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Helen Francis (Bunten) Hanson

December 22, 1922 ~ February 19, 2018 (age 95)

Helen Francis Hanson/Gross/Bunten

December 22, 1922 to February 19, 2018


Born in Tenafly, New Jersey to Charles and Marie Bunten the second of 3 children, the family moved to Oakland, California in 1927.

Helen is survived by two daughters, Laura Shore and Janice Moss and three grandchildren, Arthur Shore, Sandra Shore Wilson and Cristina Moss. Sister in-law Loree Bunten, nieces Diane Walton Cavey, Lynne Walton Bosworth, Jeanette Bunten, Susan Bunten and Nephew Eddie Bunten. She is predeceased by her daughter Dorice Gross.

Helen was a ballet dancer who traveled and performed with the USO tours during WWII and then worked the vaudeville circuit where she met and married Leonard Gross, her first husband, with whom they had three daughters. The family settled in Portland, Oregon in 1958 at which time Helen earned her BA/MA degree at Lewis and Clark College and she began teaching elementary school in the Prescott School district until retiring.

Helen became an active hiker in the PNW and joined the Mazamas Mountaineers in 1975.  She loved traveling, hiking and Square dancing. Long after being widowed she met and married Harold Hanson and they enjoyed a loving partnership for 18 years until his passing in 2007 in which they Round danced and did the Mazama expeditions together. She was an involved member of the Mazamas Council, spearheading the old timers committee and expedition leader on 20 expeditions abroad and domestic, such as Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Spain, (The Pilgrimage trail Camino De Santiago, Italy, Bulgaria, Bali, Borneo, Thailand, Hawaii, Canada and her favorite around Lake Baikal in Russian Siberia and her last expedition at 89 years old to Patagonia.  

She climbed the 16 highest NW and USA mountain peaks, including the Tetons and has hiked over a thousand miles of trails with the Mazamas.

She was also an accomplished Square Dancer/ Round dancer, Caller and Cuer.

Helen was known for her adventurous spirit and was an inspiration to many. Our solace is in knowing she is off on a new adventure and to remember you are never too old for a new adventure.

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