John (Richard) Hansen Jr., a longtime resident of Rye, N.Y., and the driving force behind the local Meals on Wheels for nearly 20 years, died on May 8, 2020. He was 78.
Born in White Plains, N.Y., he was the son of Jack and Peggy (Fox) Hansen.
He worked as an electrician at Port Chester Electric until the day they closed, and then at Whiffen Electric. He was a proud member of Local 3 and 501 and served on their retiree board.
On December 7, 1963, he married Barbara Whalen, whom he’d met at the White Plains Bowl, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Elmsford.
After retiring, his joy for the past 18 years was his volunteer work with Meals on Wheels of Port Chester, Rye and Rye Brook. For the last ten years it was his honor to chair the organization.
Another longtime Meals on Wheels volunteer, Beth Griffin Matthews, said, “Richard was a kind, generous, guileless man who never met a stranger. When he interviewed potential recipients for Meals on Wheels, he invariably discovered a connection to them: he was the altar boy at their wedding or a classmate of their brother or maybe a former neighbor. Perhaps he delivered their Daily Item, waited on them at Irv’s Stationery store, or knew them from his years as an electrician in and around the area. Sometimes, he was related to them through one of a seemingly endless supply of uncles. Always, his joyful description of making the personal connection was delivered with a big ‘Wouldn’t-you-know-it?’ smile.
“Richard was as dependable as the sunrise and his encyclopedic memory for people (and music!) was almost as big as his heart.”
Richard Hansen was an avid New York sports fan, old-time movie aficionado, trivia buff, and music lover. Frank Sinatra was his favorite and he knew the dates of all his recordings and could name the band leader and musicians for each song.
He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Barbara Hansen in July 2016. He is survived by his children, Peggy and Michael and his wife Catherine; his grandchildren, Christopher and Michael; and his sisters, Barbara Gallo and Kirstine Johnson.
A Memorial Mass and celebration of his life will be held at a future date. Contributions in memory of Richard Hansen may be made to Meals on Wheels of P.C., Rye and Rye Brook, P.O. Box 555, Rye, NY 10580.