Peter Darwin Hansen, 89, of Ashkum, passed away in the late evening of Thursday, August 17, 2023 after a brief illness. He was born November 15, 1933 in rural Ashkum, the son of the late Fred A. and Evelyn L. (Post) Hansen.
A life long businessman and entrepreneur, he started Hansen Honey Company of Ashkum in 1951 which produced, packed, and sold honey. In addition to his own label, for many years his honey was also under the IGA brand at their grocery stores.
Beginning in 1975 he added a commercial honeybee pollination service. His customers included many national brands and individual farmers throughout Illinois, the Midwest, all the way to the gulf coast of Mississippi and Florida. Working tirelessly with his long time hired hand and friend Mike Gerard until his very last days.
Peter was very active in the beekeeping community as a member of clubs and organizations. He offered his time as an instructor and advisor for workshops, and lectured a variety of audiences. He was a technology enthusiast, a life long learner, enjoyed taking photos and loved to share a laugh. Peter was a member of the Lutheran Church in Danforth.
Like his father and grandfather, he was a proud area farmer. He worked for the State of Illinois as a Correctional Officer and in his later years an Apiary inspector. He also served his country during the Korean War.
His only greater source of pride than beekeeping was his family. He married his wife, Lois G (Trepton) Hansen on February 4th, 1962, she survives.
He is also survived by daughters, Debbie Hansen, Lisa (Michael) Brewer, Lori (Michael) Partridge. He was Papa to grandchildren, Brandon (Rachel) Fecht, Aaron Partridge, Cory Partridge, Payton (Kaleb) Vaughn, Peter Partridge, Cameron (Breanna) Brewer, Caleb (Dolly) Brewer, and Jason Kelly. He was also blessed with great grand children, Gwendalynn Fecht, Harper Vaughn, and Chloie Brewer. He was excited for two more great grand children, Baby Brewer and Baby Vaughn, who are on the way.
He is also survived by a sister Janice (Glenn) Schoolman of Clifton, and his nephew Darwin Schoolman and niece Dawn Schoolman.
He was preceded in death by his nephew, Dana Schoolman.
Pete never met a stranger, he loved helping people, spending time sharing his passions, hobbies, and stories from a long and full life. He was an incredible source of advice from his years among the bees, of guidance, knowledge, love, loyalty, inspiration, and so much more. He will be terribly missed by all who knew him.
Internment will be at the Danforth Cemetery on Friday August 25, 2023 with a private family service.
Please share a memory of Peter at www.knappfuneralhomes.com.