Opinion

We've lost a great person

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The pages of the Valley Record bring you sad news this

week with the passing of former Mayor Jeanne Hansen. With the sad

news comes the close of a chapter that will shape the Valley for years

to come.

I once wrote an editorial that said a person's success could

be measured by how many people show up at your funeral. A funeral

is a true reflection of how many lives one has touched, and my guess

is, there will be a lot of people at Jeanne's services this Saturday.

There are likely people who did not agree with her political aspirations

or her direction for Snoqualmie and the Upper Valley, but there are

also throngs of people who supported her, wholeheartedly, knowing

that her desires for the Valley were genuine and lacked selfish

motives. Whether you agreed with her or not, you knew that her heart

was guiding her and that she truly believed that anything she was

doing was for the betterment of the Valley and its residents.

Having had the chance to know Jeanne for many years, and

especially while serving as the publisher of this newspaper, I knew

I could easily talk with Jeanne about any subject, and our

discussions were typically on the record and her responses were genuine.

She was an intriguing person to talk to and had many ideas to

share, again, some of which I personally may not have agreed with,

but many that were in the best interest of the community.

Jeanne was a connection to the past, having spent many

years working for Weyerhaeuser at the Snoqualmie mill. She saw the

Valley go through the economic downturn caused by the demise in

the logging industry. She personally saw many Valley families who

were forced to leave to find work, or who stayed and were possibly

living in poverty. She saw Snoqualmie grow from a population of less

than 1,200 to the current population of more than 2,000.

She epitomized community involvement, sitting on the

hospital board, the Senior Center board, the Hub board, and the list goes

on. She wasn't the type to say, "Have so-and-so help you with that."

She would roll up her sleeves and do whatever was necessary. Greg

Hart from Mount Si shared with me that she even volunteered to

participate in a Big Mac eating contest at McDonalds to raise funds for

the student body at the high school. Greg added that she only ate

one Big Mac during the time of the contest, but the fact that she

was willing to participate was a strong indication of her character.

Despite having lost the last election for mayor, she continued

to actively participate in city activities, including the

Snoqualmie Ridge Community Center Steering Committee.

For many, Jeanne Hansen was, and is, Snoqualmie —

past, present and future. Our thoughts go out to her family in this time

of grief, and especially to my K-12 classmate, Bob.

Jim McKiernan

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