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1940 David 2023

David Hansen

September 8, 1940 — December 15, 2023

Battle Lake

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David “Dave” Hansen
September 8, 1940 – December 15, 2023
West Battle Lake  

David Harold Hansen, 83, of Battle Lake passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 15, 2023, at Good Samaritan in Battle Lake.  Dave suffered a stroke in May 2023, losing mobility on his right side.  Being the strong and determined man he was, he worked incredibly hard to regain his quality of life, but his body did not cooperate.  
Dave, AKA …. Swede, Big Dave, Papa, Grandpa, Great Grandpa, Unc, Brother, Son and lastly, lifelong volunteer, which began as a school safety patrolman.  In his adult working life, he gave back to community of Clarissa, MN as a Volunteer Fireman for 32 years, over a decade as the Fire Chief.  
After his retirement in 2004, he continued his volunteering ways at Glendalough State Park near his home on Battle Lake.  He did various projects such as building benches, fixing wooden projects in the park, working on the new Yurts, and hiding the Geocache within the park.  Dave was VERY committed to his time at Glendalough and would schedule time away and appointments around his Tuesday “work” schedule at the Park.  In 2018, the Glendalough Park Partners honored Dave for faithfully donating his time and talent.  He was so proud of that recognition.  
He also added to his volunteering resume by driving Otter Tail County residents, who were unable to drive, to their appointments.  It is hard to imagine the thousands of miles Dave drove for Productive Alternatives.  Dave may never have been in danger of receiving a speeding ticket, but that gave him time to really get to know many of the “regulars” he drove over the years.
Dave lived on West Battle Lake in his retirement years.  When he had free time from volunteering, he enjoyed fishing, taking his pontoon out for a drive, ice fishing, checking and tracking his investments/stocks daily on his iPad, Sudokus, mowing his lawns, and sitting on his deck visiting with friends and family while having a cold one!
Dave was a gentle giant, literally!  He was 6’ 8” and not a petite guy.  Under that huge frame was a heart of gold.  Don’t let him fool you though; he had his Scandinavian stubborn and impatient side, just ask his kids!  But, he was a softie at his core.    
He truly came into his soft side after losing the love of his life, Mary Lou, in 1996.  Mary Lou had rescued a small white dog several years earlier.  The family did not have pets over the years but Dave thought it was okay to keep “Stranger”, as Mary Lou had named her, if she didn’t bark.  Stranger must have known how spoiled she would be and not one bark ever came out of her mouth.  It was an aahhh moment to see this big guy taking a little, fluffy white dog everywhere he went. Dave continued setting up Mary Lou’s elaborate Christmas display of Department 56 village scenes (is anyone interested in these collectibles).  He also mastered making Mary Lou’s famous sweet roll recipe.  Every holiday, Dave had the big green Tupperware container full of delicious frosted sweet rolls which were aptly named, Papa’s rolls.
David Harold Hansen was born on September 8, 1940 to Harold and Elvia (Engelsen) Hansen in Duluth, MN; the third of four children.  Dave grew up in Duluth and spent most of his younger years living in a home on London Road that was always welcoming their North Shore relatives as well as acting like today’s Airbnb to other visitors

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in the area.  Dave may not have been in the top of his class, but the man could calculate, in his head, the board feet from a blue print.  This gift he did not hand down to his children!
After graduating from Duluth East in 1958, Dave first attended the University of Duluth before he moved to the big city to finish out his Forestry degree at the University of MN.  While a student at the U of M he met a young lady in school to become a nurse, by the name of Mary Lou Greve.  They fell in love and married on August 24, 1963.  They moved to Grand Rapids, MN where Dave worked for Lambert Lumber.  In January 1966, Dave took a leap of faith and bought an existing lumber yard in Clarissa MN and become the proud owner/operator of Hansen Lumber Co.  Dave was a smart business man and passionate about his community.  He grew a very successful business by pricing his products fairly, opening up the store when someone needed something after hours, and helping with payment plans to the local farmers/builders.
Dave sold Hansen Lumber Co. and retired in 2004.  He had owned a cabin on West Battle Lake since 1970, which was deemed “Camp Hansen”, because the extended Hansen family spent memorable summers there every year.  He truly loved the lake, but the cabin that he built (on the cheap), wasn’t a year-round home.  He found a beautiful house across the lake….on a road appropriately named Clarissa Haven Drive! Dave was immediately a fixture of this neighborhood.  He enjoyed living on the lake full time, keeping an eye on the snowbirds’ houses during the winter months, having short conversation on the deck as kids (and adults) passed through his lawn constantly during the summer, and making a mean fish fry dinner for neighborhood gatherings.
Dave is survived by his children; Lori (Curtis) Johnson and their son Dane of Clear Lake, MN, Scott (Jackie) Hansen of Alexandria, MN and their daughter Lyndsay, and Kari (Dave) Anderson of Park Rapids, MN and their son Mitchell (Jordyn) and great granddaughter Elizabeth; siblings Ginny Gustafson, Karen Anderson, and Rick (Janyce) Hansen; brother-in-law Richard (Marilyn) Greve,  and sister-in-law Kay Greve, along with his 14 nieces and nephews.  Dave loved being an “adopted” grandpa for close family and friends who were missing theirs.  
Dave was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lou; his parents, Harold and Elvia ;  father and mother-in-law, Louis and Marion Greve; brothers-in-law, Keith Anderson, Richard (Dick) Gustafson, and Doug Greve; and his beloved dog, Stranger.
Dave loved Glendalough State Park so it is fitting that we memorialize him at the park when the weather warms and the cabin residents/snowbirds return back to the lake.  There will be more details, but plan for a celebration of life on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26, 2024.  Dave would have loved to see people enjoy a day in the park, on him, so we have 2 buildings rented for the day with a casual ceremony at 1:00 to honor Dave.
In the meantime, if you are inclined to honor Dave, please consider donating in his name to Glendalough Park Partners (PO Box 901, Battle Lake MN 56515), North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum in Tofte, MN where his grandfather was a founder of the town of Tofte (PO Box 2312, Tofte MN 55615) or Productive Alternatives, 1225 Tower Road, Fergus Falls MN 56537.  He would also love it if Battle Lake residents would consider volunteering driving for Productive Alternatives, they are always in need of drivers.  It was something Dave loved to do and made some great connections with his riders.
Interment: Zion Cemetery in Clarissa MN beside his beloved, Mary Lou.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Hansen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, May 26, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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