John Eugene Hansen
John Eugene Hansen (AKA: John Boy; JB) passed away July 14, 2019 from complications of Nuclear Protein in Testis (NUT) Midline Carcinoma.
John was born in Rapid City, SD to Robert and Ruth Hansen on October 22, 1956. John’s childhood days were spent in Rapid Valley, playing baseball, fishing for bullheads/catfish and hunting ducks with his dad.
John attended a country school in Rapid Valley (last 7th grade class) and Rapid City Schools, graduating from “Old Central” in 1974. During these years he played baseball (a couple of All-Star Teams) and lettered in football and track.
After graduation he headed to Wyoming working construction on a bridge crew on the last unfinished section of I-90 and later on a tie-gang for the Burlington Northern Railroad. He returned to Rapid City going to work for Morton Buildings, Inc. working up to the position of crew foreman. Also, during this time, he married Karen Romel to which his daughter, Heather Kimberly, was born. John and Karen later divorced.
Having grown up in the Black Hills, forestry and timber harvesting had always been an interest to John. John decided to return to school, attending NDSU Bottineau, South Dakota School of Mines and eventually the University of Montana, where he obtained his degree in Forest Resource Management. During his college years he worked for South Dakota State Forestry (Initial Attack & Timber); U.S. Forest Service, Montrose, CO (Timber & Fire); U.S. Forest Service, Sundance, WY (Timber & Fire) and Champion International, Missoula, MT (burning crew). Also, during this time, John was blessed with the birth of his son, Robert James. Both of his children have been very successful in life and John is extremely proud of them.
From the day John set foot in Montana, he knew it was home. After graduation they moved to Libby, MT where John began his career in Forestry and Timber Harvesting with Champion International Timberlands as a Forestry Technician, working and learning from some true forestry pioneers.
Good fortune continued in 1989 when John was hired by the Montana Logging Association as a Field Safety Representative, a job title that would change many times. This endeavor lasted 29+ years (truly a job of a life time). And again, John was blessed to work for, along side and learn from, true legends within the timber harvesting industry. Everyday was truly a learning experience and many wonderful friendships were made along the way.
During his time with the Montana Logging Association, John served 24 years on the A.L.E.R.T. Advisory Board. During this time, the program has grown to 2 full-time emergency helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft for the further distances. He was a long-time member of and past president of NW Montana Hoo-Hoo #187 (a fraternal order of timbermen), a 2015 Hoo-Hoo Woodpecker award recipient and was recently the recipient of the Montana DNRC Forestry Pioneer and the Don McKenzie Award at the Intermountain Logging Conference. John was also a past Kalispell Chamber Natural Resource Committee Chairman.
One of John’s greatest pleasures was being in the woods, especially on logging jobs. He also enjoyed playing golf and he took great pride in his yard, flowers and garden. He loved picking huckleberries and it was always a challenge to see how many gallons he could pick. He was a Griz football fan and an obsessive Orange and Blue Denver Bronco fan. (Go Donks!)
John was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his daughter Heather (husband Thomas), his five grandchildren, Britton, Spencer, Clara, Freddie and Ollie; his son Robert (Toni); and his brother Michael Hansen.
A celebration of life is planned for mid August.
Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for the family