After a sixteen-year battle with cancer, Dorenne Kay (Mittag) Hansen passed away in her home on May 18, 2021.
Dorenne won many battles with her disease over the last sixteen years, including an initial diagnosis with only a 14% survival rate, the re-emergence of metastasized bone cancer and its accompanying terminal diagnosis, multiple strokes, heart issues, and a COVID-19 infection. After each battle she was able to return to a normal life, all the while knowing that the cancer would only have to win once. She never let her life become defined by her diagnosis, providing an example of bravery and courage for all those who knew her. She told those close to her that she was living with cancer, not dying from it.
Dorenne was born November 3, 1961 in Albert Lea, MN, the first child of Donna and Bruce Mittag. A 1980 graduate of Glenville High School, she had a well-rounded educational experience. Dorenne excelled in academics and athletics, including holding the school record in the 440 yard dash for over two decades. She was also active in the school band as a clarinet player, in the Future Farmers of America, and the Myrtle 4-H club.
After high school, Dorenne attended the University of Minnesota Technical College-Waseca, where she earned an Associate’s Degree in Agricultural Business Management and competed in basketball and track & field.
Dorenne started dating her husband of nearly 39 years, Michael Hansen, after he accidentally hit her in the face with an errant throw at a Myrtle 4-H softball practice. They married on July 24, 1982 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Myrtle. They enjoyed traveling together and with family and friends, with yearly trips to Breezy Point and a few spectacular trips to more exotic locations including Italy, Australia, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Hawaii, and an Alaskan cruise.
Dorenne has had several careers in her adult life, including employment with the Myrtle elevator, Southland High School as a track coach, Naeve Hospital in Albert Lea, a Pampered Chef consultant, and ten years with Hormel Foods in Austin, where she retired in 2013. Her days as a Pampered Chef consultant were wildly successful, as she earned family vacations to Disney World and Keystone, Colorado, plus several trips for her and Mike. Her most impactful role has been as a supportive and inspiring wife and mother.
Dorenne was a devoted mother and an avid supporter of her children, developing bleacher butt on more than one occasion, as she cheered on her children and their peers for many sports, concerts, banquets and graduations. She continued the tradition, supporting her children in their extra-curricular activities at Notre Dame (band) and Wartburg College (baseball and football).
Dorenne’s love for her community is deep-rooted, as her family has lived in Shellrock township for over 160 years. This commitment was evident in her volunteer roles as church President, Sunday School teacher, Girl Scout troop leader, youth group leader, 4-H key leader, and community activist. She fought to preserve and maintain the natural beauty of the countryside up until her disease would not allow her to.
Dorenne loved to spend time with her grandchildren, playing in the playhouse, reading, painting, and baking. She was a diversified crafter and baker/cook, creating beautiful cross-stitch pictures and stockings, sewing purses and card-table houses. Dorenne loved with her whole heart and has left pieces of her love behind in the gifts she has created for her family. Her reward will be great in heaven.
Dorenne is survived by her husband Mike Hansen; children: Heidi (Sean) Gaston, Alex (Jenikah) Hansen, and Logan (Mallory) Hansen; grandchildren: Jackson, Isabelle, and Charlotte Gaston; Madelin and Liam Hansen; and Miles Hansen; mother, Donna Mittag; siblings: Bonnie Anding, David Mittag, and Brenda Wehking; multiple brother- and sister-in-laws, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by father, Bruce Mittag.
A visitation will be held from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 21, 2021 at Bonnerup Funeral Service, and one hour prior to services at the church. A funeral service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Myrtle with Pastor Josh Blair officiating. Interment will follow at Pilgrim’s Rest Cemetery. A celebration of life meal will be held at the Glenville City Hall following committal services.
She asked that donations be made to American Cancer Society or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital to support continued cancer research and treatment options and those children fighting this terrible disease.