Friday, December 9, 2011


Photo taken at last year's Christmas party:
 Kim, Frank, and her close friend, Janet Hanlin

Washington Island, Wisconsin -

We lost a great friend and ferry crew member this week, Kim Hansen.  Kim had fought illness over the past several years.  Her great spirit undoubtedly extended her stay with us, and she made others around her happy and comfortable, something we had hoped we might bring to her during our visits.

Kim was joyful and loved to have fun, often nuttiness.   She was the first person I've heard refer to the long sleep as a "dirt nap," while pointing out to her friend Janet her future spot of repose at School House Beach Cemetery during one of their drives together.  Her Christian faith produced such optimistic and forward-looking observations.

Prior to the opening of our current ferry terminal building, we had room in our tiny, old office for only one person at the front desk.  That same person also handled all phone calls, freight, and the considerable book work.  But with this current building, new in 1996, we had need for an additional person to share the work load.  After a stint selling tickets, Kim stepped into the role of customer relations (everything to do with freight, answering the phone, and people in general).  She soon became the dominant presence and our "Ferry Line voice," a job Kim seemed born to do given her pleasant, enthusiastic interaction with both customers and employees.

When former VP Al Gore came to town for the island parade
two years ago to promote windy ventures,
it took no persuasion for Kim to stand in
for the absent Tipper, towing Al's parade
float in this stylish Bobcat.
We'd gone to visit Kim in the past year not knowing if she would be up for visitors. Each time, though, she soon got out of bed or sat up, and within minutes was telling jokes and stories, laughing as much as we did.  

We're pleased to have been counted as friends and associates while she was here with us.

Our thoughts and prayers extend to her husband Frank, her children, granddaughter Caitlin, and family members.  Kim will be laid to rest for her "dirt nap" Saturday morning at School House Beach Cemetery following a service at Bethel Church.  
    -  Dick Purinton

1 comment:

christel said...

What a blessing to have known her--she was such a neat lady. Sending thoughts and prayers to her family, and rejoicing that we will see her again!