Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Snow in the hills

Today we had the great opportunity to visit our good friend who lives way (did I mention WAY) up on a mountain in the
 Black Hills.  We enjoyed a good visit and she prepared a delicious meal for us. We still miss the man of the house who since Nov. 23 has been enjoying his new home in heaven. 

 We enjoyed watching the deer who our friend calls "the girls".   Jeff brought along some corn as a special treat for the girls.  This is about as close as they would get since they are not very familiar with us.  They did enjoy the corn though.
 Even the click of my camera would spook them.   They certainly are Gods beautiful creation.
 It started to snow as we traveled to the higher elevation and it snowed the whole time we were there.
 It was so white and bright out.  
 What a beautiful winter wonderland.  
 It was almost hard for us to believe we were less then an hour from our home where there is no snow.
OK,  Just a little still on the North shaded areas.  

 It was about 28 degrees and the roads and hills were white with snow and big piles of the white stuff where the roads had been cleared.  We were thankful for our 4 wheel drive Tahoe.

 As we drove home,  the temp kept rising until it hit 42 degrees and the picture below shows the bare hills here in Rapid City.  I know the picture is very fuzzy but you can get the idea.   We need moisture so hopefully in the near future we will get more snow or rain.    It is amazing what a few miles or a few minutes of driving can make.  I hope you have all had a beautiful day and had the privilege and opportunity to attend a Ash Wednesday church service today.  We made it back for our 6 PM service with 1/2 hr to spare.

Monday, February 4, 2013

My dad, Gregor Hanssen 9-20-1918 to 1-6-2013

Gregor Hanssen 
Gregor Edwin Hanssen went home to be with Jesus January 6, 2013. He was born on September 20, 1918, the fifth child to Seede and Anna (Herman) Hanssen, on the farm where he lived his entire life. He was baptized and confirmed into Christian faith at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Niagara, ND. He was an active member of the church serving as Congregational Chairman for around 40 years.

Gregor was drafted into the Army in 1942 as part of the 90th Division “Tough Ombres”. He had many stories to tell of World War II and was proud to have been able to have a cigarette with General Patton. He was honorably discharged in 1945. He came home to marry his childhood sweetheart, Loretta Behm on September 11, 1946. The two celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary last fall. Together they had two children, Dale and Diane.

Gregor was the second generation to farm his families’ land and extended his love of the land to his son Dale, and more recently his grandson Jamie, who took over the farm when Dale passed. Gregor was also an avid hunter and shot his 63rd deer at the age of 90! He shared his love of hunting with his son and grandson.

He leaves his family a legacy of faith and love. He lived his life as an example to all, never asking God to heal his legs, rather praying “Thy Grace is sufficient for me.” He was patient and silly. Known for his tolerance to let his grandchildren race him to his recliner after dinner and allowing them to put make-up on him and curlers in his hair while he napped. We will miss his smile and quick wit, but know he has no pain and has been reunited with his son in heaven!

Gregor will be dearly missed by his bride of 66 years: Loretta; Daughter: Diane and Jeff Falin of Rapid City, SD; and daughter-in-law: Kathy of Niagara. Grandchildren: Charity and Birkley Baker of Elmwood, NE; Melissa and Tim Sutton of Alamo, ND; Angel and David Steffan of Michigan, ND; Amber and Sean Rauschendorfer of Grand Forks, ND; and his Number One Grandson: Jamie of Niagara. Nine Great-Grandchildren: Adriana, Tristen, Constence, Wyatt and Lydia Baker, Ansir Sutton, Brayden, Kaylee and Kenzie Rauschendorfer. He is also survived by a sister: Gertie Krueger of Larimore; a sister-in-law: Ruth Hanssen also of Larimore and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and son Dale; his brothers: Carl, Harme, Walter, Gerhart, and Herb; and sisters: Viola and Lenora.

FUNERAL SERVICES: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, January 10, 2013 at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Niagara, ND.

VISITATION: Wednesday, January 9 from 5-7 p.m. with a 7 p.m. prayer service held in the Bakke Funeral Home of Larimore. Visitation will also be for one hour prior to the funeral in the church on Thursday.

INTERMENT: St. Andrew Lutheran Cemetery, Niagara.

MILITARY HONORS: John Larson Post No. 247 of the Petersburg, ND, American Legion.

The Bakke Funeral Home of Larimore, ND, is handling the arrangements


I am happy and rejoice for my dad's new, forever life in Heaven, 
It is not easy to say good-by to your dad no matter how old or how long you have lived away from home.  I know without a doubt that he believed and trusted his lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that he is safe in the arms of his loving heavenly Father.  We will be together again someday as all who believe and trust in Jesus death and Resurrection for our salvation from our human sins, will spend eternity in Heaven with Him.  

These are coppies of my dad and mothers marriege certificate.  My mom and dad had been married 66 years.Below my dad's April, 1932 confirmation certificate.

These are pictures my dad carried in his wallet.  The 4 of my mother were always with him since he left for WW II in Europe. Since 1942 and stayed with him in the casket as he was buried.     The pictures of me and my brother were only with him for the past 45 years or so.

These L shape flowers are a memorial from the 9 great grandchildren.

