Friday, May 20, 2011

Ogunquit Mourns the Loss of Hospitality and Community Leader

Robert E. Hanson passed on May 14, 2011 at his home in Ogunquit, Maine. He was born on July 21, 1941, in Waterbury, CT, the son of Ralph and Beatrice Hanson.
Bob graduated with a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT in 1963. He was a Tau Beta Pi recipient and a member of the Eta Kappa Nu Association. After graduation, he accepted a job at the Manned Spacecraft Center (NASA) in Houston, Texas. While in Texas, he met and married his wife, Karen. In 1968, a desire to return to New England for the four seasons brought them back to Connecticut, where he was employed as an electrical engineer at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut.
In 1971, Bob moved with his family to Wells, Maine and began a career in the hospitality industry. Their original property was the Somerset Motor Court located in Wells. Eventually, they moved to Ogunquit and owned and operated the Sea View Motel. After selling the Sea View Motel, they built the Juniper Hill Inn and subsequently acquired the Milestone and the Gorges Grant Hotel. Bob always had a thirst for knowledge and growth and obtained both his real estate broker and surveyor licenses while operating his varying properties. Bob was a proud man and always possessed a heartfelt gratitude for those at all levels that contributed to his success. He was a firm believer in treating everyone with respect, dignity and honesty, and considered all those that were a part of his organization as family, realizing that nothing was attainable without their efforts. He was a proud member of the Ogunquit business community, dutifully serving on the Planning Board, Board of Assessment Review as well as the Ogunquit Appeals Board and cared a great deal about the beauty, community and people of Ogunquit.
An active supporter of local land conservation efforts, Bob loved the outdoors and was a proud member of the American Tree Farm System in Maine. He often spent his down time on his land in North Berwick, cutting wood, gathering with friends, or simply taking in the beauty of the region. He enjoyed daily early morning walks on Ogunquit Beach. Bob and Karen spent much of their winters in Marco Island, Florida and made many lasting memories in the warmth of the area. Bob was also an avid reader, with particular interest in history and genealogy.
Bob enjoyed family above all else; it was his first and only priority. The challenges, hard work and effort all made sense – it was for his family. He is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Karen, 4 children and seven grandchildren: Shari L. and partner, Kevin Griffin, grandson Justin Snell; David F. and wife Kelly, granddaughter Gracie; David R. and wife Nancy, grandchildren Ethan, Ella, Claire; Robert C. and wife Michelle, grandsons, Samuel and Jonah; one sister, Olive H. Peterson.
Memorial visitation was held on Thursday, May 19, 2011 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 111 Chapel Road, Wells. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Friday, May 20, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. at Holy Spirit Parish/St. Mary’s Church, 236 Eldridge Road, Wells. Interment will be private.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your charity of choice; or: The York Land Trust Inc., PO Box 1241, York Harbor, ME 03911,; or: Beacon Hospice, Inc., 42 Brickyard Court, York, ME 03909, Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, Wells,
Photo caption: Robert E. Hanson, local hotelier and community leader, passed away on May 14 at his home. (Courtesy photo)