After a life filled with adventure and kindness Darlene J. Hansen passed away peacefully at her home on February 2, 2024. She was born on October 27, 1943 in Chippewa Falls to Stanley and Mildred (Jennings) Holter and grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, attending Eau Claire Memorial Senior High (1961) and UW-Eau Claire (B.S. 1966). She married Peter Hansen and they eventually settled in Madison Wisconsin. After Peter’s death in 1981 she raised her children and built a career devoted to empowering individuals and families towards financial security. In her diverse career as a financial planner, Dar enjoyed helping people find financial stability and achieve their dreams. She was most proud of her work helping hospital employees and teachers develop retirement plans through the Wisconsin Hospital Association and later the Wisconsin Educators Association.
Dar embraced life with gusto as an avid walker, music lover, ice cream aficionado, and world traveler. Whether observing Chinese schoolchildren or enjoying Horseshoe Bay beach in Bermuda (her personal paradise, as Bob, her longtime companion, fondly recalls), she savored every detail. Her travels spanned continents, from China to Paris to the Scottish Hebrides, to beach expeditions all over. In retirement, she continued her adventures with Bob and other friends, ranging from winter months in Florida to local theater outings and even a trip to Russia with her church choir. Closer to home, her weekly mahjong games were a cherished ritual, filled with laughter and camaraderie.
Dar found fulfillment in serving her community, volunteering at Meals on Wheels, lending her expertise during tax season, working as an elections official, and serving on church committees. Above all, Dar’s four grandchildren, Connor, Nicholas, Drew, and Isaiah were her world and brought her immense joy. In addition to Bob she is survived by her daughter, Laura Hansen of Madison and her son and his wife, Steve and Betsy Hansen of Winnetka, IL; cousins Carol Holter of Appleton, WI and Jimmy (LInda) Holter of Bridgeport, CT and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held March 3rd at 2 pm. at the First Unitarian Society in Madison, Wi. The family would like to thank the First Unitarian Society (FUS), the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Wisconsin, the Alzheimer’s Alliance and the Alzheimer's Association for support throughout her illness. In lieu of flowers, please give to the Alzheimer’s Association (https://act.alz.org/site/TR/Events/Tributes-AlzheimersChampions?pxfid=860919&fr_id=1060&pg=fund) or to the FUS.