Longtime Juneau resident Florence May Hansen died unexpectedly on May 14, 2008, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau. She was 78.
Born Dec. 23, 1929, in Wrangell, she left home at age 17 and worked at the Wrangell Fish Cannery. She worked as a secretary for the Territorial Department of Taxation, and for the last Territorial Legislature and the state Legislature for five years.
In 1952, she married Kenneth Hansen, of Wenatchee, Wash. At 29, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Family said she was very musically inclined and enjoyed singing with groups and playing her piano, accordion and organ for various community events.
She was a longtime member of the Assemblies of God Church and was involved with the church since she was 8 years old. She directed a 36-member children's choir for more than 10 years. She had affiliations and memberships with the Salvation Army Ladies Auxiliary, Sons of Norway and Tlingit & Haida Central Council, and was a shareholder with Sealaska and Goldbelt corporations.
She was a direct descendant of Tlingit Chief Shakes and was of the Eagle Wolf clan of Wrangell. She and her husband owned the Kentucky Fried Chicken, changing the name to Kenny's Fried Chicken, and were co-owners of Valley Storeroom and Hansen Excavation.
Up until recently, she was often at local mall craft fairs selling her delicate goods made of roses, ribbons and lace.
"Although our mother had a life-long battle with rheumatoid arthritis, endured 12 joint replacements, wet and dry macular degeneration in both eyes, and was slowing down in the last couple months, she never got tired of ministering, helping others, attending church and going out to coffee with her husband," her family said. "Her words of wisdom, spunky attitude and all her loving ways will be missed dearly by all that knew her."
She was preceded in death by her son, Kenneth Eugene Hansen in 1985; brother, Hank Anderson in 2002; and brother, Al Sahlinger in 2006.
She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Kenneth Hansen, of Juneau; daughters, Chris Hansen-Tatham, of Juneau, and Heather Bunnell and husband, Barry, of Wasilla; son, David Hansen and wife, Cynthia, of Juneau; daughter in-law, Amanda Fergerson and husband, Danny, of Osceola, Mo.; 10 grandchildren, Christine Wachmann and husband, Andrew, of Eagle River, Cheryl Tatham, of Juneau, David Fergerson and wife, Rachael, of Harrisonville, Mo., Katelynn May Martinez and husband, Juan, of Chicago, Sierra and Mercedes Mahnke, of Wasilla, Kathryn Fergerson, of Osceola, Kenny Fergerson, of Osceola, Kenneth Corbin Mahnke, of Wasilla, Rollin Bunnell, of Wasilla; four great-grandchildren, Caitlin and Garin Wachmann, of Eagle River, and Kaysha and Chase Fergerson, of Harrisonville; sister, Marlene Sievertson and husband, Al, of Juneau; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, at Centennial Hall in Juneau. An interment will be at a later date.
If desired, contributions in her memory may be made to the Salvation Army Ladies Auxiliary in care of the Salvation Army, 439 W. Willoughby Ave., Juneau, AK 99801, or the Glacier Valley Church of God Building Fund, 8497 Thunder Mountain Road, Juneau, AK 99801.