
Family Tree
Essay Page
Email Us

Lawrence Ness Hansen
Bertha Jeanne (Hiebsch) Hansen

Lawrence Ness Hansen was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 12, 1908.  He grew up in Chicago and went to the University of Illinois in Champaign.

Bertha Jeanne Hiebsch was born in Westboro, Wisconsin on June 30, 1907.  Her mother, Ann, died when she was very young, and her father, Frank, moved the family to Dorchester, Wisconsin.  Her grandparents came to live with them, and Frank married Clara Schmidt.  Bert went to Teachers College in Oshkosh and taught in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Larry and Bert married in 1940 and lived in Chicago, where they raised their daughter, Bonnie.  Larry spent his entire career at Household Finance Corporation.  His job required him to travel and move a lot so they lived in Buffalo, and back in Chicago before moving to Milwaukee (Hales Corners) in the mid-1950s.  He retired from HFC in 1968.

Larry was a very good golfer, at one time reaching a 2 handicap.  He was President of Tuckaway Country Club in the early 1970s and once shot his age (68) at Lawsonia in Green Lake.

They moved to a condo in Greenfield (Woodbridge Lane) in 1970 and spent their winters in Florida.  They purchased a condo in Sun City Center, Florida, and we would go visit them over our spring break.  In 1978 they bought a home at 223 Amesbury Circle in Sun City Center.

Larry died at home in 1986.  His Memorial service was held back in Wisconsin near our cottage.  Bert continued to live in Sun City Center until she moved back to Wisconsin (in 1992.)  She was able to meet her first great-grandchild before she died in 1997.

When Bert was teaching in Appleton, she knew the McCarthy family, as in Senator Joseph McCarthy.  I did not hear this story until her later years when she was living with my folks in Green Bay.  She mentioned it casually one evening at bedtime.  McCarthy's political career required him to travel around the state, and he would occasionally give her rides back to Dorchester.  Her comment on him to me was, "They said a lot of bad things about him, but I always found him to be a nice man."

Larry lived to be 78, in spite of the fact that he had been a heavy smoker (as were many folks in his time.)  He once told me that he used to smoke 3 packs a day when he was working!  He quit cold turkey after a heart attack in 1974.  Twelve years later he told me that he still missed it, but he never had another cigarette once he quit.  I was always impressed with his strong will, this being only one example.  I keep an old golf glove of his on my golf bag in the hopes that some of his golf mojo will rub off on my game.  Results have been mixed.

Eric Elfner
January 21, 2009