Ellen Hansen

June 22, 1927 ~ May 12, 2021 (age 93)


Ellen Toni Louise Hansen, 93, of Tremont died at 3:06 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at her home in Tremont.

She was born June 22, 1927, in Kiel, Germany, the daughter of Herman and Toni Ladebusch.   She married Andreas “Andy” Hansen on Feb. 19, 1945, in Sieseby, Germany.  He preceded her in death on March 26, 2006.

Other survivors include a sister, Gerda Baker of McAllen, TX, two daughters, Karin (Chuck) Heritage of Middlebury, IN and Jensen Beach, FL,  and Rita (Jim) Thorne of Pekin; one son, John (Nancy) Hansen of Gurnee, IL; three granddaughters, Jennifer (Richard) McConnell, Kathryn Thorne, and Maggie Hansen; five grandsons, Michael (Lara) Heritage, Kenneth (Barb) Heritage, David (Janna) Heritage, Ed (Shawna) Thorne and Jack Hansen; 18 great grandchildren; 9 great-great grandchildren.

Ellen was preceded in death by her parents; one daughter, Rosemary Hansen; and two great-grandchildren.

Ellen’s life was filled with challenges – surviving a war and its aftermath, losing a child at a young age, relocating to a new country, and losing the love of her life after more than 60 years of marriage.  Throughout it all, she exhibited incredible resiliency, always bouncing back with determination and perseverance.  

Ellen was an inspiration to those around her – filled with a joyful spirit and seemingly boundless energy.   She was a true “people person” and never hesitated to reach out to strangers.  She loved sitting on her porch greeting passersby with a wave and a smile.     Ellen was incredibly funny – often without even trying – and was never hesitant to share in the fun and laugh at herself along with everyone else.

While she was in excellent health for most of her life, there were some setbacks in recent years.    True to her nature, her ability to routinely rise to “favorite patient” status among her caregivers was a source of pride.

Ellen enjoyed gardening and cooking, but her biggest passion was her family.    She hosted countless holiday gatherings in her Tremont home over many decades – bringing together generations to celebrate and share stories.   Holidays simply will not be the same without “Oma” there to celebrate.

She was a member of Tremont United Methodist Church.

Cremation has been accorded. There will be no visitation. A private celebration of life service will be held at a later date. Davis-Oswald Funeral Home in Tremont is handling the arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to OSF Home Care ( and Meals on Wheels (

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