Obituary: Theodore G. Hansen

Theodore G. Hansen, 87, died October 24, 2016 in Evanston, Illinois.  He was born on May 5, 1929 on Washington Island, Wisconsin to Jens and Josie (Einerson) Hansen.  On June 6, 1953, on the Island, Ted married Charlotte (nee Hansen).  They were happily married for 63 years.

Ted grew up on Washington Island and graduated from Washington Island High School in 1947. After high school he moved to Chicago, worked for Hagen’s Fish Market, and soon opened his own fish store.

In 1950, Ted joined the Army and spent a tour of combat duty in Korea.  Upon honorable discharge, he returned to Chicago and became a co-owner of The Fish Keg at 2233 W. Howard Street.  Eventually, he became sole owner and the business prospered.  To this day, Ted and Charlotte have remained owners of this now-famous landmark.  Serving as the President of the Howard Street Chamber of Commerce, Ted was an active participant in community development.  As active members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Evanston, he and his family have been strong in their commitment to their faith and community.  In 1994, Ted retired to the Island.

In his retirement, Ted immersed himself in Island life, keeping in touch with the childhood that he so cherished.  He was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church and served as a Town Board Supervisor.  Many organizations benefitted from his participation and membership, including the Door County Land Trust, the Parks Committee, the American Legion, and the Lions Club.  Ted became well known as the owner of Belgian horses and delighted many, giving weekly rides at the Farm Museum.  He loved the outdoors – fishing, hunting, making maple syrup, and working his fields.  Ted also loved baseball, especially the Island team and the Chicago White Sox.  Many treasured stopping at his roadside stand to visit and experience “Ted’s Red Potatoes.”  Above all, Ted was known for his generosity, work ethic, and dedication to family.

Ted was preceded in death by his parents, Jens and Josie; his siblings, Muriel, James, Sylvia, Natalie, Lillian, Lucien (“Sonny”), Richard, Lucien (“Moy”), Raymond, and Ardis.

He is survived by his loving wife, Charlotte of Washington Island; his devoted brother Franklin, his children Christi (Edward) Sheehy, Mary Beth (Monty) Williamson, Tad (Sheila), and Hans (Anjana);  his grandchildren  Rose (Andy) Widmann, Charles Sheehy, Audrey (Ryan Tarbell), Thor (Rosana), Theo and Clara Williamson, Josie, Mads and Peder Hansen; his great-grandchildren Arlo Widmann, Eleanor Williamson and Brynja Tarbell; and many beloved nieces and nephews and other relatives.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church on Washington Island on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Visitation will be held at 10 am with a church service beginning at 11 am.  Burial and military rites will follow at the Island Cemetery.  Immediately afterwards, the family will be greeting friends and relatives at a luncheon at Trinity Church.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to American Legion Post 402, the Washington Island Farm Museum, or WICHP:  all of Washington Island, WI.  Condolences may be left on Theodore G. Hansen’s online guest book at and

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