Ray Hansen passed away on 29 December 2022, after a valiant battle with Huntington’s disease (HD). Raymond Carroll Hansen was born in December 1964, the fourth child of six, to Carroll & Veola Hansen. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Russ and sisters Linda & Tammy (who also died from Huntington’s disease).
Ray had a sense of humor and loved life. He could play his drums like a professional and would spend hours drumming to his favorite rock bands. He loved to listen to the music of Styx, The Osmonds, Carpenters, Kansas, & Queen and many more.
As a child he lived in Kearns, Utah, then his family moved to Orem and Spanish Fork. When he was eight, his family lived in Tempe & Mesa, Arizona. Ray loved the palm trees and warm winters of Arizona. He revisited the state on many vacations because he enjoyed it so much.
When he became a teenager, Ray lived in Provo, Utah where he attended Farrer Jr. High. He was well-liked in school and was a good student. It was while living in Provo, his family learned that his father had HD, a genetic neuro-degenerative disorder which potentially could be passed on to him and his brother and sisters.
In 1979, Ray and his family moved to Salt Lake City where he attended Granite High School. His brother-in-law Glenn taught him to play the drums and Ray received his own drum set that next Christmas. He perfected his skills by practicing to his favorite rock bands. Ray became the drummer for the Letter Hi’s. The Letter Hi’s were an elite group of marching young women who each wore a letter to spell out “G R A N I T E !” They would march to the beat of a drummer doing splits and flips, during assemblies and football/basketball games. They were one of Granite High School’s most popular groups. Ray loved being their drummer. One Letter Hi gave Ray the Muppet “Animal” who resembled Ray with his bushy eyebrows, and his love of drumming. He kept this “Animal” Muppet for years and displayed it in his room at the care center to remind him of his earlier drumming days.
In high school, Ray was liked by all. He was invited to many of the dances by the young women and enjoyed the popularity of being the Letter Hi Drummer. He bought a motorcycle and loved riding it with friends through his high school years and into adulthood. In 1983 he graduated from Granite High School and began working full time. As a young adult, he continued to drum in parades for girls marching groups. He drummed for the 24th of July parade and his act was highlighted on the television during one of the parade’s broadcasts.
He became a delivery driver for Deseret Book & Le-Favor Envelope Company. In the late 1980’s he purchased his own home near Liberty Park. He was a proud home owner and grateful to be able to live in this home for 30+ years.
As he watched the devastation of losing his father to HD, Ray decided he did not want to pass this disorder on to any children he might have. He struggled with this for many years but in the end, he chose to remain single. It was a sacrifice, but despite not having children of his own, he was loved by his many nieces and nephews.
A friend encouraged him to get his Commercial Driver’s License and Ray began driving semi-trucks for England Trucking Company. Through this job, he was able to visit many important sights and cities across the country.
It was at this time that he purchased a duplex and became a landlord, which was a dream he’d had for many. He selflessly loved and served others. He was known to stop and talk to the homeless inviting them to the local fast food place to buy them a meal.
He loved to go to rock concerts and attended many through the years. He loved the Osmonds and listen to their music, as well as visited their autograph signings and concerts whenever possible. He had a large collection of music in the forms of vinyl records, cassette tapes, 8 track tapes and CDs. He was known to “borrow” his music to friends and family which he knew they would enjoy listening to.
When a nephew requested Ray teach him how to drum, Ray was excited to pass on his knowledge, and his passion. He enjoyed bringing his drum set to family reunions, where he let the kids play their little hearts out.
He was a loving son and brother who took the time to do special things for family members when they needed his help. As a child, his father took Ray, and the family, to the Manti Pageant each year to watch the event and sleep over night. As an adult Ray carried on this tradition which connected him to his father. Ray loved the Manti Pageant and would attend every year until it was discontinued.
As the effects of HD took effect, Ray struggled to maintain the life he had before. Eventually he was no longer able to drive and began walking everywhere instead.
He would walk to the store pulling his small cart behind him so he could fill it with the food he purchased at Walmart. He even walked the 30 + blocks one time to visit his sister Diana in a care center (who also suffers from HD). Nieces and nephews lovingly called Ray each week to see if he had any special needs and to see that he was okay. Many times, they would stop at the store to purchase colas for Ray and leave them on his doorstep so he wouldn’t run out.
As his HD progressed, his personality changed as well and eventually it was difficult for him to remain at home and so he was placed in a care center. It was there, at Seasons of Santaquin, where Ray was lovingly cared for by the owner, nurses and other caregivers. Ray was also placed on hospice. He was saddened to realize he might pass away soon. The workers at A Plus Hospice cared for Ray during this difficult time. Loving attention was given to Ray by many but especially Heidi and Jason (from A Plus Hospice) nurtured him, and family members throughout this difficult transition.
Ray was bedridden but loved to talk with visitors and play their favorites songs on his CD player for them. One favorite song he always played was, “Babe” by Styx. In December 2021 his family held a combined Birthday/Christmas party in his room at the care center. Friends and family who couldn’t attend listened in on a Zoom connection. Starting in October 2022 Ray began a slow decline, until he passed away on 29 December 2022.
He will be missed greatly by those who knew and loved him. Loved ones will fondly remember his humor, his generous heart the good times we shared with our brother, friend and uncle.Service Information
Viewing January 14, 2023 at 9:00am-11:00am
Memorial Redwood Mortuary
January 14, 2023 at 11:00am
Memorial Redwood Mortuary