Flower memorials that were sent by relatives and friends.   Above, the white from a previous Pastor Allen and wife,    plants from Amber's in laws and LaDonna (Hanssen)  and husband John.
Below,  The basket with red and white from my dads brother, the late Walter Hanssen's children. and the red, white and blue from my dad's oldest brother,  the late Carl Hanssen's children.

My cousin, LaDonna and husband John came from out of state to say good-by to my dad who they loved so much.

Three plants and flowers sent by Amber's in laws.  They were a beautiful memorial.
At the prayer service on January 9th,  My mother was comforted by many people.  Here my uncle Al, her brother in law is talking with her and below, my dad's sister, Gertie Krueger has kind words about her brother.

This is my dad's WW II cap that we found and purchased for him a few years ago while we were at a big VA facility.
A picture board full of memories and also a table full of my dads things and memories.  My dad's WW II wool jacket hangs behind the table, His Bible that he so often read, US Army medals, a pocket watch, hearts game and Mennen skin bracer aftershave are just a few things on display.

After a beautiful Worship service of celebration for my dad, 
Pastor Dennis Neels  is reading the Obituary 
and memories from family members.

The final time my dad past by his farm where he lived his whole life was on his way to the cemetery

At the St Andrew cemetery.  

The playing of taps was very emotional as my dad would tear up as he heard it played.  I am sure it always brought back many memories from WW II when he himself used to play taps.  The Legion gave a 21 gun salute.

My 91 yr old mother and her younger sister Vera are best friends.  They don't get to see each other very often anymore since they have both given up driving and live about 10 miles from each other.  They talk to each other every day on the phone with support, encouragement and comfort.
  They do enjoy every time they get together.  Out of 11 grown children, there are only four still living.  

After getting back from the cemetary and after a nice lunchen provided by the church ladies group, we took a few pictures of family.
     Below are the five grandchildren with their
 memorial  floral cross. 
My brothers family, His wife Kathy,  Angel and David,  Amber and Sean with their three children.
  The girls are twins,    Jamie, is in the back center.  
This is our family with our two daughters,
 their husbands and our 6 grandchildren. 
Me and Jeff with our two daughters,  Charity and Melissa.
My brothers three children took a flower from my dads casket bouquet and took them to their dads grave that is in the same cemetery a few yards south east.  My dad's parents are berried about half way between the two.

Now this is a true winter day in ND.  Snow and blowing.  It is not at all unusual for temp's to dip -30 degrees  in January with a - 40 to -50 degree wind chill.   The last two days that I was there with my mother, it got down to  -22 and -25 degrees.    Now that is cold.

This is DUKE,  Jamie's dog.   Our daughter enjoyed Duke very much as he reminded her a lot of their previous dog, a black and white springer spaniel named ROY.

The girls had a blast dressing up in some of my old cloths that still hangs in the closet.  We all had fun watching them model.   

Our Baxter dog has been a great companion for about 16 years.  We love him dearly but he was having more and more trouble with walking, getting up and down, eating and due to many growths etc. he was coughing almost non stop.  Jeff and I made the painful decision to have him put to sleep.  We had discussed this in the past several months as we watched him struggle with life but I just could not do it.  Every time I looked at him I would think of my dad patting him on the head and telling him,  "It's OK old boy,  I know how you feel, it's tough to get old."   So on Jan 15th we said our final good by to Baxter dog.  Like I told Jamie,  "I am already mourning my dad, I might as well be mourning my dog too".    Quick witted Jamie, figured it sounded like a good title for a country western song.

My mothers brother,  my Uncle Ed came to the house to play guitar and sing.  This is always an enjoyable time.    He gave a few pointers to our 13 yr old grandson who has taken up guitar a few months ago.  He has come a long way in 3 short months.

Papa Jeffrey shares some special guitar time with his grandson.  We are very proud of him.

Jamie my nephew with his god daughter.    She is my 10 yr old granddaughter.
Great Grandma, my mother with three of her youngest great grandchildren.
 There are 9 great grandchildren in all. 

The sun is setting and reminds us that our life on this earth is also coming to an end. 
It is not that the light has gone out but that the lamp has been turned off because the dawn is here.

Below are several of the last pictures taken of my dad. 
These were taken the last week in Nov. when Jeff and I spent several days with my parents.  It was a good time and the time, as always, seemed to go too fast.      

I loved his smile and laugh.  I think everyone did!
I am sorry this picture was not in focus but I still love it 
and want to share it.  This is my dad!

For the past several years, he helped make the pepper nuts for Christmas.  He would strengthen them all in even rows,
 getting them ready for the oven.   

This is a common view with Dad in his nice comfortable recliner and my mom in her rocker.  Dad always said that nothing hurt him when he was sitting in that recliner or when he slept at night.
 That was a comfort to us all.
Jeff took these pictures of me and my Dad  on November 27th 2013 and I will always treasure these pictures.   These and my many, many great memories will have to suffice until we see each other again and spend eternity in Heaven.  This is a promise from our loving Father in Heaven.    JOHN 3: 16    GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him, should not parish but have everlasting life.   That is life with no end, forever and ever. Amen.