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Walter Ray Hansen

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Walter Ray Hansen, a Detroit native whose years in the Marine Corps set him on a path to becoming an accountant, husband and dedicated father of two, died Friday, April 8, 2022. He was 80. Walter’s hardscrabble upbringing as one of six children in Melvindale, Mich., fueled a determination to make a better life for himself and, later, for his family.

As a Marine, Walter found inner toughness and the means to a college degree that changed the trajectory of a once-aimless youth. He became a certified public accountant and, over a 40-year career, traded work in the Rust Belt for retirement in the West he loved as a child.

He was an avid sports fan with a special love of the Cleveland Browns and enjoyed Western movies, 1950s country music, woodworking and investing.
Walter was born Dec. 10, 1941, three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. He graduated from Melvindale High School in suburban Detroit and not long afterward enlisted in the Marine Corps. Between 1960 and 1964, he served in posts in San Diego, the Philippine Islands and Okinawa, Japan.

Following his discharge, Walter wandered from Detroit to New York City to Washington, D.C. and Sarasota, Fla. In Florida, he worked at the Tropicana orange juice factory and attended the University of South Florida in Tampa for a year. Walter returned to Washington and in May 1966 worked as a desk clerk at Hartnett Hall, a dormitory for young women in Dupont Circle. That’s where a year earlier he had met Marjorie Elizabeth Ruby, his future wife of 55 years.

In Washington, he attended Howard University for his sophomore and junior years of college. Even as he studied accounting, Walter worked as a front-desk clerk at Washington’s stately Mayflower Hotel. He also worked at American Appraisal, a research firm that calculated housing, labor and other costs across the country.

He and Marjorie Ruby were married on April 11, 1967. Their first child, Ronald Joseph Hansen, was born later that year while they lived in Queenstown, Md. They added a daughter, Lisa Anne Marie Hansen, two years later.

As the new family relocated from the District to Maryland, Walter transferred from Howard to the University of Maryland in College Park, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in January 1970.

Later that year, Walter passed the exam to become a licensed CPA, ensuring a stable career for decades to come. The Hansen family briefly relocated to the Ruby family farm near Utica, Pa., in November 1971 after a drunken driver killed Marjorie’s sister. Weeks later, Walter accepted a job in Cleveland, Ohio, at the CPA firm Traeger and Rose. He left the firm for a brief stint as an internal accountant and auditor for Forrest City Enterprises in Cleveland, before returning as a partner in the newly renamed Traeger, Hansen and Rose. He remained at the firm until 1987, when Jaco Manufacturing, a plastics manufacturer in Berea, Ohio, recruited him to oversee their accounting operations. After a decade at Jaco, Walter and his wife relocated to Colorado to be closer to their daughter.

Walter spent the final years of his career working various accounting positions including as controller for Sienna Imaging.

In May 1998, Walter and Marjorie settled in Larkspur, Colo., in a cedar house that offered them views of the enchanting Rocky Mountain landscape. With their children grown, Walter and Marjorie visited family back east and took several more-exotic trips: Mount Rushmore, Western Canada and Europe. Walter retired in 2014 to enjoy time with his children and grandchildren. He hit baseballs and shot baskets with his grandson, Hayden Jones, and had long belly laughs with his son-in-law, Mark Jones.

Walter and Marjorie moved to Goodyear, Ariz., in September 2016 bringing them closer to their son, his wife, Kara Morrison, and their daughter, Sofia Leigh Hansen. It also brought them to another Western locale that Walter loved to explore.

Even before moving to Arizona, Walter was battling memory loss and amyloidosis. Doctors at the University of Colorado helped arrest the amyloid and gave him an extra five years to develop a bond with his granddaughter.

Walter and Marjorie moved back to Colorado Springs in late 2020 so Mark and Lisa could help Marjorie provide him with closer care. Walter died at Memorial Hospital North in Colorado Springs on April 8. His reserved nature disguised a love of children, dogs and playing sports whenever he could. In his final years, Walter spoke fondly of his time in the Marines and dreamed of rejoining his colleagues in the service.

Walter is survived by his wife, Marjorie; his son, Ronald, and daughter-in-law, Kara, of Phoenix, Ariz.; his daughter, Lisa, and son-in-law, Mark, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; his grandson, Hayden; and his granddaughter, Sofia; and a sister, Dorothy LaForte. He is preceded in death by his parents, Ward John Hansen and Anne Rachel Erwin; his brothers James, Earl and Glenn; and his sister Loretta.

The family will receive friends at the Cunningham Turch Funeral Home, 811 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA on Wednesday April 27 from 4PM until 6PM, where funeral services will be on Friday April 28, 2022 at 11 AM. Interment with Marine Honors will be at Quantico National Cemetery at 2PM

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Cunningham Turch Funeral Home

811 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Cunningham Turch Funeral Home

811 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Quantico National Cemetery

18424 Joplin Road, Triangle, VA 22172

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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