Former Rantoul Press owner remembered as caring man
RANTOUL – Area residents are remembering Glenn Hansen as a loving, educated man who enjoyed photography, world travel and helping those in need.
Mr. Hansen, 93, the former owner of The Rantoul Press, died Saturday at his home in Rantoul.
Rantoul Mayor Neal Williams, who was Mr. Hansen's next door neighbor, described him as a wise man who often gave him advice.
"My neighbor was an extraordinary and very intelligent man," Williams said. "His travels took him to China, Europe, you name it. He would often give me insight on how things were in Rantoul when Chanute Air Force Base was here."
Perhaps Mr. Hansen's closest friend was Earl Weichel of Rantoul.
Weichel used to go over to Mr. Hansen's home on Eden Park Drive several times a week to check up on him.
"He was a gentleman, a tremendous asset to the community of Rantoul," Weichel said. "He will be missed. I've known him for 31 years, and I don't think I'll ever have a closer friend."
Mr. Hansen was a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Rantoul, and he served as the Rotary District Governor for East Central Illinois in 1980-81.
"He was a wonderful member of the Rantoul Rotary, and he served as a fine example for the rest of us to follow," Weichel said.
The current Rantoul Rotary President, Jim Stubblefield, remembered Mr. Hansen as a person who put the needs of others ahead of his own needs.
"Glenn was one of our stable rocks," Stubblefield said. "He provided leadership for our Rotary Club to push forward to help the community and the world. He got things done and got people to work for him. We'll all miss him dearly."
The Rev. Paul Simpkins, who served as Mr. Hansen's pastor for many years, remembered the former Rantoul Press owner as a man of faith.
"He sincerely cared about others and was always complementary of everything somebody did to help out the church," Simpkins said.
Ian Wang, the general manager of Amerinvest, said he would always remember Mr. Hansen as a lover of the arts, particularly photography.
"Every time I saw Glenn, he always had his camera," Wang said. "As he travelled to all 50 states and about 30 other countries, he took photos everywhere he went."
Wang said that Mr. Hansen was a member of the Champaign County Camera Club and entered his photos in many photography shows around the Midwest.
Wang said he became friends with Mr. Hansen in 2004 when Wang organized an art show to commemorate Rantoul's 150th birthday.
"In that show I selected a couple of his photos," Wang said. "I used one of his photos, titled 'The Promise' as the title artwork of the show."
Joe Bolser, executive director of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce, remembered Mr. Hansen as an effective businessman who helped the Rantoul Press to grow.
"He was a very caring person for the community," Bolser said. "He did many things over the years to help all of his. I depended on him for his knowledge of the history of our community. Most of all, he was a very good person."
Rantoul accountant Mike Graham, who often attended church services with him, described Mr. Hansen as one of the most intelligent people he ever met.
"He was a graduate of Harvard University and had an MBA from Harvard," Graham said. "He built the Rantoul Press from the ground up to become one of the bedrock businesses of our community.
"He was a very kind and decent individual, and he was a great business person."
Graham said he'll never forget how Mr. Hansen cared for his wife, Peg, after she lost her eyesight.
"He was totally devoted to Peg, and loved her with his whole heart," Graham said.