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September 8, 1932 - October 9, 2019
Vearl H. Hansen, 87, Rapid City, passed away on October 9, 2019
Vearl was a wonderful man that was loved, is missed and will always be cherished. He was a dedicated husband, loving father and lighthearted grandpa. Vearl was born September 8, 1932 to Leonard and Elsie (Bockorny) Hansen in Bison, South Dakota. He grew up in the farming and ranching area of Meadow, South Dakota. On July 27, 1952 in Lead, South Dakota, Vearl married the love of his life Mary (Pahkamaa) in front of 70 relatives and friends. Shortly after the wedding, Vearl was drafted into the US Army where he served in the Korean War. After discharge, he returned home to his wife and soon to be three sons, David, Dennis and Robert.
Vearl was a true renaissance man and his list of jobs is a testament to that. From managing the Beer Barrel bar in Deadwood; a barber at the State Barber Shop in downtown Rapid City; owning and operating Midwest Body Shop with his good friend John Haines, brother Leonard, and brothers-in-law John Pahkamaa and Jim Pahkamaa in Rapid City; managing the Rushmore Aerial Tramway in Keystone; a caretaker for Trinity Lutheran Church in Rapid City with Mary; operating a fencing business with his son Dennis; working for his son David who co-owns with Sonja Holy Eagle Dakota Drum Company in Rapid City; and then operating A-1 Paint with Mary until their retirement.
Vearl is survived by his three sons, David and Sonja, of Rapid City, South Dakota, Dennis and Maureen of Brady, Nebraska., Robert and Rosario of San Diego, California; his sister Helen (Hansen) Trautman of Spearfish, South Dakota; his grandchildren, Jessica and husband Chris, Andrea and husband Manuel, Matthew, Eric, Holly; and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and brothers Leonard and Murile Hansen.
He loved the outdoors and often could be found tending to his backyard, chatting with friends and neighbors, bird watching or working on a woodworking project in his shop. Vearl had an excellent memory and could recite story details that only he remembered. Vearl and Mary loved drives across the prairie and through the Black Hills, and for many years they would drive cross-county to visit family; always bringing South Dakota buffalo jerky and homemade raisin cinnamon rolls. Vearl’s family will miss his sense of humor, big smile and would like to give a big thank you to Juanita Pahkamaa for the many laughs and for keeping him accompanied and supported during his final years.