Michael D. Hansen

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 19:00

Chugiak’s Michael D. Hansen died Oct. 29, 2013. He was 63.

Hansen was born July 29, 1950, in Stevens Point, Wis. His childhood was spent in Grand Marais and Marquette, Mich. Hansen attended Michigan State University, graduating with a degree in biology.

One of his first jobs was as a fishing guide at Rainbow King Lodge in Iliamna. Hansen earned a degree in elementary education from Western Washington University and began his teaching career in Australia.

After two years in Australia, Hansen returned to Alaska to teach at Nunaka Valley Elementary.

His love for traveling and his sense of adventure inspired him to return abroad and teach in Chile and Ethiopia, his family wrote.

Once again, Hansen returned to Alaska where he continued his teaching career, married, and started his greatest adventure, raising two daughters. He found great joy in being a devoted husband and father, his family wrote.

Hansen provided many unique opportunities for his daughters’ recreation, creating a sledding hill, rock-climbing wall, waterslide and ball swing on the family’s property. He loved camping, hiking, boating, skiing and trips outside Alaska with his family to see new places and for cherished family reunions.

Besides his family, his greatest passion was fishing, as well as, gardening, nurturing lovely apple trees, playing Scrabble with his mom, and following the Tundra comic strip, his family wrote.

Hansen retired from Mirror Lake Middle School in 2013 after 36 years of teaching. He loved making learning fun for his students, especially when it involved science and outdoor skills, his family wrote. Hansen was also a coach for mountain biking, cross-country skiing and tennis teams.

He was preceded in death by Martin Hansen, his natural father.

Hansen is survived by his wife of 25 years, Bernadette; daughters, Katrina and Laila; mother, Laila Whitfield; stepfather, George Whitfield; mother-in-law, Jacqui DeChant; brothers Dave, Andy and Bob; and step siblings, Lantz, Kevin, Stacy and Stephanie. He has a large extended family and many friends throughout the world.

A celebration of life and potluck will be held Sunday, Nov. 10 at Mirror Lake Middle School at 4 p.m.

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