In Loving Memory of June Hansen: 1920-2022


June Hansen passed away May 11, 2022, seven weeks before her 102nd birthday. She was born June 30, 1920 in Ramseytown, Pennsylvania. She began school at the one-room Beech Hollow schoolhouse where her father taught. She graduated from high school in nearby Brookville where she played on the girls basketball team even though she was only five feet tall. 

During World War II, she worked as a clerk for the U.S. Army where she met and married a soldier from Spokane. After the war ended, they enrolled in Washington State College in Pullman. A few months later, her husband died of a brain tumor. June stayed in school and earned a degree with a double major in home economics and teaching. 

During the summer of 1949, June studied at the University of Oslo in Norway after earning the trip as part of a goodwill ambassador program to rebuild relations after World War II. 

She came to Lewis County as an extension agent for Washington State University. She taught food preservation classes and organized 4-H clubs. She met Steve Hansen in the extension office. They married in 1956. They spent every weekend planting trees by hand on their farm east of Onalaska. Years later, June won awards for reforestation and Lewis County Tree Farmer of the Year. 

June taught kindergarten and then third grade at Onalaska Elementary School. Her first year of teaching, classes were held in the Sunday school room of the Presbyterian Church because the school did not have enough small chairs and tables, but the church did. She retired from teaching in 1982. 

She was an active member of the Onalaska Chapter of Eastern Star and the St. Helen’s Club. She took her girls to hundreds of 4-H meetings and helped with projects ranging from beef cattle to style review. She loved singing in Handel's Messiah at Christmas time. After retirement, she volunteered with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the Lewis County Senior Center. She also volunteered for many years at the Southwest Washington Fair. 

June was full of life. At 72 years old, she hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back out without riding a mule. 

June is survived by daughters Holly (Darcy) Weisner, of Richland, and Heather (John Giese) Hansen, of Lacey, along with seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Steve in 1986. 

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