DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Life Events > In memoriam: Barbara Hansen, mother of Community and Government Relations' Kris Hansen

In memoriam: Barbara Hansen, mother of Community and Government Relations' Kris Hansen

Stained glass
(DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)

It is with sadness that we have learned of the death of Barbara Elizabeth Hansen, mother of Kris Hansen, manager of Community and Government Relations. Barb passed away on March 20 at the age of 89.

Hansen was born Jan. 12, 1934, to Dwight and Geraldine Mound (both deceased) of Cincinnati. She graduated from Iowa State University in 1955 with a bachelor of science in child development, then became director and head teacher for the preschool at Emerson House, one of three settlement houses comprising the Chicago Commons Association.

Barb Hansen
Barb Hansen (Family photo)

After marrying Richard (Dick) Hansen in 1957, the family settled in Iowa City and had three children. Hansen had a generous heart and gave of time and resources every way she could. Her volunteerism eventually brought her to the maternity ward at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. In 1985, she co-founded the pediatric cuddlers’ program, giving high-risk infants the attention and interaction they needed to thrive. The program won the State of Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award in 1992, and Hansen herself won the same award in 2000.

Hansen believed deeply in the value of education and the opportunities it offered. She established two lecture series, one each at Iowa State and the University of Iowa, to support and empower students, and both continue today.

In addition to her husband, Hansen is survived by three children: Kris of Oak Park; Steven (Angela) of Rockville, Md.; and Mark (Jennifer) of Palatine, as well as seven grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held April 29 in Iowa City. Condolences may be posted online.