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Carl Canfield of Hutchinson Remembers Bill Hansen and the Work He Taught Him


I recall meeting Mr. Hansen back in 2011 when I started here at Hutchinson. He was a nice older gentleman who wrote our permits as told to me by my coworkers at the time. I would occasionally talk to him being that my desk was located so close to his. As time went on I began to talk to him more when he was in the office. However, he was not in the office for very long since he started much earlier than I did and was often out on the road representing Hutchinson at each of the municipalities in our area.

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I thought to myself what a very awesome man to know with all the experience. I would learn later that he was 94 and I thought how amazing that someone could still be as sharp and have that drive to still work every day. It wasn’t until talking with him more that I learned more about him and his story. He had such an amazing story that I got to know over the years. After 2 years, I was given the task of helping him in the office which included aiding him in writing permits. I thought it would be a great experience given my understanding of local municipal government.

I had always admired his determination to make sure that every detail of the permit process was followed. He began to teach me this process as he had learned over his 30 plus years as the sole man responsible for obtaining permits for Hutchinson. It was a great pleasure to learn about what he did and how he did it. I can recall many times and stories not only from Mr. Hansen as I called him, but from the people he touched. I got to step out in his shoes and meet the countless people that knew him so well, and it was amazing to hear all of this for the first time and the many friendships that he made along the way. During this time, we spent many times out on the road talking about life and got to know each other more personally.

We developed a friendship outside our talk of permits and people we know at the township. I got to meet some of his family as well as be a part of his life. It is always great to see him out and about still. From time to time he often tells me that he wants to come back to help with permits and I always say, “whenever you want Mr. Hansen.”

He has definitely made an impact on not just Hutchinson but on my life as well. I have learned so much from him and continue to reach out to him for advice on life and of course his expertise on permits. I can only hope to strive for his life experiences and longevity that he has had during his life time.