Cover photo for Theodore   "Ted" Joe Hansen's Obituary
Theodore   "Ted" Joe Hansen Profile Photo
1941 Theodore "Ted" 2023

Theodore "Ted" Joe Hansen

November 24, 1941 — November 15, 2023

Cantankerous; the most stubborn and carefree person you will ever meet. Thrifty: one who will save every Christmas present in the closet until the old is officially too worn to use anymore. Hardworking; one who works continuous hours to provide for his family. A bighearted guy giving or sharing in abundance without hesitation, who can't seem to ever say "no" to his dogs, kids, grandkids or friends. All these unique traits sum up Theodore J. (Ted) Hansen to a “T”.

Ted was born November 24, 1941, to his parents Art P. and Ester (Louden) Hansen in Hamlin, Iowa. He was baptized on August 14, 1944, at the Exira Lutheran Parsonage and confirmed at the Exira Lutheran Church in May 1958. Ted started his childhood education in Wiota, Iowa then attended country schools in Adair & Audubon counties before graduating from Exira High School in 1961. Ted united in marriage with Donna F. Nelson September 21, 1978, at the Little Brown Church in Nasha, Iowa. They were blessed with two sons joining three daughters from a prior marriage. Audubon County has been called home with residences in Brayton, countryside of Exira, and currently Audubon.

Ted was always working somewhere to provide for his family. Sometimes too much to put his occupation before his own family activities. After finishing high school, he went to work for Otto Wheatley near Fontanelle, Iowa as a farm hand. In 1967, he worked for the Audubon Mill (later known as Feeders Supply) as a mill operator and truck driver before hauling Milk for Andersen & Sons of Brayton, Iowa. A short break from trucking occurred in 1979 as Ted tried his hand in the maintenance department at the Cass County Memorial Hospital which only lasted 4 months before heading back to hauling feed and working as a salesman with Feeders Best Choice. At one time Ted even purchased the Elvira Lewis (Brayton) grocery store in hopes to own his own feed store one day; but that dissolved quickly. June 1989 brought on the big change as Ted began driving truck for Reilly Construction with many overnights spent away from Audubon County. Ted returned home full-time in 2000 to manage 2 hog units for Steve Schmitz and AMVC before returning to Reilly Construction in 2003. December 2006, brought in the realization to slow down with working so many hours away from home. Ted began hauling pigs for AMVC and began substitute bus driving for Audubon and Exira school districts. In August 2011, Ted acquired his own bus route for the Exira/Elk-Horn-Kimballton school district where he admired time spent with his “bus kids” and even got to take his grandson on special bus trips at times. He retired from bus driving in 2018. Ted was a member of the Brayton Fire Department until 1991, served on the Brayton Lutheran Church council, and was a member of Audubon First United Methodist Church where he served as a greeter and usher.

With any spare time, Ted enjoyed camping or could be found by random farm ponds fishing. He was very good at spoiling his grandkids rotten, was always found giving his furry friends a ride around town in the pickup, and always had treats for any dog or kid who would enter his house. He was even known for dog sitting his grand dog most days. Ted and Donna enjoyed dancing until his health wouldn’t allow anymore and even got to meet his favorite singer, Daniel O’Donnell.

Ted has had many scares as his heart health has been declining over the years. Ted was called home November 15, 2023 surrounded by family after a battle with cancer.

Ted is survived by his wife Donna (Nelson) Hansen, dog Lily, daughters; Amy (Todd) Olsen of Ankeny, IA, Marla (Doug) Hughes of Waco, TX, Carrie (Sid) Smith of Ingleside, TX; sons Theodore (T.J.) Hansen of Brayton, IA, Justin (Beth) Hansen of Exira IA, brothers Richard Hansen and special friend Janet Leader of Harlan, IA, Leonard (Anita) Hansen of Exira, IA, sister Shirley Crouse of Cookeville, TN, grandchildren Gage Olsen and Jade Olsen both of Ankeny, IA, Erin Hughes of Ames, IA, Tyler Newlin and Kyle (Katherine) Newlin all of Ingleside, TX, Hayden Hansen, of Persia, IA, Breysen Hansen of Exira, IA, great grandson Elias Newlin of Ingleside, TX, mother-in-law Lois Nelson of Exira, IA, sister-in-law Denise (Larry) Kendle of Audubon, IA, brother-in-law, David (Heather) Nelson of Exira, IA, along with several nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Ted is preceded in death by his parents Art and Ester Hansen, step-mother Cora (Jessen) Hansen, sisters Jeri (Lowell) Hansen, Sharlene (Collin) Williamson, sister-in-law Evamae Hansen, brother-in-law Ben Crouse, father-in-law Richard Nelson, and his beloved dogs Buddy, Lucky, and Lily.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Theodore "Ted" Joe Hansen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, November 20, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Kessler Funeral Homes, Inc. - Audubon

515 South Division Street, Audubon, IA 50025

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


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

428 Washington Street, Audubon, IA 50025

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


Exira Cemetery

, Exira, IA 50076

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


Visits: 12

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree