Born February 7, 1935, in Kenora, Ontario, to Finnish parents Walter and Anne Hansen, she is lovingly survived by her children; Deb Misener-Jones, Steven Misener, Warren Misener, her granddaughter Lindsay Weber (Bill Weber) and, by her great-grand-daughters, Maybel and Lenora Weber. Florence was pre-deceased by her husband of 33 yrs, Ralph Misener and, her husband of 26 yrs, Walter Jucker and, her grandson Adam Jones.
Beginning violin lessons age 6, music surrounded Florence's life whilst she blossomed for the next 78 yrs as a renowned violinist, loving wife and, caring mother. She graduated from Jarvis Collegiate, Toronto and, studied music at University of Toronto. Florence, along with sister violinist Andrea, performed as The Hansen Sisters for 2 decades, on radio, television, and, clubs (eg: Royal York, Banff Springs). Notably, the Arthur Godfrey Show (TV, NYC), Big Bands such as The Guy Lombardo Orchestra, (Las Vegas, 1957), George Burns (TV, 1968) and, Expo 1967. They entertained Canada's Armed Forces in The Middle East and Arctic with the CBC. Canadian TV included; Tommy Hunter and, Country Jamboree. In 1968, The Hansen Sisters parted musical ways. Florence partnered with accordionist Edith Eaton (Hansen/Eaton Duo), performing for over 25 yrs at festivals, clubs, cruises and, TV (eg: Pig and Whistle, Ein Prosit, (11 yrs) here and in Europe.
Along with daughter Deb, Florence also formed both The Hansen Singing Strings and, The Hansen Alpine International Band, mainstays at KW's Oktoberfest, state fairs, and festivals. Florence's 1980's ensemble appeared and played in 5 episodes and an HBO movie with John Candy and Eugene Levy (SCTV) as the "Schmenge Brothers" band and, in 1993, performed on Toronto Islands for Major League Baseball's All Star (Game) Players. Even grand-daughter Lindsay joined Deb and Florence for endearing, 3-generational, Hansen shows.
In 1951, Florence met her first love, Ralph Misener, at summer camp, Glen Bernard, Sundridge, Ontario. They married in Toronto in 1954, residing there until 1971, when the Misener family relocated to Kitchener as Ralph accepted the Position of Director of Personnel with JM Schneider's Foods. Florence then, embraced KW's Oktoberfest, both performing and, as a Founder of Oktoberfest's School Program. In 1987, she was widowed at age 52.
Challenging herself, she joined the Grand Valley Hiking Club, trained and, went trekking in the Himalayas. She met her 2nd husband, Walter, (born in Zurich, Switzerland) on one of those Grand Valley hikes and they were married in 1990. They spent much of the next 26 yrs exploring the world and together founded the KW seniors' hiking club, "The Resoles".
Florence celebrated KW's German Heritage, studying the language at Concordia (Club) School. She was recognized with The Lifetime Achievement Award (2012) by the KW Oktoberfest Women of the Year Committee. Florence was a member of the: Garden Club of KW; KW Art Gallery; KW Symphony Volunteer Assoc.; Charter Member, Probus Club of KW (25 yrs). More recently, Florence's classical music roots re-emerged as she played in the KW Community Orchestra and, hosted and played with numerous chamber music groups in both her KW home and her beloved cottage at Doe Lake, where she played her final songs for family and friends on July 18, 2019, 5 days before she passed.
Florence had a sparkling personality and cared lovingly for family. She held the deepest zest for all her friends, valuing the uniqueness of each one. She loved hostessing, throwing parties, meeting and inviting new people, and sharing her love of music.
Family, friends and, others whose lives Florence touched are invited to her Memorial Service on Sunday, September 8, 2019, at 2:30 PM, Trillium (St. John's) Lutheran Church, 22 Willow St., Waterloo. A Celebration of Life reception will follow there post-service. Florence requested that in lieu of flowers donations may be made to "Strings Across The Sky Foundation", P.O. Box 44, Parry Sound, Ontario, P2A 2X2, or online at "stringsacrossthesky.com".
Please visit Florence's obituary notice on Facebook.
Florence Hansen: Child Prodigy Performed with Many Musical Stars - Waterloo Region Record Article