Kirsten “Kit” Hansen, 77, of Madison, Wis., passed away on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at home. She had endured many years living with Alzheimer’s disease and is now at peace.
Kit was born on May 12, 1941, the daughter of Arthur and Margaret (Nelson) Hansen. She grew up on the family dairy farm outside of Chetek, Wis. As a teenager, she participated in 4-H, raising calves and sewing clothing to show at the fair. She spent two years at Luther College, where she had very fond memories of playing clarinet in the band. After taking some time off, Kit graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1965, with a degree in home economics. From 1965 to 1967, Kit lived in Ankara, Turkey, as a Peace Corps volunteer. During her time abroad, she was able to travel around the Middle East, seeing many incredible sights and acquiring a taste for the food and the music. In 1981, Kit completed her master’s degree in social work at UW-Madison and worked for several years in the Madison area serving the mentally ill.
Her daughter was born in 1982, and Kit was a very loving and patient mother. She worked hard to provide her daughter with a happy childhood filled with kind people, adventure and plenty of vegetables. In the early 1990s, because she had enjoyed playing in the band at Luther College so much, Kit joined the New Horizons band for musicians older than 50 and learned to play the flute and bass saxophone. Alzheimer’s slowly robbed Kit of the things that made her so special, but those who knew her remember a smart, talented and good-natured woman who enjoyed gardening, caring for animals, listening to music of all genres, camping, traveling and drinking a good cup of coffee.
Kit is survived by her daughter, Camilla (Brian) Carlyon, and three grandchildren, Eric, Eliza and Clara. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Eric Hansen.
A celebration of Kit’s life will be held at Gunderson Fitchburg Funeral and Cremation Care, at 2950 Chapel Valley Rd., Fitchburg, Wis., at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27.
Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 9 a.m. until the time of the service on Sunday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Access Community Health Centers. Access provides health care and other services to patients in Dane County and southern Wisconsin, regardless of their ability to pay. Kit served on the board of Access during her social work career and believed very strongly in their mission. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.