TRAVERSE CITY — Mary Lou (Ayres) Hansen, 77, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, at Cherry Hill Haven.
Mary Lou was born in Detroit on March 1, 1936. She was married to her loving husband, Edward “Jay” Hansen, 56 years ago on Jan. 5, 1957, at St. Gertrude’s Catholic Church in St. Clair Shores.
Mary Lou had several careers over her lifetime, always based on service and caring. After high school, she worked for several years at Parke Davis Pharmaceuticals as an office clerk. After her marriage to Jay and arrival of her two children, she was a stay-at-home mom and homemaker. As her children grew older, she began working as a teacher’s aide for mentally challenged children. Upon moving to Traverse City in 1970, she worked in the Lab at Munson Medical Center and supporting her husband’s goal of running his own sail making business, Hansen Sail Company.
Later she worked for Traverse Bay ISD as a teacher’s aide for children. A move to Harbor Springs in 1978 found her caring for the elderly as she took a position as a nurse’s aide at Emmet County Care Facility. This eventually lead her back to Traverse City where she opened up Hansen’s Adult Foster Care Home for the elderly. With her husband, they ran the home for 14 years before moving down to sunny Texas to help care for and watch over their granddaughter, Gwen. Mary Lou and Jay spent their winters in Texas and their summers in Traverse City over the next 15 years.
Mary Lou will be missed for her caring, loving ways; her sunny smiles and laughter; her listening ear; fanaticism for the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Detroit Red Wings, college football, and NASCAR; and her love for her family, country music, and game shows.
Mary Lou is survived by her husband, Jay Hansen; children Deborah (Greg) Alpers of Missouri City, Texas and Timothy (Joan) Hansen of Traverse City; granddaughters, Melanie and Gwendolyn Alpers; sister, Nancy VanHavermatt; brother, James Ayres; cousins; and multiple nieces and nephews.