Cecilia “Cele” Hansen, nee Grask, of Joliet, age 97, died peacefully at home on September 22. Beloved wife of the late William W. Hansen, loving mother of Michael W. (Beth Shankland) of Joliet, Thomas W. (Sheila McGuire) of Western Springs and Elizabeth A. of Chicago. “Gramma C” to Susan (David) Sherlock, Brian (Meghan) Hansen, Eric Hansen, Andrew (Rachel) Hansen, Laura (Brian) Rycyna, Mary Catherine (Alex) Davis and the late Kevin Hansen. Great grandmother of Luke, Kate and Evan Sherlock, Theodore and Cormac Hansen, Anthony, Vincent, William and Benjamin Hansen, Kelly, Margaret and Patrick Rycyna and Eve Davis. Cele is also survived by many nieces, nephews and their families.
In addition to her husband and grandson, Cele was preceded in death by her parents, Erwin and Florence Grask; her brothers, E. Stephen (the late Barbara) and J. Phillip Grask (the late Betty); her sister Catherine “Kay” Grask; her parents-in-law, Walter and Doretta Hansen; and her sister-in-law Janet (the late Douglas) Thomas.
Cele was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. Upon graduation from Iowa State University, she moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where she was an associate buyer for the Higbee Company. A year later, she moved to Burlington, Iowa, to work as an editor for National Research Inc. and met the love of her life, Bill Hansen. They had been married for 52 years when Bill died in 2002.
In 1964, Bill was named general manager of WJOL and WLLI Radio Stations and the family moved to Joliet, IL, where they were active and supportive members of the community.
Cele was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority for over 70 years and also a member of the Visitation and Aid Society, Women of Rotary, the St. Paul Paulites, St. Joseph Hospital Auxiliary, Silver Cross Ambassadors and the Joliet Country Club.
A woman of many interests and talents, she was a lady of strong Catholic faith passed on to her by her mother. Cele was a world traveler who loved visiting new places. Bridge, golf, skiing and reading were among the many activities she enjoyed. Her greatest pleasure, though, was spending time with her family. Cele hosted many family and couples gatherings and always entertained with great flair. A special point of pride for Cele was being a founding member of the Grask- Hansen Family Golf Tournament which has been held annually for over 50 years. Cele was truly a member of The Greatest Generation and will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her. The family would like to thank Lightways Hospice and Gentle Touch Home Assist for the wonderful care they provided to Cele.
Visitation will be on Sunday, October 1, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black Road, Joliet. Funeral Mass will be Monday, October 2, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Church, 18 Woodlawn Avenue, Joliet.
Obituary from Fred C. Dames funeral home.