Alex J. Hansen of Plymouth departed this life on May 22, 2012 at age 14.
An honor student at Maple Grove Junior High, he will be remembered most for his vocal and theatrical talents, his kindness to others, his offbeat sense of humor and his vision of love and community.
He is survived by parents Eric & Lisa (Lehnherr) Hansen, sister Tori Hansen, uncles Dan Lehnherr (Shakopee, MN) and Jerry Hansen (Zimmermann, MN), grandparents John (Jack) & Sandie Lehnherr (Marshfield) and Jim and Clara Hansen (Buffalo, MN).
Alex was born in Robbinsdale, Minn. on June 9, 1997, and lived all his life in Plymouth.
His life was filled with a vast array of interests, talents, volunteer activities, family travel and hobbies. He had friends of all ages and was looked up to by younger students at church, school and through his job as a water safety instructor aide.
His theatrical music career began in fifth grade when he played the comic lead as “Yellow Bird” in “Island in the Sun.” There he discovered his power to make people laugh when he turned a slippery-sock mishap into a pratfall.
Many, many drama appearances and vocal solos at his home church, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth, soon followed. His next part in a named performance was in seventh grade as Randolph in “Bye, Bye Birdie.” The role of the Rabbi in “Fiddler on the Roof” followed in eighth grade. In ninth grade, he shaved his head for the lead role of Daddy Warbucks in “Annie Jr.,” a performance that is cemented in the memories of all who love him. His life was happiest when he was hanging out backstage with fellow cast members.
All of his performances featured his distinctively rich voice, which deepened smoothly into a baritone with few embarrassing breaks. He sang in school choirs from fifth grade on and was often featured as a soloist. In ninth grade, his greatest joy after “Annie Jr.” was participating as a member of the “Grove Singers,” a small group honors choir. Alex also played the bass for a year and the clarinet for two years.
Alex sampled a variety of sports, from baseball to soccer, and football to hockey, but met the sport of his life when he joined the high-school alpine ski racing team. He proudly wore his team parka (conveniently in his favorite color—bright red), and loved his fellow team members like family. He raced for the varsity team and lettered in eighth grade.
In the summer, Alex’s favorite place to be was in the water. He received his scuba certification and attended the Boy Scouts of America High Adventure Sea Base in the summer of 2011. This love of the water led to his job as a water safety instructor aide and his plans to be trained as a lifeguard in 2012.
Alex was a member of Boy Scout Troop 584 and loved best the camaraderie of camping trips and summer camp. As a Cub Scout in Pack 636, he consistently received top awards for his wreath salesmanship (first place in 2008) and his Pinewood Derby cars. In 2007, he won the district Pinewood Derby and competed in the Viking Council competition at the Mall of America, which sounded more exciting than it was.
A beloved and highly involved member of Mount Olivet, Alex began volunteering in music ministry in fourth grade and never stopped. He felt a deep calling as an acolyte and was known to confidently step forward from the congregation without needing to be asked whenever he saw that the communion service position needed filling. He was to go on his first mission trip, to the south side of Chicago, in late June of this year.
Alex made his proclamation of faith and was confirmed as an adult member of the congregation May 20, 2012, two days before his death. He will be greatly missed by the “Swag Squad,” the close-knit group of 10 boys with whom he had spent the last five years exploring and deepening his faith. Alex had a strong faith and commitment to God. His confirmation belief statement summed it up as “I believe that God loves unconditionally.”
The power of love is the best summary of Alex’s life. He loved deeply and was loved deeply in return, as was made evident during a packed prayer vigil that overflowed with love the night after his death. He loved his fellow cast members, his teammates, his choirs, his choir director, coaches and theater directors, his God, his faith community, his friends, and despite being a male teenager, was known to admit to loving his family.
A Celebration of Love will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 30, 2012, at . A gathering of family and friends is 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at Gearty-Delmore Plymouth Chapel, 15800 37th Ave. N. off Vicksburg Lane. Internment is at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established for transformative uses in the community based on Alex’s passions; please contact Mount Olivet at 763-559-2775 for Wells Fargo deposit information.
(Information provided by Gearty-Delmore: 763-553-1411.)