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Donald Dean Hansel

Donald Dean Hansel, 81, Palmyra, Mo., passed away at  11:14 a.m., Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at his home with his family by his side.

Donald was born May 23, 1940, in Massillon, Ohio, to Chester and Elizabeth Lyons Hansel and is one of 16 children. He was married to Barbara J. Robbins on Dec. 7, 1964, in St. Charles, Mo. She preceded him in death. They welcomed three daughters, Melissa Hansel (deceased); Tracy Helenthal, Hannibal, Mo.; and Pamela (Bill) Mann, Burlington, Iowa.

Donald Dean Hansel

On April 14, 1979, Don was united in marriage to Barbara A. Wilkerson in Paris, Texas and raised her three sons, Wayne Smith, Hannibal; Michael (Michelle) Smith, Greenville, Texas; and Jeffery Smith, Palmyra as his own.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Hansel, Palmyra; sister, Beth ((Jim) McConaghy, Ohio; daughters, Tracy Helenthal and Pamela Mann; step-sons, Wayne Smith, Mike Smith and Jeffrey Smith; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Randi Helenthal and her daughter, Brianna Barker, Keokuk, Iowa; Sierra Helenthal and her son, Dallas Mann, Keokuk; and Lacy Hutton and her daughter, Emilia Hutton, Hannibal; Laura Smith, Burlington, Iowa; MacKenna Smith, Burlington; Jacob Smith, Keokuk; and Logan Smith, Madison Smith and Ryder Smith, all of Greenville, Texas. Don is also survived by many nieces, nephews and extended family including his great-nephew, Russel Westfall, with whom he shared a close bond.

Donald was also preceded in death by his parents; one daughter, Melissa June Hansel; and 14 brothers and sisters.

After high school Donald joined the United States Air Force and proudly became a mid air refueler on a C47 plane, serving four years for his country.  

After his time in the service Donald went to college to earn a degree in horology and spent many years as a bench jeweler and clock maker. His desire to help people, led him to seek a degree in drug and alcohol counseling.  

He worked over 20 years at The Harmony Foundation in Estes Park, Colo., where he was instrumental in developing the family program to help the families of addicts in recovery. For the last three years Donald has worked for County Market in Palmyra.

Donald enjoyed walking his beloved dog, Biscuit, who passed just two days before Donald. He loved the outdoors, and in his younger years, he enjoyed bowling, golf, mountain biking and hiking in the mountains. Spending time with his family, especially Sunday morning breakfasts with Tracy and the great-grandchildren, were moments he treasured. 

 A memorial service will be held at 9 a.m., Friday, Oct. 1, at Lewis Brothers Funeral Chapel in Palmyra.

An inurnment with full military honors will follow at 11 a.m., at Jacksonville Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville, Mo.

Memorials may be made to The Harmony Foundation in his memory or to the family to help with funeral expenses.

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