Chris Martin Hansen passed away unexpectedly of natural causes in his winter home in Mesa, Arizona, on February 21, 2020, at the age of 64. His memorial service will be 10:30 a.m. on Friday, February 28, 2020, at Messiah Lutheran Church in Redfield. Reverend Peter M. Utecht will officiate. Inurnment will take place at a later date in Mt. Hope Cemetery at Frankfort, SD.
Visitation will be Thursday, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., at Hyke Funeral Home in Redfield. Family will be present starting at 6:00 p.m. to accept condolences. A prayer service with time for sharing will begin at 7:00 p.m. Arrangements have been entrusted to Hyke Funeral Home. (www.hykefuneralhome.com)
Chris Martin Hansen was born in Aberdeen, SD into the family of Leo and Avis Hansen on April 3, 1955, as the youngest of four children. The family resided on a grain and livestock farm northwest of Doland, SD. Chris lived in that area and was an active member of the Redeemer Lutheran Church his entire life. He graduated from Doland High School in 1973, where he played basketball, which became a lifelong passion for him.
After graduating with a degree in business from St. Cloud State in 1983, Chris spent several years managing cotton gins in Arizona for Producers Cotton. He then returned to South Dakota to sell insurance and financial products for AAL in Britton. In 1994, Chris began farming in Spink County, living first near Doland and later in Redfield. For most of his life, he split his time between Spink county, where his ties to his family and his roots shaped his life, and Arizona, where he was a 31-year Phoenix Suns season ticket holder. He was recently honored at an NBA game by the team for his loyalty and longevity. He was a lifelong fan of the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Lakers and could recite considerable minutiae from the players’ records. He also had a passion for owning late model cars and pickups.
After the death of his father in 1992, Chris made caring for his mother and his family the defining mission of his life. He was the family historian, proud of his Norwegian and Danish heritage, and traveled thousands of miles every year to support not only his mother and sisters, but also his eight nieces and nephews, whom he was so proud of. From college graduations as far east as New Hampshire to basketball games as far west as Hawaii, Chris never missed an opportunity to be there for the big moments in their lives. It is as an uncle that his memory will shine on the longest and brightest, not only through the eight nieces and nephews, but also through their spouses and fourteen "grand" nieces and nephews.
While Chris valued solitude and privacy, he was remarkable in maintaining personal relationships with a vast number of people, extending beyond his nuclear family to his extended family, church and community. As a devout member of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, his faith guided him in every aspect of his life. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of the names and history of the people of Doland and Spink County, which he would happily discuss for hours. When you saw Chris, it was as if you were resuming a lifelong conversation that had just been cut short last time you met. While most get caught up in their own lives and let relationships fade away, Chris refused to let that happen and took the initiative to maintain these relationships.
He was preceded in death by his father, Leo Hansen (1992), his mother, Avis (Hausvik) Hansen (2019), his brother Russell Hansen (1993), and his brother-in-law Glen Reiner (1989). He is survived by his sisters Shirley Hansen (Randy) and Joanne Reiner (James Janke), both of Sioux Falls, and his beloved nieces and nephews: Tara Hansen-Leinen (Sam) and Justin Hansen of Sioux Falls; Matthew Reiner of Tripp, Ryan Reiner (Kristin) of Sioux Falls, and Jared Reiner (Jen) of Edina, MN, and Joshua Hansen (Karen) of Colorado Springs, CO, Jeff Hansen of Frankfort, and Jill Hansen of Sioux Falls.
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