John Hansell


Sun City West, Arizona

March 28, 1947 — May 5, 2020

John S. Hansell died May 5, 2020, in Sun City West, Arizona. Hansell was 73 at the time of his death.

He was born in Walla Walla, Washington, on March 28, 1947. He graduated from McEwen High School in Athena, Oregon, in 1965. He was a sixth-generation member of an Oregon Territory family. He lived for 58 years in Oregon before he and his wife moved to Arizona in 2005.

Hansell was preceded in death by his parents, former Oregon State Representative Stafford Hansell and Mary Elizabeth Hansell.

After graduation from Oregon State University, where he completed the prestigious University Honors Program, Hansell was selected for a doctoral program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Hansell always considered the highlight of his formal academic career was his NASA experience analyzing lunar samples brought to earth by the Apollo 11 mission. Rather, he decided to pursue a career with Hansell Brothers, Inc. ranching and farming enterprises, which he did for 45 years.

Hansell enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities: golf, hunting, camping, alpine skiing and fishing were favorites. He also enjoyed boating and many forms of water sports. Early in his life, Hansell studied music and had nine formal years on the piano. He was accomplished on the five-string banjo, classical and acoustic guitars. Hansell also had a strong penchant for hot-rodding. He owned a 1933 Ford Model 40 Hi-Boy roadster. The passion for building a roadster of that quality truly became an obsession to him.

Hansell was a past member of the Jaycees, Elks, and Rotary. He served on the Hermiston Board of Education, and the board of education of Blue Mountain Community College. He was a past director on the Pendleton Grain Growers Board. He served on the Umatilla County committee of the Farm Home Administration. He served on the County Line Water Improvement District. He also served on advisory committees for the College of Veterinary Medicine at OSU, and as chairman of the Hermiston Agricultural and Experiment Station. Hansell enjoyed judging livestock throughout the Northwest and Montana.

Hansell is survived by his wife, Christina, and his three children: Kirsten Lumby (Dan), Cade Hansell (Brandi), and Marci Johnston (Ryan). He is also survived by three stepchildren: Jason Dowdy (Heather), Tricia Dowdy (Stan) and Sarah Mitchell. Hansell has 10 grandchildren.

He was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church of Sun City West, Arizona.

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