Lola Fay Hansen, 79, Sidney, MT

Funeral Services will be Saturday February 17, 2024 at 10:00 A.M. at Pella Lutheran Church in Sidney, MT with Pastor Barb Haugerud officiating. A luncheon will follow the service for a time of fellowship and sharing. Visitation will be Friday February 16, 2024 from 10:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. at the Fulkerson Stevenson Memorial Chapel in Sidney, MT. Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home of Sidney, MT is assisting the family. Remembrances, condolences, and pictures may be shared with the family at http://www.fulkersons.com.

Heaven gained a whole lot of sparkle on February 9, 2024, when Lola Fay Hansen, 79, passed away following a brief hospitalization at Sidney Health Center. She was welcomed into the arms of Jesus with her daughter and son-in-law at her bedside.

 Lola was born while her father was stationed in Temple, Bell County, Texas, on November 10, 1944. She was the oldest of 3 daughters born to Sidney natives Orvald Norgaard and Hazel Blair Norgaard Peterson.

Lola grew up on a farm in the Mount Pleasant community west of Sidney. She was educated in Mount Pleasant and Sidney schools, attended Dawson Community College, and studied business at Montana State University in Bozeman.

 She married Arnold G. Hansen on March 25, 1961. Following their education, the couple moved home to Sidney. Arnie took a teaching position at the high school and Lola started her business career.

 By age 34, Lola had started and was running six businesses in Sidney. Her first venture was the Montgomery Ward catalog store. She began as a clerk and soon became the youngest Ward's manager in the country, winning awards for increased sales and her exceptional management skills. She bought the Ward's store in 1972 and added a health food department. In 1977, she built the connecting South 40 complex, which housed the award-winning South 40 Restaurant and Lounge, Homestead Clothing, The Book Loft, and Homestead Shoes. In the 1980's, she continued to expand, adding The Flair, Macho Man, and Kids' Corner clothing stores in the Village Square Mall. In 1997, the Winner's Pub Sports Bar & Casino was opened. Lola loved making people happy and giving them the best shopping and dining experience possible. This was her passion and the key to her success. She never retired, staying involved in the business's daily operations until the last days of her life. 

Lola was active in community affairs on both the local and state levels. During her lifetime, she served in the following capacities: Director of the local Chamber of Commerce, Secretary & founding member of the Richland Co. Tavern Assoc, Chairman of the Richland County Democratic Central Committee, Charter member and Secretary of the Xi Alpha Beta Sorority, Director of the MT Retail Association, Board member of the Montana State Board of Regents, and on the Governor's Board of Montana Ambassadors to promote Montana's economy. She was named Woman of the Year for the Sidney Chapter of the Business and Professional Women of America in 1985. Lola was incredibly charitable and an active supporter of all Sidney Eagles activities.

Lola loved spending time at their cabin on Lake Sakakawea. She didn't like the water but loved spending time with family, cooking, reading, and playing card games, especially Pinochle and Squeak. She was particularly fond of Squeak, playing with such speed that her opponents would pause to watch in amazement, often securing her the win. She tried to learn to crochet once and spun a starting chain so long it could have competed for a record, humorously dubbing it a work of art. It may not have been a record or art, but it did symbolize her fortitude to succeed at whatever she set her mind to.

Lola is survived by her husband of 62 years, Arnie; daughter, Heather (Ray) Johnson; son, Raymond Hansen; three grandchildren, Cody (Megan), Jace (Kylee), and Liliana Johnson; one great-grandson, Brooks Johnson; and two sisters, Rita and Jeanette.

If there are superhumans among us, Lola was undoubtedly one of them. She was intimately familiar with life's many challenges, having faced head-on every type of life's pain and sorrow. Yet, she turned these struggles into a source of strength for herself and everyone she inspired, especially other women. Her resolve made the impossible seem possible. Her legacy is a profound narrative of resilience, hope, and endless possibilities.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Lola's name may be made to the Mon-Dak Heritage Center or a charity of one's choice.

 

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