Cover photo for Frank Hansche's Obituary
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1920 Frank 2015

Frank Hansche

December 31, 1920 — May 28, 2015

Commander Frank C. Hansche, Jr., CEC, USN (Ret.) passed away at home in Sun City West, Arizona, on May 28, 2015. His loving wife Roxanne, daughter Carolyn, and stepdaughter Shannon were with him. Frank was 94 and died of congestive heart failure. He had struggled bravely with pneumonia for all of 2014. Until late 2013 Frank and Roxanne traveled widely in Europe and the United States, visiting family members and friends on both coasts, playing golf, and enjoying their retirement years immensely. In addition to Roxanne, Frank leaves behind sons Frank Charles III of Kent Washington, Carolyn Anne of Renton, and Jonathan Andrew of Portland Oregon, two grandchildren, a brother, Harry of Vero Beach, Florida and a sister June of Cleveland. Frank had been a widower whose wife, Anne Hansche died in 1995. Roxanne was also widowed in 1995. Her late husband Victor Sparling was Frank's golfing buddy and friend for decades. Frank and Roxanne were married in 1999 and their blended families include nine children, 31 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren. Frank was a warm, considerate and good-natured husband,father,friend and neighbor. All who knew him agree that he was a true gentleman. He had enormous patience and always made a person feel special and listened to what they had to say with respect. A life-long Lutheran, Frank loved his Church. He was a dedicated patriot who loved his country dearly. Born in Ridgewood, New Jersey on December 31, 1920 to Frank and Caroline Hansche, Frank graduated from Suffern High School in Suffern, New York in 1938. At SHS he lettered in track and baseball. After graduation his congressman appointed Frank to the U.S. Naval Academy and he began plebe year in the summer of 1939. He was assigned to the 12th Company and ran cross country for the Navy. His class was accelerated and Ensign Hancshe began his first active duty tour in June 1942. Frank's initial assignment was as an instructor in the V-12 program at Harvard right after graduation. That 3-month tour was followed by gunnery school in Norfolk. After completion he reported to the brand new Fletcher class destroyer USS Kidd (DD-661) as Assistant Gunnery and Fire Control Officer. Kidd was built at Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. in Kearney, New Jersey and commissioned on 23 April 1943. Frank was aboard during her shakedown cruise in Maine waters. In June 1943, Kidd escorted large combatants to the Caribbean for training and chased a German pocket battleship in the North Atlantic. That summer Kidd steamed to Pearl Harbor and joined the Pacific Fleet. In September Kidd escorted carriers toward Wake Island. Later that month the task force took positions south of Raboul. Kidd provided gunfire support for the amphibious assault at Bougainville that began on 11 November. Kidd screened for carriers in the Gilbert Islands invasion and shot down two Japanese dive bombers. Kidd returned to Pearl on December 9 but soon left for training exercises. While several miles offshore an accidental stray shot from a nearby battleship hit the Kidd. A shell penetrated Kidd's steering compartment and went through a case of souvenirs. The ship returned to Pearl for repairs and was out of action for 6 weeks. In January 1944, Kidd sailed again, this time as part of a carrier task force whose mission it was to invade the Marshall Islands. In early February, Kidd bombarded the Japanese-held islands of Roi and Wotje, and anchored at Kwajalen in late February. Frank recieved orders to begin flight trainig in Texas in later February 1944 and returned to sea duty in June. He reported to USS Flusser (D-368) and assumed duties as Gunnery Officer. Flusser deployed to the South Pacific, and there guarded Truk which had been liberated earlier. The ship swept for mines and provided gunfire support. Frank was transferred to the USS Stack (Dd-406) in early 1945 and assumed duties and Executive Officer. Stack exchanged fire with enemy shore batteries but was not hit. In December 1945 Frank reported to Troy, New York where he began studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In June 1948 he earned both Bachelor and Master of Civil Engineering degrees and transferred to the Civil Engineer Corps, known to all as the Seabees. Frank was deployed to Guam, served on the Commanding Officer's Staff, and met Maeann("Anne")Moran, and American civilian employed at the base. They married and remained on Guam for 2 years. Stateside assignments took the family forst to the Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, then to NAD Hastings, Nebraska. In 1956 he was assigned to Naval Base Subic Bay, Philippines. A two-year tour in Washington, DC, followed and saw Frank researching alternative surfacing materials for air station runways. He and his staff develop a heat-resistant concrete mix to replace the asphalt surfaces then in wide use. A transfer to Ocean Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach as Public Works Officer in 1961 followed. This was Commander Hansche's most enjoyable assignment, and was his final active duty station. NAS Oceana's C.O. commended him for "supervising the construction of the Station's facilities and won the respect,admiration and esteem of your shipmates". On June 1, 1963 at NAS Oceana, Frank voluntarily retired. During his active duty service Frank was awarded the American Defense Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon and World War II Victory Medal. Frank began his 23-year civilian career in Walla Walla, Washington as City Engineer. After Walla Walla, Frank served the cities of Redmond and Bothell as Director of Public Works and Received several citations and resolutions for exemplary service. In 1989 Frank retired again but continued to serve as a expert witness in public works cases. A Memorial Service of Frank's life will take place at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 13724 West Meeker Boulevard, Sun City West, Arizona at 11:00 A.M. on Monday, June 8, 2015. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made in Frank's name to the Susan Koman for the Cure: or USS Kidd Veteran's Memorial, 305 South River Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802.
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