Cliff Hemming Hansen, Sr., 93-1/2, passed through the veil and into the waiting arms of his beloved Melba at his home in Bountiful, Utah on Friday, 16 November 2012, with his youngest child and “lil’ buddy” by his side.
Born 21 May 1919 in the family’s Bear River farmhouse, Cliff was the tenth and longest living of the children born to Peter Alvin and Lucy Isabell (Blain) Hansen, all of whom were waiting to welcome him to their life beyond.
At age 8, Cliff moved with his widowed mother and remaining siblings to a one bedroom home on east 5th South in Brigham City. There, Cliff attended Central Elementary, where the newly-dedicated Brigham Temple now stands, graduated from Box Elder Junior, Box Elder High and attended LDS Business College, where he served as Student Body President at the two latter schools. Top placement in his stenotype class there led to Cliff being selected by college administrators to be interviewed mid-year at the Newspaper Agency Corporation, where he was hired on the spot and began his illustrious 46-year career.
Handpicked from sixth grade to take the first-ever foreign language class offered in Brigham, he met and fell for his eternal love, Melba Donna Sorenson, who was picked from her school. They married on 23 May 1941 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. Upon return from their honeymoon, the newlyweds got their first piece of mail—a letter from Uncle Sam.
Shortly thereafter, Cliff served our country during WWII, as a Seabee. He was stationed first at Davis Field, RI where his swimming, leadership and teaching skills were utilized as he and another man developed the first-ever Lifesaving, First Aid and Water Safety program, for which he was also an instructor. Cliff was also instrumental in negotiations for construction of the world’s largest indoor pool (at that time) being built and arranging for Seabees and other troops to be processed through the new training program (which included demonstrations with burning oil on top of the water) prior to being shipped overseas. They were responsible for saving many lives and, when Cliff finally did ship out, he worked with his shipmates to build safe landing strips on Tinian and Okinawa where inbound troops could land safely.
After the war, Cliff and Melba moved to Layton, Utah, to raise their family. They were both active in one of Layton’s earliest LDS Wards, where Cliff was Superintendent of the Sunday School (under Bishop Adams).
On 30 December 1953, the family moved to his current home in Bountiful, Utah. There, Cliff started the Pony and Little Leagues, was instrumental in the construction and building of Rocket Park, and donated his skills to help construct the Bountiful Stone Creek Stake’s North building (home to the Bountiful 12th, Shadows and Stone Creek Wards).
Cliff was often called upon to narrate and speak on many community and church programs, due to his clear, deep voice. He also loved flowers and took great pleasure in tending his garden, usually hand watering late into the summer evenings, which earned him the nickname “Moonlight Gardener” from neighbors. A pet lover, Cliff also enjoyed teaching his animals various tricks and demonstrating them to anyone who visited his home.
All this time, even prior to his military service, Cliff worked at the Newspaper Agency Corporation, working first in retail, then selling display advertising space. He created and formed the original Salt Lake Home Show, now held annually. He and Melba were fortunate to travel extensively during his tenure there, with the Association of National Classified Advertising Managers, and later, to Laguna Beach and Elder Hostels. Cliff retired as Classified Advertising Manager after 46 years of service. His final year, he was President of the International Association of Classified Advertising Managers, was given the Charles Horne Award for his contributions to Classified Advertising, and was recognized by the LDS Church in its 1985 Church Almanac of Who’s Who.
Preceded in death by Melba, his childhood sweetheart and bride of nearly 67 years (15 December 2007). Cliff is survived by their grieving children: Mary Catherine (Cathi) and Elaine Holly, both Bountiful; Cliff Hemming, Jr. (Roc), Port St. Lucie, FL; grandson, Collin Jared, Arvada, CO; granddaughter, Lynsey Morgan (Ben) Humphries and great-grandson, Joseph Len Humphries, Littleton, CO., and his “lil’ buddy”, Shadow.
We especially want to thank Elisa Garrett, R.N. Case Manager, and Tarrin Collins, CNA for Symbii Home Health, for their compassion, dedication and love of our dad throughout his journey, and Dr. Grant L. Christian, for his personal care and concern over the years. We are grateful for the many dear friends, family and ward members whose service and visits brightened Cliff’s life in any way.
Funeral services will be held Monday, November 26, 2012 at 11 a.m., at the Bountiful 12th Ward Chapel, 1475 N. 300 West. Family and friends may visit at Lindquist's Bountiful Mortuary, 727 N. 400 East Sunday, from 6 to 8 p.m., and Monday, from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m., prior to services at the church. Interment: Brigham City Cemetery.
Condolences may be shared at www.lindquistmortuary.com.