Community service — these two simple words were nearly redefined by Larry Hansen, who served as assistant director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
Hansen’s introduction to vocational education came in 1947 when he was hired as the administrative assistant for the Veterans Agricultural Training Program. In 1965, he was promoted to the post of agency finance director and in 1971 became assistant director.
At his retirement in 1984 — after working more than 35 years in vocational education — he said, “Serving with a wonderful group of people with meaningful responsibilities made it a great place to work.”
While many would have felt overwhelmed with his heavy workload, Hansen did not. Instead, he managed to add to it, serving 13 years on the Stillwater City Commission, including two terms as mayor. He also served on the City Planning Commission, the Stillwater Industrial Authority, the Stillwater Municipal Hospital Authority, the Oklahoma Municipal Retirement Fund and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority. He was a veteran of World War II and was active in his church.
Hansen’s retirement was not to be spent relaxing or recalling pleasant memories. In 1987, he was appointed to the board of directors for the Grand River Dam Authority and served as GRDA chairman in 1991. He resigned as chairman later that year to campaign for a vacant seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He was elected from a crowded field of challengers and served the remainder of the unexpired term. He did not seek re-election because of health problems.
Hansen was inducted to the CareerTech Hall of Fame in 1993.