JOLIET - Carl J. Hansen left this world to ride with the riders in the sky on Aug. 21, 2008.
Carl was born June 10, 1922, in Neliegh, Neb., to Carl P. and Katie (Hill) Hansen, and was raised on the family ranch in Torrington, Wyo. At the age of 14, he worked part-time for the 010 Bar ranch as a ranch hand under foreman Cliff Dorman, who brought the Texas trail herds to Wyoming. Also at 14, he began riding bareback and saddle bronc in the rodeo, which he continued until 1956 in local rodeos in Wyoming and Montana as well as the entire United States, competing in such famed venues as Madison Square Gardens and Boston Gardens. In 1939, at just 16, he graduated from Torrington High School.
On July 5, 1940, Carl married Orlena Grojean in Bridgeport, Neb. A daughter, Vivian Lee, was born of that union. While married to Lena, Carl was the foreman at the Y6 Ranch at Meridian, Wyo. On Sept. 21, 1946 he married Evelyn Tresner in Roundup, and daughters Sandra "Sandee" and Mildred "Mickey" were born of that union. Not long afterward, Carl began working in the first brucellosis eradication program for the Federal Government Disease Eradication Branch and later worked and taught for Cache Valley and Select Sires Associations for artificial insemination of cattle. During this time, he simultaneously ran a cattle ranch northwest of Joliet and, for over 20 years, served as Rock Creek Water Commissioner for Carbon County.
In 1972, Carl joined the group that formed the Montana Breeders and was instrumental in importing Murray Grey cattle from Australia and New Zealand into the United States. As such, Carl was one of the founders of the Northwest Murray Grey Association, serving several years as its president, and played a critical role in forming the American Murray Grey Association, serving on its board of directors for six years.
Carl was an active member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, serving several times as Noble Grand of his Lodge and Grand Master of the Montana Odd Fellows. He received one of the highest honors given in the Odd Fellows, the Meritorious Service Award, given previously only to five other individuals in the State of Montana.
Carl is predeceased by his father and mother, Carl and Katie; four brothers, Gerald, Glenn, Dewey and Lyle; and two sisters, Velva and Phyllis; daughter Vivian, son-in-law Ken, granddaughter Jamie Diane McMillan, and nephew F. Carl Hansen.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Evelyn; daughters, Sandee and Mickey; sons-in-law, Gene Scoles and Lynn McMillan; grandchildren, Charlene Scoles, Jim (Jennifer) Scoles, Kimberly (Shawn) Scoles Lund, Tracie (Jeff) Bellows Wehrbein, Michelle (Tim) Bellows Rebnord, Shawn Bellows, Thomas (Denise) McMillan, Terry (Jennifer) McMillan, and Jennifer (Todd) McMillan Beyerlein, and fifteen great-grandchildren: Brittany and Corey Brewington; Tyler, Amber, Brooke and Megan Wehrbein, Tyler Joseph Bellows, Christafeur and Mykaela Rebnord, Brennan, Cody and Tanner Lund, Landry and Hadley Scoles, and Hale Beyerlein; one brother, Elmer Hansen; three sisters, Shirley Buskohl, Luella Jackson and Elsie (Cecil) Rose; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, at the Joliet Community Center. Cremation will follow. Visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, at Smith-Olcott Funeral Chapel in Red Lodge.
Memorials may be given to the IOOF Scholarship Fund, c/o the Rebekah Assembly of Montana, 3157 Conestoga Way, Billings, MT 59105; Beartooth Hospice, Box 590, Red Lodge, MT 59068; or to the charity of your choice.