Bill Hansen, 100 Haddonfield Lions Club, New Jersey Bill Hansen and the Lions were born about the same time in 1917. Now both celebrate their 100th birthday surrounded by the numerous people whose lives are better because they’re here. Days after Bill Hansen’s multiple birthday parties, multiple cakes and multiple candles in this, his centennial year, he said simply, “I’m fortunate. God has blessed me with many friends.” But his friends have much to add to that, and it begins with, “Well, everybody likes Bill … .” Hansen worked for 84 years—from age 14 to 98. “He just can’t sit,” explains his grandson, Lion Kevin Burns. It is no wonder then that his birthday wish was to return to work for one day and for $1. He did, and that made national news. He delivered milk with a horse and buggy, toiled in the shipyards during WWII, and spent 33 years at Exxon Mobil Corp. before retiring for a month and launching a new career at Hutchinson Heating and Cooling where he stayed until he was 98. For 71 years, he was blissfully married to “Dot,” to whom he credits his health and his happiness. He has two children, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Haddonfield’s Citizen of the Year in 1987, Hansen is a 50-year-member of Christ the King Church where he still serves as an altar boy, and has been an active Lion for 41 years and trustee for the Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley since 1992. Friends Tom and George Henderson, 85-year-old twins: “We go to church with Bill seven days a week. He picks us up, and afterward we go to Panera Bread. On Sunday, we go to Dunkin’ Donuts. “We’re not Lions, but if there’s something Lions are selling tickets for, we buy them. When Bill goes to heaven he’s going to ask St. Peter at the gate if he wants to buy a ticket. He’s involved in everything the Lions are doing, and he’s had every job he could have at church other than run the Ladies’ Sodality.” Grandson Kevin Burns: “As much as my grandfather does for others, they do for him. He’s nonstop. He wants to help. “My father died when I was 16. Pop’s Pop been a father figure to me. He’s extremely involved in our lives. He taught me loyalty and work ethic, and that my wife and kids are the most important thing in the world.” Past District Governor Richard Zimmerman: “When Bill turned 90, I said, ‘Be sure to invite me when you turn 100.’ Well, he did. When he says he’ll do something, he does it and does it right. You need a volunteer? Bill’s there, front and center. He’s a typical Lion, a superior individual.” Bill Hansen: “It’s been a happy birthday. I’ve been so blessed.” Do you know a Lion who you think has a great story or deserves a bit of recognition? Email us a brief description of the Lion and the reason you’re making the nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “One of Us” in the subject line.
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