Monday, May 2, 2011

Hans Frederik Marko Hansen

Hans Frederik Marko Hansen, 79, died Monday, May 2, 2011, after a prolonged illness. Hans was born September 13, 1931, in Torselunde, Lolland, Denmark.

He left school at 14 and trained as a Haberdasher in Nykøbing Falster. He was an avid adventurer from youth and played A Level amateur soccer in his native Denmark before knee injuries sidelined him. He visited the United States in 1957 and worked for room and board on a family farm in Bristol WI.

Shortly after coming to Racine, he met Jean York and they married on October 3, 1959. He worked many jobs in his first years in Wisconsin, including driving construction trucks during the building of Bong Air Force Base and at AMC in Kenosha. In 1962, Hans and Jean opened Hans Hansen Importers in Racine. Their furniture store specialized in quality Scandinavian furniture and accessories which Hans imported. He loved traveling “home” to Denmark for business and to visit family. During the four decades there were stores at times in Milwaukee and Madison, WI, and in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Hans retired from the furniture business in 2005 only to start a small business selling Danish specialty foods to stores and shops throughout the area.

Hans was always very active, both physically and in the community. He swam laps at the YMCA almost every day, until recently, and was an active founding member of the Racine Rotary Club - West.

Hans’ enjoyment of soccer and love of community extended to sponsorship of a boys soccer team in Denmark. In 1980, he brought the team to Racine for the summer. Over 25 boys stayed with area families and played many soccer matches against area teams as well as learning about the Racine area and the Midwest. The following year, Hans arranged for the Prairie School soccer team to travel to Denmark to complete the exchange.

Hans is survived by his wife, Jean (daughter of Karl and Elizabeth York); daughter, Elizabeth (Barton) Warner of Morristown, NJ; son, Christian of Gainesville, FL; granddaughters, Madeline and Isabel Warner; sisters, Enid and Inger in Denmark; and brother-in-law, Michael (Jan) York of New Berlin, WI; close friends, Dr. Stan Englander, Sally and Robert Henzl, Sandi and Frank Herre, and the extended family in Denmark. Hans was preceded in death by his parents, Christian and Elvira; two sisters, Tone and Helen; and brother, Kurt, all in Denmark.

A Memorial Service will be held later this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Racine Y.M.C.A. or to

803 Main St., Racine (262) 634-7888

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