1991 ~ 2018
We love and miss you Nels. May your heart find peace.
On the night of January 24, 2018 our son Nels Hansen, left on his next spiritual adventure. An Afghanistan War Veteran, Nels had left work in Mammoth and was on his way to Reno to attend the five year reunion of his units return from the war in Afghanistan. Hurricane force crosswinds caused him to lose control of his car.
Nels was an adventure seeker with a big heart and a flare for mischief. With many opportunities for adventure each summer in Alaska on the family island in Seldovia, Nels spent endless hours fishing, kayaking and exploring. Several summers Nels attended Boy Scout Camp in Alaska with the Homer Troop. In 2003 Nels and Ian Richards drove the Alcan with Nels dad, Steve. Nels and Ian had a summer that would fill their hearts with memories of adventure and mischief. Nels big heart allowed him to develop as a guide to many Island guests. He loved to share his Alaska.
Nels grew up in Incline Village. He attended Miss Barbara’s Pre School and was in the inaugural class of the Lake Tahoe School. A 2009 graduate of Incline High School, Nels played football, was on the swim team and a key member of back to back State Champion Ski Teams. He was selected to be on two Jr. Olympic teams as a member of the Squaw Valley Ski Team. With Jeni Cross’s encouragement, in his Senior year, Nels went to Molde, Norway as a foreign exchange student and became fluent in Norwegian. It was his ability to speak Norwegian as wells as his superior physical condition that got Nels selected as a leader of the Honor Platoon at Army Boot Camp.
At the end of his freshman year at UNR, Nels enlisted in the NV Army National Guard. He became a Chinook Helicopter Mechanic stationed at Stead. In 2012 Nels was deployed to FOB Shank in Afghanistan. He achieved the rank of Sergeant and became a Chinook Flight Engineer. Nels was extremely proud of his service and would have liked to continue, but he struggled with what he experienced in war and what his heart always told him was right. PTSD became a devastating demon to Nels, one that tormented him until his death.
Nels heart shown brightest in his sister Annika; He was proud of her. Nels loved teaching his little sister about skiing, climbing and Alaska. Annika lives in Alaska now where she skis and climbs with Nels in her heart.
Nels is survived by his parents, Debbie and Steve Hansen; his sister Annika; Aunt Carol; grandparents, Vera and Gordon Oman and Nicole, who cared so much. Nels leaves us his dog, Ogee, who is the best hugger and friend you could ask for, just like Nels.
We want to thank all of you who have offered to help, sent cards and dropped off food. We have appreciated each and every visit. You have helped us and continue to help us through this heart breaking journey.
In Nels memory we are asking for donations to the Wounded Warrior Center in Mammoth Lakes, CA. 760-934-0792, http://www.woundedwarriorsmammoth.org.
A celebration for Nels is planned for Saturday, June 2, 2018, in the Jennifer cul-de-sac, 996 Jennifer. The Celebration will be from 12N – 3:00pm. Bring your favorite photos and memories to share.