Helen Mae Hanson
Helen Mae Hanson topped out at 5' 1/4", but she will forever stand tall in the esteem, memory and affection of her many family and friends.
Helen died Tuesday, April 11, 2006 following a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer.
The long, gray days of that battle cannot veil our celebration of her good and productive life and the happy memories it evokes.
Helen was born in Platte, South Dakota, on August 7, 1921. With a high school diploma, and youthful experience ranging from driving a cab to practical nursing, she joined the WAAC (later WAC) in 1943. The Army schooled her and sent her to the Pacific Theater as a Photo Lab Technician. Serving often within earshot of the sounds of battle she earned entitlement to: The Victory Medal; American Theater Ribbon; Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with 2 Bronze Battle Stars; Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 1 Bronze Battle Star; WAAC Service Ribbon with 2 Overseas Service Bars and...a Good Conduct Medal!
On November 1, 1945, on a troopship heading home, just five miles outside of Manila, Helen met Olga Baso, also a homeward-bound WAC; a meeting that bonded into a loving and enduring partnership. Not long after the war the two settled in Seattle where Helen parlayed her photographic skills into an understanding and talent as a print press operator and became the first local woman member of the printers labor union. About 1950 Helen went to work for UBS, a local printing company, and with hard work, professional knowledge and aptitude for sales and management, she ended up owning the company, with at one time a staff of up to 100 and as a major print supplier for local businesses, including Boeing.
In 1986, both Helen and Olga (who had joined Helen at (UBS), sold the company and retired to enjoy the well-earned good life, and enjoy it they did in the company of many friends and family. From a wonderful view outlook on Alki Avenue they entertained, traveled and broke even on ventures to casinos near and far.
May all who were touched by this good woman during her long, happy and productive life remember her with fondness and respect.
Memorial service and burial at Mountain View Memorial Park in Tacoma at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, 2006. Contributions in memory of Helen Mae Hanson may be made to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Arrangements by Mountain View Funeral Home. 584-0252. Please sign online guest book at www.mountainviewtacoma.com.