Jorn G. Hansen, 70, of Erie, passed away Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, at UPMC Hamot. Jorn was born Oct. 17, 1943, in Aalborg, Denmark, the son of Olaf and Ella Hansen.
Jorn emigrated to the United States in 1950, with his mother, father and brothers, and resided in Findley Lake, N.Y. In 1966, Jorn was wed to Kathryn Rebuck, and moved to Erie, Pa.
Jorn taught for the Erie School District from 1967 until retirement in 2001, teaching social studies at Roosevelt Middle School. Jorn had a passion for his career. He was involved in many school activities including union representa-tive, athletic director, started the Roosevelt Bowling League, organized and chaperoned school trips including Cedar Point, Ni-agara Falls and Peak n' Peek for skiing. Jorn also worked in the alternative education program from 1995-2001. Jorn was Teacher of the Year in 1992.
In addition to his career in teaching, Jorn was also an active Danish Club and Danish Brotherhood member. He was financial secretary for the club and would always be seen at the Christmas parties dressed as Santa. In later years, he be-came president of the Danish brotherhood in Erie, and held the position until now.
When Jorn was not teaching or taking care of the books for the club, he was at the "lake." Findley Lake was always home for Jorn and his family. He spent every summer there boating, skiing and just tinkering around. His favor-ite part of the day was when he could put aside his work and go for a boat ride around the lake. During that time you might hear him talk about a house he worked on in his youth, or maybe the fact that as a child he mowed the lawn on the island with his push mower that he rowed out to the island. He was an active member of the Findley Lake Historical Society, he served on the Findley Lake Property Owners Association, and took a strong role in preserving the lake. He taught the boaters' safety course for the Findley Lake community for more than 30 years, and was a patron and supporter of the library, where even today he has six books checked out.
Whether you knew him as son, husband, father, brother, Mr. Hansen, John, or Big John, he was a friend to all. He was always there to lend a hand to anyone. Big John touched the lives of many, but none more than the lives of his wife and children. He made sure family vacations were an every year occurrence and would always welcome friends. Some of his favorite vacation spots were the Outer Banks, N.C., Caribbean Cruises, Myrtle Beach, S.C., and West Palm Beach, Fla. One of his last vacations was to Hawaii, with his wife Kathy, brother Paul and his sister-in-law, Judy.
Jorn is survived by his wife of 47 years, Kathy Hansen of Erie, Pa.; daughters; Gretchen Hansen of Willoughby, Ohio, and Kirsten Hansen of Mentor, Ohio; a brother, Paul Hansen of Discovery Bay, Calif.; a cousin, Georg Gronborg of Holiday, Fla.; and nieces and nephews. Jorn was pre-ceeded in death by parents, Olaf and Ella Hansen, and brother, Kaj Hansen.
Friends may call Thursday from 1-3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. at Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory, 1595 W. 38th St., at Greengarden Boulevard, and may attend a service there Friday at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Robin Cuneo officiating. Burial will be in Wintergreen Gorge Cemetery. Memori-als may be made to the American Cancer Society, 2115 West 38th St., Erie, PA 16508, or American Heart Association, 823 Filmore Ave., Erie, 16505. Condolences and photos may be sent at www.bruggerfuneralhomes.com.