Melvin W. Hansen passed at 1:45 a.m. on March 23 at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Bolingbrook, Ill.
Mel was born in Chicago, grew up in Gary, Ind., and graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Hanover College in Hanover, Ind., in 1964.
Promoted to Captain in the Air Force, he served in Vietnam where he received a Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Medal of Honor. During his 11 years, he performed in several roles including: Civic Action Officer, Education and Training Officer, Missile Command Officer, and Race Relations Officer from 1965-1976. Mel worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as an Equal Opportunity Specialist from 1977 until he retired in 1996. While with HUD, he earned many awards for achievement including: Excellence in Performance, Superior Service, and a nomination to the Chicago Federal Executive Board for Specialist of the Year in 1980.
Mel was a devoted Christian and a member of the First Presbyterian Church of DuPage since 1980 where he served as a teacher, choir member, historian, elder, clerk of session, videographer and producer. He also participated in the Blackhawk Presbytery, Presbyterian Church (USA) as a delegate to the 1986 General Assembly and also served as Presbytery moderator in 1987. During his retirement, Mel was very active in the community. He was a member of the American Legion (Post 1288), member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (Post 5917) and participated in Bolingbrook Cable Television. In the American Legion, he served as Post Commander for six years, and also served as Adjutant, Membership chairman, "Poppy" chairman, "Gifts to Yanks" chairman and Chaplain. In the VFW, he served as Senior Vice-Commander and Chaplain. Mel also received the "John Gerza" good neighbor award from his homeowner's association in 1995. Mel's passions included videography, computing, singing and writing poetry.
Mel is survived by his wife, Carolyn Hansen (née Carolyn Zettel); son, Jeffrey (Diane Anderson) Hansen; daughter, Jennifer (Scott) Borlick; mother, Marilynn Hansen (née Marilynn Edwards); sister Roberta Melody (née Roberta Hansen); sister, Dr. Deni Weber (née Denise Hansen); granddaughters, Elizabeth Hansen, Rebekkah Hansen, Alexandra Borlick and Victoria Borlick; in-laws; nieces; nephews and a host of longtime friends.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 26, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Dupage 180 N. Weber Road. Bolingbrook, Ill. (630) 759-8843 with an Honor Guard ceremony at 7 p.m. There will be a viewing from 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 27, followed by a service at 10 a.m. The processional will proceed to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, West Hoff Road, Elwood, Ill; for a short outdoor interment service and return to the church for luncheon and celebration of Mel's life. All services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of DuPage: 180 North Weber Road, Bolingbrook, Ill. 60440.
The Family requests donations in lieu of flowers to be sent to the Mel Hansen memorial fund to benefit the First Presbyterian Church of DuPage. Send donations to: 180 North Weber Road, Bolingbrook, Ill 60440.