Tor HANSEN Obituary (2021) – Excelsior, MN


Of Spring Park, MN Died peacefully on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, at the age of 87. His heart gave out while recovering from a surgery, due to a recent fall. Tor was born in Oslo, Norway, on September 12, 1933, to father Oskar ‘Alfred’ and Dagmar Miranda (nee Johansen) Hansen. As a young boy, Tor experienced the Nazi occupation of Norway during WWII, and never forgot some difficult things he witnessed. At 20, he entered the Norwegian Army, becoming a Sergeant before being accepted to The University of New Hampshire (UNH) in 1957. He paid his way to the U.S. by painting the ships’ lifeboats for the eleven-day journey. In 1959 he graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Eventually work brought him to Minneapolis. In January of 1962, Tor met the love of his life, Sunny, in ULLR Ski Club—a shared love of downhill skiing proved to be serendipitous. The two married in December of 1962 at Plymouth Congregational Church of Minneapolis where they became very active, lifelong members. In 1965, they moved to White Bear Lake where they joyfully lived out most of their lives and raised two children, Sonja and Tor S. By 1965 Tor worked for Hayden-Murphy Equipment as an Engineer in sales. His sharp mind and famous ability to make human connections led the way to great success. He earned several sales awards and won international trips that he enjoyed with Sunny. As a family we enjoyed many ski trips to Lutsen Mountains in Minnesota, Telemark in Wisconsin, and Alta Ski Resort in Utah, among others. Summers on White Bear Lake included plenty of waterskiing, pontoon rides and entertaining friends and family. Around the year 2000, Tor and Sunny purchased a condo in the Spring Run Golf Club community in Bonita Springs, Florida. There they spent winters golfing, swimming and visiting with a new group of friends. Tor was also a member of Forest Hills Golf Club in Minnesota, where he regularly golfed with a group of buddies until the end of his life. In their later years, when Sunny began to decline from the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease, Tor was her faithful caregiver and companion. The two ultimately moved to a senior care facility in Spring Park, MN when Sunny required more help. One of the most memorable things about our dad was his genuine pride in his Norwegian heritage and his steadfast desire to share it with his American descendants. He proudly took his kids and their spouses and four grandchildren to Norway twice in his lifetime. He shared his love of torske, lingonberries, mutton, aquavit —and more, with anyone who dared try them. Tor was actively involved in Torske Klubben, a Norwegian men’s luncheon club, and the Norwegian American Technical Society for decades. At the same time, Tor dearly loved the United States where he gained citizenship in 1967. He used to love to say “Vi har det godt i Amerika!” (“We have it good in America!”) If you knew our dad, you knew he had a gift for storytelling which he did right up until the end of his life. He loved to make people laugh! He enjoyed life more than anyone we know and he lived it to the fullest. We miss our dad so much, but we do take some solace in the fact that he and our mom are together once again. There is a lively social hour with music and dancing being held in a special corner of heaven. A joint memorial service for our parents will be held at The Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, 924 E. 21st St, Minneapolis, MN on Saturday, September 25 at 11:00 am. Tor K. Hansen is survived by his brother Ivar (Brita) Hansen, of Skien, Norway; daughter Sonja (Matt) Johnson; son Tor S. (Emily) Hansen; and four grandchildren: Walter (18), Sofie (18), Kyra (17) and Jana (16). Tor K. was preceded in death by his parents Alfred and Dagmar and his dear wife of 58 years, Sunny. Memorials preferred to The Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601.

Published by Pioneer Press on Sep. 5, 2021.



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