Gladys Hansen enjoys staff at Perry Lutheran Homes

Allison Ullmann Staff
Perry Lutheran Homes resident Gladys Hansen, middle, shares a laugh with Health Care Aide Jeannie Liggett and Activity Director Wanitta Ramsey. PHOTO BY ALLISON ULLMANN/THE PERRY CHIEF

Editor’s note: This is the first story in a new series the Perry Chief is producing. The series will focus on a different elder each month from the Spring Valley and main campuses of Perry Lutheran Homes. The series was prompted by the PLH StepUp campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the elderly in Perry and beyond.

Gladys Hansen has been a resident at the main campus of Perry Lutheran Homes since 2014.

“It’s just a big family I guess,” she said of why she enjoys the facility.

That was evident as Hansen shared a lot of laughs with Activity Director Wanitta Ramsey and Jeannie Liggett, health care aide at the assisted living main campus, while getting her photo taken.

Hansen was born Gladys Hirschi in Clarion in 1921. She attended country schools in Lincoln Township until high school. She then moved to the Bouton area with her parents and sister in 1935, where she finished school.

“There was quite a big difference going from a bigger high school to a small one,” Hansen said. Her class in Clarion had around 100 students. She graduated from Bouton with four.

Hansen remembers living through World War II. They had to ration everything from shoes to gas to food to tires.

She married Harold Hansen on Aug. 25, 1946, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Bouton. They then moved to Perry.

Hansen had started working at the telephone company Northwestern Bell in 1943 in Perry. She continued working as an operator until 1956.

“It was nothing like it is nowadays because you do your own dialing,” Hansen said. “We answered every local call and every long distance call and completed it for them. And you’d be surprised sometimes how many different stations along the line you worked yourself up to where you wanted to go.”

She moved with Harold out to a farm in the Bouton area in 1961. They raised cattle and hogs and grew corn and oats.

For fun, the pair liked to play Pitch and Pinochle with their card club and go dancing at Lake Robbins Ballroom in Woodward.

“We loved to dance, old time dancing, waltzes, polka,” Hansen said.

Harold died in 2012. Hansen stayed on the farm until 2014, when she moved to Perry Lutheran Homes.

She has a son, Mike (Stephanie) Hansen and three grandchildren, Jeremy (Tisha) Hansen, Rebecca (Brian) Steenhoek and Sarah (Diogo) Craveiro. She also has five great-grandchildren, Leah, Jace, Owen, Emma and Clara, with another great-grandchild on the way.