Owen Peter Hansen, 86, passed from this world and onto the next on Oct. 5, 2017, at his home in Lebanon. He was born Aug. 30, 1931 in Ogden, Utah. Anna Margaret and Peter Hansen, both deceased, were his adoptive parents.
Mr. Hansen graduated from Ogden High School in 1949 where he was a pitcher on the Ogden High 1949 Utah State Championship Baseball Team.
He spent three years in the United States Air Force in Korea and Japan. While in Japan, he served in the 315th Troop Carrier Wing at Brady Air Force Base.
He went on to graduate in 1957 from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. While in college he was president of the University of Utah chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, the national journalistic fraternity. While attending college he was with the Salt Lake City Bureau of United Press-International and worked part time with the Desert News.
Owen and his wife, Clara, moved cross-country with two children in a beat-up station wagon to begin his tenure with The Lebanon Reporter in February of 1958. He began work as city editor and columnist of his bi-weekly column Hans Glances and in 1974 was promoted to managing editor. In 1968, shortly after the Tet Offensive, he visited Vietnam for The Reporter for three months interviewing 36 Boone servicemen and was one of only a few small town newsmen to gain such credentials. Hansen recalled being on a plane ready for take-off in Saigon when the air raid siren sounded. He and two other newsmen got in a bunker at the airport. There one of the newsmen said he forgot his camera. Hansen handed his camera to the reporter who later it was learned to be Eddie Adams, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his photo of a Viet Cong officer being executed on the streets of Saigon.
As a newsman he covered the largest man-made earth excavation explosion for fill dirt to be used for the second tressle from Ogden to Promitory Point in 1957 which was used by the Union Pacific Railroad. In Indiana he was on the scene following the Allegheny plane crash which killed 167 near Shelbyville in the late 1960s. He also covered the appeal hearing of Denzel Allen, Lebanon U.S. Marine convicted of killing civilians in Vietnam, and more than a dozen local murder trials.
Hansen served as president of the Lebanon Jaycees in 1964, and was elected a Republican Boone County Councilman in 1968, a position he served for six years. In 1974, he was elected Boone County Commissioner, serving one term, two years of which were as president of the commissioners.
Active in other capacities, Hansen served 25 years on the Lebanon Utility Service Board, the last ten of which he had been president, before retiring in 1998. He had been on the Boone County Sheriff's Merit Board for 25 years and served as president the past ten years.
He was an avid tennis player, and helped organize the annual July 4th Tournament in Lebanon, before taking up the sport of golf playing at Ulen Country Club where he was a member and on the greens committee.
For the Lebanon July 4th Committee he was a former chairman and coordinated the first 7-mile bike race from Elizaville to Lebanon in connection with the Fourth Festival. He loved to tell the story of the elephant that escaped and ran around the Ulen Country Club Golf Course the first year of the carnival. Owen was also honored in 1996 by Governor Evan Bayh by receiving the Sagamore of the Wabash Award given to those who have contributed greatly to Hoosier heritage.
Outside of his professional and civic accomplishments, Owen would say that his greatest gifts were his three daughters and his lifelong love of his life, Claire Tribe. They married 64 years ago on Aug. 31, 1953, in Las Vegas. They celebrate their three daughters, April (Tim) Luria, Heidi (Chris) Warren and Hope (Randy) Gustavson. Other joys of his life include his grandchildren, Kaitlin and Megan Warren and Jonas Gustavson.
Visitation is planned from 4 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 at Myers Mortuary, 1502 North Lebanon St., in Lebanon. Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 at the funeral home in Lebanon. Interment will follow at Browns Wonder Cemetery in Lebanon.
Owen continued to be a voracious reader and current event enthusiast until he passed away. He would have appreciated any memorial contributions being made to The Lebanon Public Library, 104 East Washington St., Lebanon, Indiana 46052. Although he hadn't written any prose for quite some time, he always believed, with utmost certainty, that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.
Online condolences: www.myersmortuary.com
Published on October 7, 2017