Much loved husband, father, Bopa, brother, uncle and cousin, Ralph Hansen, passed away suddenly on June 18, 2012 at the age of 71. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, children, Catherine, Susan, Dennis and Douglas (Rebecca), grandchildren Jordan, Taylor and baby Jack, honourary grandchild, Sarah, sisters Marcelle (Heinz) Grupe, Adele (John) Erickson, sisters-in-law Judy Hansen and Donna Salby, nieces Debi, Carroll, Amanda, Pamela, Nicole, and their families, and Squirrelly, the cat. He was predeceased by his parents, Lucien and Barbara and his brother, Peter.
Ralph was born in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg on October 26, 1940. He was raised mainly in Esch and Differdange, Luxembourg.
As a teenager he trained to be a baker. His family immigrated to Canada in 1956 arriving by boat at Montreal and then moving further west to finally settle in Winnipeg. He then worked for a number of bakeries in Winnipeg, before moving west to beautiful BC with his family in 1967. He worked for several Super-Valu stores in BC before finally settling in Nelson to own and operate Hood’s Bakery. Besides his own kids, many other Nelson kids passed through Hood’s Bakery either hanging out or helping out. Pressing tart shells on a Saturday afternoon earned many a kid a couple of spending bucks.
In 1982, Ralph and Patricia sold the bakery and he then worked at bakeries in Calgary and Kitimat, eventually deciding to leave baking behind. He went into business for himself as a general all-round handyman, lawn care worker and snow shoveller. For many years, he could be seen driving around in his distinctive vehicles with a canine companion at his side.
In his youth, Ralph was an avid bicyclist, pedaling all over Winnipeg. Later on when he was finally settled in Nelson he was involved with the CB club, teaching judo to local kids, and the local Lion’s Club. He jumped on the computer bandwagon early and had a succession of computers planted on his desk since the 1980’s. He and the family liked to take trips camping around BC, visiting the States and taking trips back to Winnipeg to visit Patricia’s family.
The last few years he had slowed down a bit but was still doing work for a few selected people, just enough to keep busy and out of trouble.
We’re sure there are many people out there that can tell you that he’d give you the shirt off his back. He would help anyone who needed it. He didn’t really judge anyone and he liked to break the rules and maybe every now and then “get your goat”. There are many Ralph stories to be told! Many folks have been recipients of his bread, cookies and pies over the years. He and these goodies will be sorely missed.
Last year for their 50th Anniversary daughter Sue finally rallied Ralph and Pat along with Ralph’s friend, Tim McDaniel, to get out of town with her and head for Europe to see Luxembourg one last time.
We’re so happy that they finally went and had such a wonderful time. It was one of his greatest wishes fulfilled. Ralph has three awesome grandkids and he was very proud of them. We are so happy that he got to meet baby Jack at least once.
We would like to thank our neighbours, Larry and Glenda Pasutti for their valiant efforts in trying to save Ralph, the BC Ambulance Services for continuing their efforts, the Nelson Fire & Rescue for their backup and support, and the Nelson City Police for their calm kindness during this really sad event. More thanks to our neighbours and our friends for their wonderful help and kindness over the last few days. We hope you know who you are and we love you all.
Cremation has taken place and arrangements are under the care of Thompson Funeral Services Ltd. There will be no service by his request and burial of his ashes will take place at a later date.
There will be a Celebration of Life for family and friends on Sunday, July 1, 2012 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the Hansen’s home on Falls Street. This is an informal gathering to share stories, a drink or two, and some nibbles. If you have any stories to share you can e-mail them to Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society of BC, Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon, or a charity of your choice. If you so choose, you can buy yourself a good bottle of Scotch and hoist a few in memory of Ralph.
Thanks for everything Dad and goodbye. Safe journey!