Cover photo for Catherine Been Hansen's Obituary
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1910 Catherine 2010

Catherine Been Hansen

November 6, 1910 — July 19, 2010

Catherine Been Hansen, "Miss Been", Chances are, if you were a student in the L'Anse Area Schools between 1934 and 1974 "Miss Been" was your teacher. Standing 4 ft. 8 in. and 90 lbs. she managed classrooms full of eager children. "Miss Been" taught us to tie our shoes, march in rhythm, sing songs, dot I's, cross t's and above all, enunciate!

The final bell has rung for our teacher and friend, Catherine Been Hansen, On July 19, 2010 Catherine died peacefully at the age of 99 A½, of which, she was very proud.

Born in Skanee, MI on November 6, 1910, daughter of Olof & Ina (McClintock) Been and Granddaughter of Captain Walfred Been, founder of Skanee.

Catherine lived in her family home on Huron Bay since she was 3 years old, just recently moving to the Bayside Village in L'Anse.

Catherine attended the local school graduating in 1928 and later Northern State Teachers College in Marquette, MI, now Northern Michigan University. She obtained her teaching certificate and BS degree, cum laude in 1933. After teaching one year in Newberry she returned to Baraga County subsequently teaching first grade and kindergarten for 40 years. Catherine is fondly known to all as "Miss Been". She retired in 1974. In 2009 Catherine Been Hansen was honored at Michigan Tech with the C.C.A.S.B. Education Leadership Award.

Catherine excelled in dance and taught "singles" and "group" classes for many years. She was the founder of "The Red Rockers" Square Dance Club. She met Roy Hansen and married in 1977. They were avid dancers and were happily married for 16 years. Roy Hansen died in 1993.

Following family tradition, (Which descends back to Hugh McClintock of the19th Century) Catherine was a member of the "Daughters of the American Revolution.". She loved her country, supported her Republican Party and believed in the "Voice and Vote" of the people. Catherine remained politically active in writing letters to the editor on world and current events until just recently.

Love of poetry inspired Catherine to write and publish four books. Her earliest, Frugal Chariot was under an assumed name, (pen name of Karen Arnold), then With Wind Unspent, Animals Around the World and her latest Gleanings. Proceeds from future book sales will benefit the Baraga County Community Foundation and has endowed a scholarship in memory of her parents Olaf and Ina McClintock Been.

Catherine Been Hansen valued a good education; she was a mentor to many area youth. Her Scholarship will aid future Baraga County Graduates.

A niece, Bonnie Allen, a nephew David Been, two grand nieces and three grand nephews, cousins and special friends survive. Catherine Been Hansen was the last of her generation, preceded by her brother Richard "Dick" Been and sister Dorothy "Doli" Been (Marvin) Hanson, and nephew William Hanson.

At the request of the deceased, there will be no service and burial will be in her beloved Skanee. Memorials in Catherine's name can be made to the Ontonagon County Animal Protection, 436 Michigan Ave, Ontonagon, MI 49953 or the Copper Country Humane Society (as Catherine adored cats and cared for all animals).

Special thanks to the caring staff at Bayside Village in L'Anse and Aspirus Superior Home Health for years of dedicated service. Jacobson Funeral Home of L'Anse handled arrangements for the deceased. Friends may sign Catherine's guest book or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com.

As her final gift to her family, friends, and students Catherine created or us her last poem, Consolation.

CONSOLATION A Poet's heart encompasses the world's grief in its encircling arms All that distorts one's personality; All that harms

I would go softly like a fading song Perhaps a lullaby Gleaned from a flood of notes from well-tuned strings Which years of background music signify

Melodies enshrined in memory The passing moment just to beatify Would comfort me when nights span is too long And sad thought wakeful hours underlie And tunes which wrapped my childhood in their themes Could once again impart Notes that brought tranquility to pain And still the labored death throes of my heart

Remembering the kind words of friends I seek forgiveness for absent amends To sooth my heart as it reviews my life I seek exalted and remembered trails When verity, the actual fails

Waking daydreams soft sweet lullaby Thoughts enmeshed of love and earth and sky Of beloved pets from bird to butterfly Of myths and modern ways which mystify My hearts tempo counts the days and years Love and pain, laughter, dance and tears Remembering strains of forgotten songs To sooth me on my way I take the path my family all have trod To join their reville on my next day With a sigh Gently to die

By Catherine Been Hansen


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