Sunday, January 28, 2024
12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST
338 East Michigan
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
SPCA of SW Michigan
6955 West KL Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Life Story / Obituary
Herbert Hansen lived a life rich in family and friends. A man who led with his heart in all things, Herb was fun to be around. He was a big dog lover who enjoyed nothing more than spending time in the good company of friends and family. Whether playing golf, encouraging his kids and grandkids, or hanging out with his buddies, Herb cherished every moment he was gifted. A loving, generous, and kind husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Herb will long be remembered and so very missed.
The 1950s proved a time of increased comforts and exciting new possibilities. As unemployment dropped to 3.3%, the nation additionally celebrated the first direct-dial trans-coastal phone call, easier travel in more comfortable cars and on newly paved interstates, and the premieres of "I Love Lucy," "The Day The Earth Stood Still," and "An American in Paris." For Bill and Bev Hansen, the excitement of growing their family was cause for much celebration as they welcomed their son Herbert into their hearts and home on October 6, 1952.
Born and raised in Vicksburg, Michigan, the town Herb called home during his formative years was where he grew up with his older brother, Mike, and made many lifelong friends as a child and teenager. Though he would one day move away, the town never left his heart. As a teen, Herb's passion for fast cars and anything else with a motor was born. He was quite proud to own a Chevy SS Nova, equipped with a blueprint engine, that brought him prestige and cred with the other guys in Vicksburg.
After being drafted into the Army and serving in Germany, once Herb completed his time for Uncle Sam, he returned home and began working in the trades. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather as a member of the Ironworkers local 340, Herb was a proud member of the union. He liked the camaraderie and how they took care of each other, especially when one of the members was in need.
Herb met his wife, Kim Nevelle, at work. They enjoyed each other's company, began dating, and married on August 28, 1997. The couple enjoyed spending time outdoors, sharing time with family and friends, and working around their home. Though Herb enjoyed his job with the ironworkers, health challenges resulted in him being put on disability in 1998.
On July 4, 2000, Herb was gifted a new lease on life when he received a liver transplant. After the transplant, he had to slow down a bit with his Harley motorcycle, snowmobiles, and go-carts, but he was able to keep his golf game. A regular on Tuesday night golf league, he was also able to enjoy a good cheeseburger and Bimbo's pizza and continued friendships with his former schoolmates and union members. He also continued to enjoy watching golf, football, NASCAR, NCIS, and The Incredible Dr. Pol.
Very much a man's man, Herb was also loving and generous. He was sensitive in nature and wore his feelings on his sleeve. Herb loved his family, his wife Kim, and was a mentor to his children, Kelly and Matthew, teaching them to be loving, confident, and persevering in the face of mistakes and life's hardships. He relished being a grandfather who taught Gavin how to be a master at poker, and Aiden how to weld, among many other things. He also purposefully made sure to attend each special event of theirs.
Sadly, Herb's health started to decline in the later part of 2023. After being hospitalized at Bronson Hospital and the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, he was lovingly placed at Rose Arbor Hospice, where he died in the early hours of Thursday, January 18, 2024.
Though our days with Herb were far too few, each moment we shared is a memory we will long treasure. May we find peace in knowing Herb is no longer in pain and in the honor of carrying his legacy of love and generosity forward. In each moment we choose love and hope over fear, willingly support others, take to the golf course, and cheer on our loved one's endeavors we keep Herb's spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired us.
Members of Herb's family include his wife, Kim; his daughter, Kelly and her husband Dustin; and son, Matthew; and 2 grandchildren, Aiden and Gavin. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Michael.
Cremation has taken place. Please join the family at a Memorial Luncheon on Sunday, January 28th, from 12 noon until 2 pm at Bimbo’s Pizza, 338 E. Michigan Ave. Visit Herb's webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to SPCA of SW Michigan. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.