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Memorial service held for former JPD officer

John Dell Hansen, 58, died at his home last week

Posted: April 14, 2013 - 11:01pm
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Members of the Juneau Police Department Honor Guard are seen at the Saturday memorial service for retired police officer John Dell Hansen. Hansen served JPD for 24 years before retiring in 1998. He died at his home April 7.  Emily Russo Miller / Juneau Empire
Emily Russo Miller / Juneau Empire
Members of the Juneau Police Department Honor Guard are seen at the Saturday memorial service for retired police officer John Dell Hansen. Hansen served JPD for 24 years before retiring in 1998. He died at his home April 7.

About 250 people, including members of the Juneau Police Department and law enforcement community, gathered at the Tlingit & Haida Community Center Saturday to remember a retired JPD officer who died at his home last week.

Officer John Dell Hansen, 58, worked at JPD for 24 years before retiring in 1998. He joined the force in 1974 as a canine officer then became a patrol officer from 1978 on.

“That was his life, being a patrol officer,” Ben Coronell, another retired JPD officer and Hansen’s close friend, said in a eulogy. “He loved his job.”

Friends and family said Hansen was diagnosed with esophagus cancer but that he received a clean bill of health in December, so his death came as a shock. He died last Sunday, April 7.

Born in Ruislip, England, Hansen traveled the world with his military family. They eventually came to the United States, where Hansen graduated from Foothill High School in Sacramento, Calif., in 1972. He moved to Juneau two years later.

During the memorial service, Hansen was remembered as a good-humored man and an avid duck hunter, and as someone who had a far-reaching positive impact on the community.

Coronell said Hansen was friends with everyone as evidenced from the cross-section of people — from the “good guys to the bad guys” — that attended the service.

“He’s touched a lot of lives out there,” Coronell said.

His younger brother Steven Hansen said John inspired him throughout his life and that the older brother always looked out for him.

“When I was 14, he got me my first job, he taught me how to drive, he took me to my first concert,” Steven said. “... That’s just the way John was.”

Hansen is survived by his wife of 34 years Kathy, three children, five grandchildren and four siblings.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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