THEODORE E. HANSON, JR.
Theodore E. Hanson, Jr. passed away peacefully September 20, 2019, with his wife of sixty-seven years, Arvilla Huber-Hanson, by his side. Ted was born in Presho, South Dakota, in December 1930,
during the Great Depression. He was the seventh child and first son born to Theodore and Marie Hanson.
The Hanson family moved to Concordia, Kansas, in 1944. The Hanson boys were naturally gifted and accomplished athletes with a deep love of sports. A strong distance runner, Ted joined Concordia’s Track Team, not only running undefeated the full four years of high school, but setting a record in the mile for the State of Kansas. Graduating from Concordia High School in 1949, Ted was recruited by Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, during the state’s golden era in track, producing the top track & field athletes in the world.
Olympic Track & Field Coach (1948) Ward H. Haylett not only coached, but mentored Ted Hanson, who went on to also set the state record in Colorado at the Colorado Relays, landing him a cover photo on the Denver Post as he was breaking the tape in 1953. Not knowing of the photo, the team returned to Kansas where they stopped at a diner in Colby, Kansas. An old farmer brought the Denver Post to my father who was eating at the breakfast counter and said, “Son, it appears you are famous.” Ever modest, Ted did not bring a copy of the Denver Post home.
Kansas also brought Ted his first love, high school sweetheart, and wife of sixty-seven years, Arvilla Huber-Hanson. After dating for seven years, Ted Hanson and Arvilla Huber married May 25, 1952, at a ceremony in Concordia, Kansas. After Ted's marriage in May, 1952, Coach Haylett joked that marriage better not slow him down and tested him against four of his fastest and strongest sprinters. Always a driven athlete and consummate competitor, Ted, of course, bested both runners. Kansas University worked tirelessly to recruit Ted during this time, but it was Coach Haylett for whom he stayed at Kansas State University, stating he was a gifted coach and an honorable man.
Less than year after marriage, and during the Korean War, Ted received orders to report for duty to Sampson Air Force Base in Geneva, New York. Ted and Arvilla often remembered these times fondly, recalling that the young couple grew so much during these years. It was in New York where they started their family.
Ted continued his studies on returning to Kansas in 1956. After receiving a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering, he was hired by Boeing Aircraft in 1958 during the aeronautics boom of the era. In 1962, he was recruited by Martin Marietta at their new Titan Missile Plant in Colorado at Waterton Canyon. Arvilla recalls speaking with Glenn L. Martin, founder, and inquired about what drew him to the canyon. Also a Kansan, Mr. Martin recalled a vacation his family took there as a young man and couldn’t think of a more fitting place. Ted retired from Lockheed Martin in 1993.
Ted and Arvilla raised their six children in Southwest Denver, and were some of the founding families of the Columbine community. A new community, Ted and two of his lifelong friends, Jerry Valentine and Keith Osborne, started the Columbine Sports Association in 1964 with a $1500 loan and a dream. Starting with a Little League Football Team, the Association migrated to baseball league in 1965. The association was purchased by South Jeffco Sports Association in 1995. He was very active in the Columbine Community.
Ted Hanson coached and mentored young athletes, some going on to professional baseball, for some thirty years, winning more championships than any single coach in the state for the period. Ted took four teams to state. His love of ball continued; not only did his children cut their teeth at the ball field, Ted fostered the love of the game in young men throughout the Columbine area, mentoring their growth and development, not only as athletes, but also as young men.
Ted’s legacy as a disciplined athlete and coach, mirrors those of the great coaches of a bygone era. Ted held closely the importance of ‘the team.' While he believed in the importance of the individual, he believed that even the best athletes excel because of the strength of the overall team. He believed winning was an attitude created through training and desire for excellence; he believed the star athletes were both disciplined and willing to sacrifice for their success; and while Ted was highly competitive, he did not believe in winning at all cost, but rather, that the winner had revealed weak points to overcome for the day they would meet on the field again.
The young men Ted coached over the years have offered many comments regarding their time with him: best man I ever knew; no better man ever; his love of sports was contagious, he always encouraged me to do better; he was like a dad to me; he was my mentor; he was a real role model; he taught me everything I know about baseball, winning, and being a man; and he was a man of honor and integrity.
Ted’s greatest source of pride was not in the wins, not the losses, not the honors bestowed, not the championships won, but rather, the love for his wife, his children, and his friends. Ted had lifelong and very close relationships; a deep love for his wife Arvilla, and pleasure in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. Ted lived a first-rate life and on his own terms. He was a man of deep love, honor, and integrity. He lived life to the fullest, and his legacy has forever impacted the lives he touched and the Columbine community through his family, friends, and athletes he coached.
As an Air Force Officer, a Military Service, complete with a twenty-one-gun salute and all-veteran Honor Guard, will be conducted at the Internment Service, which will be held Monday, September 30, 2019, at 9:15 a.m. at Fort Logan National Cemetery, 3698 South Sheridan Boulevard, Denver, CO 80236, Staging Area C.
Condolences may be sent to: Arvilla Hanson, 3455 S. Corona Street, Suite 217, Englewood, CO 80113. Remembrances would be very appreciated at this difficult time, and can be added to the Horan Obituary Page at the following link: https://horancares.com/obits/theodore-e-ted-hanson-jr/