Thela Hansen


Thela K. Hansen, 78, of Mitchell, died Sunday, May 5, 2024, at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. 

Funeral services were held Friday, May 10, at Zion Lutheran Church with burial at Riverside Cemetery.  Visitation was at Zion Lutheran Church in Mitchell. Arrangements were under the direction of the Will Funeral Chapel. 

Thela K. Hansen, daughter of Cleo and Ruth (Conrad) Brooks, was born Aug. 27, 1945, in Pierre. She graduated from Kimball High School in 1962. Thela attended Stewart’s Beauty School in Sioux Falls and began her career in Wessington Springs.

Thela was united in marriage with John Hansen in the late 1960s. The couple lived in Wessington Springs, and they later moved to the family farm north of Forestburg. From this marriage, one daughter, Jonda, was born.  

Following John’s death from cancer, Thela was later united in marriage with Harlow Hansen in the early 1970s, and they farmed together. From this marriage, two children were born, Jolene and John. Harlow later passed away from cancer.

After completing a degree at Mitchell Vo Tech, she worked in several administrative roles in Huron. She also worked in customer service at VanDyke’s (Cabela’s) in Woonsocket. After moving to Mitchell, she finished her career working for Home Instead.

Thela loved spending time with her family and friends.  She enjoyed traveling, antiquing, and spending time with her grandkids and great-grandkids. Thela had a fondness for solving crossword puzzles, playing cards, and attending the annual “Old People’s Campout.” She was one of the first women to drive the trolley at the South Dakota State Fair. She was known for being a great cook and organizing family gatherings.

She was an active member of LCMS churches in Woonsocket, Huron, and Mitchell. Most recently, she enjoyed her weekly women’s Bible study and volunteering at Zion Lutheran Church and at various organizations in Mitchell.

Thela is survived by her three children, Jonda (Dan) Weise of Aurora, Jolene Hansen of Holmen, Wis., and John (T.J.) Hansen of Pipestone, Minn.; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; a brother, Terry (Kathleen) Brooks of Chamberlain; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, John Hansen and Harlow Hansen; her parents, Cleo and Ruth Brooks; her brother, Conrad Brooks; her in-laws, John and Mary Hansen; and a sister-in-law, Elaine Walker.

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