Michael W. Hansen, age 68, of Hayward, WI passed away on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, from terminal cancer. Mike was born on January 4, 1955, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Donald and Barbara Hansen, and brother to Nancy and Cheri. His family lived in Milwaukee, then Clintonville, visiting the family’s “Little Red Cabin” every weekend they could. Some of Mike’s fondest childhood memories took place there fishing, hunting, and exploring with his family in their remote land near Conover, WI. It was there that he learned to “keep his eyes peeled”, a trait that he passed on to his children and grandchildren throughout the years, encouraging them to always search out the ”more” in life.
Mike met Leanne, the love of his life, in Clintonville, as a sophomore in high school. They raised 8 children throughout their 45 years of marriage. Mike graduated from Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa, and then returned to Wisconsin where Mike pastored different little churches over several years. In 1988 the family settled on a little farmstead in Hayward, WI. Over the years Mike and Leanne transformed the little log cabin into a beautiful home where they raised their 8 children, hosted countless large gatherings, provided a hub for all their kids’ friends and cousins’ activities, and eventually became a playground to many grandchildren. There was always something going on at the Hansen House, and Mike was always investing his time and resources into creating experiences, relationships and memories for his family and friends - from a full-size basketball court in the backyard, to hockey rinks, pools, dirt bike track, and a hobby farm with horses, sheep, goats, and chickens. While living at the farm in Hayward, Mike operated a log home building business and built custom log furniture. Recently he retired from building and became a realtor in the area.
Mike had many passions and interests, which he developed over the years and included his family in. From childhood he was an avid fly fisherman and created an annual May tradition of fishing the “Kinnie” (Kinnickinnic River near River Falls) with his sons, sons-in-law, and grandsons, which will continue. Along with fishing, he started hunting at a young age. He hunted with both bow and gun and enjoyed scouting all throughout the year. He also trapped, enjoyed grouse and pheasant hunting, and got into the woods every chance he got. Mike valued physical fitness, and he and Leanne enjoyed trail and road biking, cross country skiing, and hiking together. Mike also loved writing and wrote many stories and even books. One of his books is about his formative years growing up at “The Little Red Cabin”. Mike weaved in lessons from nature and his love for God in every story.
Mike was intentional in everything he did. Raising his family to value life, people and faith was his main priority. He loved people well and invested his time in relationships. In his actions, and in his art and writing he always strove to lead people closer to God.
Mike is survived by his wife and soulmate, Leanne; eight children, Leah (David) of Hayward, Nathan of San Diego, Brad (Seanna) of Hayward, Marie (Joe) of Hayward, Caleb (Rachel) of Minnetonka, MN, Josiah (Kelly) of Hayward, Sam (Sarah) of Fort Smith, AR, and David, of Richland, WA; fourteen grandchildren Danny, Austin, Joe, Eyan, Halle, Micah, Hadley, Hudson, Harper, Everly, Alivia, Georgia, Spencer and Juniper; siblings Nancy (Jim) Schryer and Cheri (Ron) Parr, and nieces and nephews...who will all greatly miss him.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 11:30 am at the Hayward Wesleyan Church. A Visitation will be held from 10:30 am to the time of service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, Mike expressed that he would be honored for donations to be made to a rehabilitation ministry for men that he greatly esteemed and where he recently participated in the construction of their new workshop. Please forward donations to “Greater Hayward House of Hope – Woodworking Shop”, P.O. Box 372, Hayward, WI 54843.