Jeffrey Thomas Hansen, 51, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, January 14, 2023, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Jeff was born on November 26,1971 in Visalia, California to Cheryl Rae Morris and Donald Thomas Hansen. Growing up he was the absolute favorite son and brother sandwiched between two protective older sisters and two doting younger sisters.
He married the love of his life and best friend, Laurelyn Caldwell on February 1, 1997, in the Salt Lake City, Utah Temple. For nearly 25 years he found in Laurelyn pure goodness, faith, and a beloved eternal companion who compliments his personality, wit, and zest for life.
Together, Jeff and Laurelyn, have three beautiful daughters whom they love and care for with all their hearts. Jeff was a traditional family man. In the short years he had with them on this earth, he devoted himself to their nurturing and character development. He loved to host family game nights, applaud during their performances, introduce them to 80s music and culture, and teach them the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jeff cherished being able to share with his girls his love of Star Wars and had an impressive memorabilia collection. His family volunteered for anything from Star Wars Conventions to the Winter Olympics. However, nothing compared to their family volunteer summers spent at the Nauvoo & British Pageants. For these performances Jeff could grow a beard thicker than Chewbacca, and his girls loved to watch him shave it into out-of-this-world fashions. You could often hear him saying, "Fear the beard!" Jeff also loved Elvis and could be found, even once on ESPN, dressed in an elaborate caped costume sewn by his most devoted groupie, Laurelyn.
From a young age, Jeff loved people and people loved his dimples. He flashed his killer smile often and worked to forge friendships that have lasted decades. With childhood friends he played soccer, ankle-biter football, church basketball, and high school football. His gentle nature kept him from being fierce on the field, but close to his cohorts. Jeff was the kind of friend who lifts you to a better place. He was an honest, solid, earnest yet playful teen who surrounded himself with fun, clean, crazy dudes who helped each other enjoy life but also come closer to God. Together these friends mentored each other and grew into powerful men, husbands, dads and community leaders. Jeff always had an easy and natural connection with youth and his children were comfortable to welcome their friends into their home.
As a youth, Jeff earned the prestigious Eagle Scout award from the Boy Scouts of America. This pursuit instilled in him the value of hard work as well as setting and accomplishing goals. He attended the BSA National Jamboree with his dedicated Scouting dad, brothers-in-law, and nephews. Jeff is always prepared.
Jeff served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Oaxaca, Mexico. He loved his missionary days and returned frequently bringing his new bride, his parents, and his daughters back to his field of labor. He loved the Spanish language, refined his skills with university training, and chose professions where he could speak, write, and translate. But more than tacos, tamales, and mole, Jeff loved his mission because it is here he deepened his desire to study the words of his Savior Jesus Christ. Jeff gently and frequently shared his light with colleagues, neighbors, strangers, youth, and friends. Despite being a night-owl, Jeff woke at 5 AM to teach an early morning scripture class to local high school students. Throughout his life Jeff served in his local church as a minister and teacher to children and youth, a Scoutmaster, a Sunday School instructor, a Bishopric Member, and an ecclesiastical leader. Jeff not only personally studied and shared the words of the scriptures, but he also lived, and wholeheartedly believed their teachings and truths. He is a true disciple of Jesus Christ and a Covenant Keeper.
Jeff gave service in a very personal and quiet way. He loved late night conversations with his family and took every opportunity to teach, tutor and train his girls. He could equally be found nestled in the background of a family photo or front and center pulling a silly face. He was introverted and gregarious, quiet, and loud, an individual and part of the group. He loved reaching out to those on his mind, as well as performing simple acts of kindness. He is close with extended family and in-laws wherein he gained brothers and best friends.
As the son of a forester, Jeff loved the outdoors. He, with his dad riding shotgun, took Stamp Stomp trips to National Parks all over the US. Together they talked and laughed and loved each other. Just this last Thanksgiving Jeff lovingly called his aging parents mommy and daddy. His mother was an educator and instilled in him the importance of education. Jeff graduated from Meadowbrook High School in Richmond, VA. He thrived during his time at Brigham Young University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Translation with a Business Management minor. As an adult learner, Jeff returned to the classroom at Southeast Missouri State University where he earned an MBA and then became a beloved part-time professor. His ability to teach, mentor and inspire other learners is one of Jeff's many gifts.
Jeff's passions include his family, the Lord, international travel to over 25 countries, studying the Gospel, doing family history, all things Latin, BYU football, eclectic genres of music, Cheerwine vs Coke a Cola, serving in the temple, penny pinching, Little Debbie Snack Cakes, organizing stuff, curating collections, and attempting to win all friendly competitions against his wife. Jeff considered himself a terrible handyman, a lousy liar, a fashion disaster, and a bad cook; in reality he made a mean scrambled egg. Jeff, however, loves to laugh, tell humorous stories and jokes, and engage in light-hearted banter. And those dimples. Smiling during dark days and holding on for better tomorrows. His smile was infectious, and his magnetic personality and fun-loving nature never fails to light up a room. He will continue to light every room he enters.
Jeff is survived by his darling and devoted wife, Laurelyn; daughters Emmalyn (24), Hannah (21), and Abigail (18). He is also survived by his parents, Don and Cheryl Hansen, sisters Susan Bascom (Mike), Becky Erickson (Robert), Shelly Jenkins (Mark) and Stacy Stuart (Alex); in-laws, Roy and Marilyn Caldwell, siblings Cherilee Sorensen (Ryan), Marianne Jenson (Eric), John Caldwell (Jennifer), James Caldwell (Shelby), Juleah Davidson (Orion), Melynee Clegg (Robert) ; and many adoring nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1732 N. Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at the same location, with Bishop John Fulton officiating. Those unable to attend in person may join via the following Zoom link:
Missouri arrangements are under the direction of Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home.
Interment will be at Orem City Cemetery in Orem, Utah on January 28th at 11:00 am. Arrangements under the direction of Sundberg-Olpen & Wheeler Funeral Home.
A Life Celebration will be held following interment located at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Center at 575 East 800 North Orem, UT from 12:00 to 1:30 pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Hansen family: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-laurelyn-jeff-hansen-and-family?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_content=undefined&utm_medium=sms&utm_source=customer&utm_term=undefined
The family wishes to sincerely thank all those who have shown thoughtful loving support, generosity, and numerous acts of kindness.
Condolences may be expressed to the family on this page.