Leonard William Hansen

June 15, 1936April 3, 2018

Leonard William Hansen Resident of Brentwood June 15, 1936 - April 3, 2018

Leonard William Hansen passed away on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 after a long battle with heart disease and other complications.

‘Len’ was born in San Mateo, graduated from San Mateo High School and earned a Bachelor’s degree and teaching credential at San Francisco State University and a Masters Degree at San Jose State University in Social Studies. He served 8 years in the Marine Corps Reserves and was honorably discharged in 1962.

Len enjoyed a 38 year career teaching at Madrone Intermediate School (1958-1962) and Sunnyvale High School, Fremont High School and Monta Vista High School (1962-1996) in the Fremont Union High School District. He taught U.S. History and World History. One of his many achievements was being selected as 1981 Santa Clara County Teacher of the Year. He loved teaching and the camaraderie of his colleagues.

Len is survived by his wife, Bettie, of 61 years, 3 devoted children Lisa (Greg) of Half Moon Bay, Sandy (Don) of Rolling Hills and Jim of Brentwood. He had 8 loving grandchildren Valerie (Jayme), Christa, Stephanie, Brett (Stephanie), Cory, Jessica, Zach and Fuchsia (Zach.) Also his nephew Mathew and niece Jennifer of Idaho. He was predeceased by his brother Dick, sister Patricia and his parents, Leonard L. Hansen and Helen Hansen of San Mateo.

He was very active in his youth and loved playing basketball, lifeguarding and teaching swimming, jogging, hiking, tennis and a little golf.

He loved being with his family and friends. His loving and generous spirit will be missed by all that knew him.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to KQED or the American Heart Association.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, May 20th at Two O'clock at the Summerset II Clubhouse 193 Summerset Drive in Brentwood.


  • KQED
  • American Heart Association


  • Interment Thursday, May 17, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Sunday, May 20, 2018

Leonard William Hansen

have a memory or condolence to add?

Valerie Pledger

May 9, 2018

I don't really have the words to express how much I'll miss Grandpa. I grew up with so many fond memories of playing with him, being thrown in the pool multiple times (by my request), and staying up late with my cousins because we begged him to tell us scary stories about "Big Green Frog" which made us too scared to sleep. There are too many memories to share so I'll pick one. We took a family trip to southern Spain in 2009 and every restaurant featured signature Sangria. Grandpa wanted to try it out but our family aren't really red wine drinkers and every restaurant sold it in a carafe for two people. At the time I had never had Sangria but I volunteered and it was so good! At every restaurant after that Grandpa would lean over and say "how about it sangria buddy?" and we'd try it out. We sampled sangria all over the southern coast of Spain and ever since then I've always thought of my sangria buddy when I order it. It's a little sad for me now but I will always lovingly remember my sangria buddy Grandpa any time I have it. Cheers Grandpa! I love you and I miss you.

Cathleen Conrad

April 12, 2018

Dear Bettie,
such a short time ago I got to know Len. I mentioned to you at the time what a sweet man I thought you had for a life partner. I'm so sad that he is now departed but ever thankful for the time spent with you both, and the opportunity to have those shared great memories. Thinking of you often and prayers for you and family.

Mel Goudy

April 11, 2018

Dear Bettie and family:

In 1989 I was faced with a choice of staying within my comfort level at Fremont High, a school where I had taught for 21 years, or being reunited with Len at Monta Vista High. Leaving Fremont behind and joining Len at Monta Vista was one of the easiest decisions of my life. As another educator pointed out, working with Len was a magical experience. Len had more energy and creativity than any teacher that I taught with during my 33 year career. Len had this enduring quality. He was so committed to education, so energetic, and so hard working that he could embarrass a mediocre teacher into putting in a greater effort. Thomas Paine once said "Of more worth to mankind is one honest decent man than all the crowned ruffians in history." Those words ring so true for Len, a wonderful teacher and a great man. You will be missed by so many, dear friend.
With deepest condolences,
Mel Goudy

Paulette Terry

April 9, 2018

Len, you will be missed. You were a true gentleman.

I will never forget how welcoming you were to me when I first played tennis with "the guys". And when I say I played tennis, that is a stretch. I was a total newbie but you were always patient with me.

I miss our talks about the Giants.

I can still see you and Bettie at my 70th birthday Mexican glad you two came.

You will forever be in my prayers.

Diane Beecher

April 9, 2018

I was so sorry to hear of Len's passing. He was such a wonderful neighbor for 18 years and such a good gardening buddy for my husband. I will miss his hello's and smiling face across the street. Rest in peace!

Ray Stall

April 9, 2018

Len my friend of years past.
I have great memories of Len in our younger days at Hayward Park Elementary School and in to high school.
It was great to get together in our old age and remember the years long passed of playing one on one basketball ( Len always won) and baseball (I could won there). I will miss those opportunities.
My prayers are with Bettie and the family.


Harry Bettencourt

April 8, 2018

Bettie and family: While it has been several years since I have seen you and Len, I will NEVER forget what I saw in Len's classroom, back in our early days at Monta Vista, when he was working with his "kids". He was magic. He treated each one with great respect and value. He listened carefully. He made every student feel special. He was committed to every student succeeding in his classroom and worked incredibly hard to ignite a passion for learning. He was a role model for all of us at Monta Vista and though we were not together for many years after I left MV, he was one of the best teachers I have ever seen in my entire educational career. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family.


April 8, 2018

For the last 70 years, Len was a dear and cherished friend.
His friendship was a gift!
His passing is a loss...
His memory is an indelible stamp on the hearts of all who knew him.
He transcends this vale of tears and will be missed!

Suzane Galliart

April 8, 2018

Len Hansen was a long-time and cherished friend and will be missed. It is hard to find the words that express my grief at his passing. Len was Vern's mentor teacher when Vern first started teaching and Vern always said that whatever he learned about teaching he learned from Len. We also shared so many wonderful trips together where Len's wicked sense of humor made them so enjoyable.

My heart goes out to Bettie and her family at this sad time.


Moez Solis

April 8, 2018

Len and my father taught at Sunnyvale High School together and were great friends. What I remember most is how he talked to me when I was a child through growing up. He always listened carefully to what I had to say and treated me like an adult. It must have been a pleasure to have him as a teacher at Monta Vista and Sunnyvale High.