Jack Edward Hansen Jr., 69, passed away Monday, November 2, 2020 at his home in Rock Springs, Wyoming. He was born on May 1, 1951 in Rock Springs, graduated from Rock Springs High School in 1969 and attended Western Wyoming Community College. He worked at Solvay Minerals for 32 years until his retirement in 2013 as a Project Planner.
Jack and his wife of 47 years, Robbie Rudelich enjoyed a rich life together. They were married on December 28, 1972 in Rock Springs and raised two children with love and devotion; one son, Joel E. Hansen and wife Theresa of Cheyenne, and one daughter, Heidi Hansen and husband Patrick Rowe of Fort Collins, Colorado. Jack spent his life giving his family the world. His new grandson, Simon Edward Rowe (16 months old), was his pride and joy; a mention of Simon’s penchant for stickers resulted in Jack sending hundreds of stickers weekly.
Wyoming was Jack’s favorite place. He was born and raised here and spent much of his life enjoying all the natural beauty the state has to offer. He spent his weekends on the Flaming Gorge, boating with his family and squeezing in some fishing time when the kids would let him. He would float the Snake, Green, and Salt Rivers fishing and photographing wildlife along the way. Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks were two of his favorite places. He knew every road, geyser, trail, stream, lake, and even where to go and what times to see the most animals —and yes, he would yell at you if you strayed off the boardwalk. Another of Jack’s favorite places in Wyoming was Star Valley Ranch. He and his family spent a lot of time there, in a small A frame cabin doing their favorite activities; swimming, hiking, golfing, skiing, and riding a toboggan that could go 20 MPH.
Jack enjoyed golfing and was a regular at Green River Country Club. He had an excellent short game and would golf with his friends and his family. He was a club builder, a skill which he learned from his dad, and he created many custom sets. He didn’t ask for anything in return for building the clubs, just that they were enjoyed.
Family road trips ranged from Canada to Florida and many places in between. No destination was too far, be it in a 1972 Karmann Ghia (playing Grateful Dead at full volume) or a minivan with his family (playing Grateful Dead at half volume). Never without an element of the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, many family trips involved wrong directions, hotel room ant infestations, or car breakdowns but also once in a lifetime experiences like seeing the Space Shuttle launch or eating lunch at the top of the WTC in NYC, a week before 9/11. Family trips to visit Florida relatives always included a trip to Disneyworld where Jack happily rode every ride twice and could, unashamedly, sing every word to the Tiki Room song.
He enjoyed restoring and driving classic Volkswagen Karmann Ghia coupes. His retirement project was a blue ’73 he would take to the local Rods and Rails car show. Engines and mechanics fascinated Jack. He always liked watching the UP Steam engines come through town. He and his family road on the Cheyenne Frontier Days train pulled by the UP 844 a number of times. When the Big Boy returned to Wyoming, Jack was there with his camera photographing the event.
He was preceded in death by his father, Jack Edward Hansen Sr, who taught him the importance of good humor and education; his mother, Dorothy Corwith Hansen, who taught him the importance of unconditional love and good manners; and his aunt, Doris Hansen who taught him kindness. He is survived by a brother, Dale Hansen, of Rock Springs and a sister, Janeen Hilyard with husband Ted of Elko, Nevada.
Following Cremation, a celebration of life will be held at a later date.
The family respectfully requests donations in Jack’s memory be made to Yellowstone Forever, P.O. Box 1110, Gardner, Montana 59030 or www.yellowstoneforever.org