Jacksonville Tennis Official John Hansen passes away
John Hansen was instrumental in organizing Tennis Officiating in the Jacksonville area. The organization known today as the NFTUA stemmed from John. Much of the successful programming in Northeast Florida can be attributed to having this organization in place. Thank you John!
John Edward Hansen
Retired Marine Corps Colonel John Edward Hansen, outstanding citizen and celebrated member of the Greatest Generation passed peacefully on October 7, 2013, at his home in Fleming Island. He was 93 years old.
John Hansen was born in 1920 in Des Moines, Iowa and moved to Orlando with his parents in 1926. There, he became an Eagle scout and graduated from Orlando’s Senior High School. He then attended the University of Florida until the attack on Pearl Harbor prompted him to join the U.S.Marine Corps. He became an aviator and flew F4U Corsairs. The maiden voyage of his Corsair squadron turned into a disaster when it hit a major storm. Lieutenant Hansen was the only pilot to safely reach the destination. This disaster has recently been retold in a PBS documentary. After the war, John married Mary Shreffler of Ames, Iowa, his beloved wife and best friend for 52 years.
John spent 32 years in the Marine Corps, flying in the Korean and Viet Nam wars. After retiring, he and Mary moved to Orange Park .
In retirement, he was able to pursue his passion for tennis. He became an international tennis official as well as a nationally ranked tennis player in his age group. John was linesman, chair umpire, and chief umpire at professional tournaments including the Lipton, Bausch and Lomb, the US Open, Family Circle, and Wimbledon as well as NCAA and satellite tournaments. He was also a member of the USTA National Rules Committee.
John loved his tennis life, his tennis friends, and the Florida Tennis Umpires Association where he received a Lifetime Achievement award.
John was 81 when he played his last tennis tournament. He hit his last tennis ball at age 87.
He is survived by his four children and their families: John Hansen II and wife Laura of Valdosta, GA, Heidi Hansen of Fleming Island, Todd Hansen and Melissa Milburn of Fleming Island, and Devon Hansen Putnam and husband Charles of Bonn, Germany. His grandchildren are John (Tripp), Lacey and Mary Beth Hansen, Susana and David Cruz, River and Scout Hansen, and Adam and Olivia Putnam, and his great grandchildren Sarah, Pierce, Bryson and Caiden.
A memorial service will be held at High Point Community Church, 84 Knight Boxx Rd., Orange Park, 32065, Friday October 11, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Salvation Army or a charity of your choice.