Howard J. Hansen, 89, of Smith St., went home to be with his Lord on April 14, 2020.
He was the son of Walter and Mabel Mae (Bordner) Hansen. Howard was born June 5, 1930 on the family farm in Ohio. He was the third of ten children. Howard was a war veteran having served two years in Korea.
He married the former Mary Ellen Hazucha on October 15, 1972 in a garden wedding at the Ambassador’s Residence in the Dominican Republic.
It was on the family farm that Howard developed a life long interest in dairy farming. During his early education, he was actively involved with dairying and started a milk testing and record keeping program for the Guernsey herd on the farm. Through his involvement and interest, he was awarded the “State Farmer” degree and also the “American Farmer”, the first in his school to receive this recognition.
Upon returning from Korea, Howard worked on the family farm until he entered the Ohio State University, majoring in dairy and animal science. He graduated in December of 1959.
Following college, Howard was employed as a county extension agent in Springfield, Ohio managing the largest county 4-H program in Ohio. He was then employed by the Holstein Association in Brattleboro, VT and worked four years in the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Minnesota. During that time he dedicated one year to a special research program in four counties in Minnesota. Following this project, he was transferred to Michigan and Indiana to further develop and expand their growing Registered Holstein activities. From there Howard moved to the Brattleboro, VT office to work with the Holstein Friesan Services in developing international markets for U.S. Holsteins which expanded into cattle, semen and embryo sales. This also resulted in the transporting of cattle and related products into an overseas market.
It was with the HFS that Howard became involved in worldwide travel expanding interest in U.S. Holstein Genetics. He traveled to 65 countries in this line of work. He also worked closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinary staff in developing health standards on both sides of the ocean. As a result of this involvement, Howard was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Embryo Transfer Association where he served for four years. In this capacity, Howard’s work opened the door for exports of more U.S. genetics. He organized embryo transfer seminars in this country as well as seven countries overseas, further expanding the demand for U.S. genetics. He later became the Superintendent of the Registry Department at the Holstein Association where he supervised the work of over one hundred clerical workers who processed applications for registry, transfer of ownership, membership, production and type information. He retired form the Holstein Association in 1992.
After retirement, Howard worked for the Greenfield School system and Deerfield Academy. It was his joy working with and around boys and girls that kept him active.
Howard is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen (Hazucha); two sons, Douglas Howard and his wife Melissa, Craig Barret and his wife Shireen, he leaves three adorable grandchildren; Alexandra (Ali) and Samuel Rylan (Sam) Hansen of Vienna, Virginia and Cameron Joseph (CJ) Hansen of Stoneham, MA. His siblings include Pauline Joseph of Mahopac, NY, sister-in-law Jeanette Hansen of Clyde, OH, sister Iola Debolt of Galion, OH, Marjorie Hansen of Bellevue, OH, Marilyn (Frank) McLain of St. Mary’s, OH, Carolyn Thiede of Columbus, OH and Evelyn Gilbert of Milan, OH, and several nieces and nephews.
Howard was predeceased by his brothers Cecil, Arthur and Charles, and brother-in-law William Debolt.
Burial will take place in the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam.
Memorial services will be held at a later date.
Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home in Greenfield is assisting the family. To send a message of condolence please visit www.smithkelleherfuneralhome.com
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