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Hodges-Kiser Funeral Home

9231 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, FL

OBITUARY

Asger "Boots" Hansen Jr.

May 29, 1926June 16, 2019

Asger “Boots” Hansen, Jr.

Pioneering Oil Well Firefighter Asger “Boots” Hansen, Jr. passed quietly at his home in Fort Myers, Florida on June 16, 2019 at age 93. A native of Houston, Texas, Hansen was the second of two children born to Asger and Mary (Kornmayer) Hansen. Soon after leaving school and having reached his seventeenth birthday, Hansen enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the height of WWII. Always in search of adventure, he volunteered for the submarine service, the most hazardous duty in the navy. After training at Pearl Harbor, he was placed aboard U.S.S. Nautilus (SS-168), which had been given the dangerous assignment of carrying men and supplies from Australia to guerilla fighters in the Japanese-held Philippines.

After the war, Hansen returned to Houston and joined his father in the sign painting business. On weekends he would hang out at the local stock car track, where he became a driver for famous oil well firefighter Red Adair. Around 1949 Red hired Boots as his assistant and began to teach him the art of oil well firefighting and blowout control. Both men worked for Myron Kinley, who had pioneered the field in the years before the war. As the business grew, additional employees were hired, including Edward O. “Coots” Matthews.

Hansen was entering a career that afforded him ample opportunities to indulge his love of travel. Although most of his time was spent in the Texas/Louisiana region and the Middle East, his work took him from the tip of South America to the north slope of Alaska, and from the South Sea Islands of Indonesia to the frigid waters of the North Sea. It was extremely dangerous work. In an uncontrolled well, oil and gas erupt from the ground under tremendous pressure and can ignite from something as small as a spark. Extinguishing such fires usually requires the use of high explosives. If something goes wrong, there is little chance of survival.

In 1959, with the retirement of Myron Kinley, Red Adair formed his own company, and joining him were Boots and Coots. The 1960s were the “glory days” for the men of the Red Adair Company. As wells were drilled deeper, pressures increased, and the blowouts and fires became more spectacular. Expanding worldwide news coverage meant the firefighters’ exploits were often seen on television or the feature pages of newspapers and magazines. Away from the oil field, Boots and the others continued to pursue adventure. Both Boots and Red owned yachts and traveled extensively in the Gulf of Mexico. They also took up the sport of speedboat racing, and one of the drivers on their team was NASA Astronaut Gordon Cooper. Boots learned to fly and purchased his own airplane.

Perhaps the highlight of their career was the 1968 motion picture “Hellfighters” starring John Wayne, based on the exploits of Red, Boots, and Coots. The trio is listed prominently in the credits as “technical consultants,” and were present for much of the filming. Although the plot of the film and the required romance was typical Hollywood, the three firefighters made sure the depiction of the dangers and techniques were realistically portrayed.

The two younger firefighters left the Red Adair Company in 1977 to form their own firm, Boots and Coots, Inc. Because they had been performing most of the work for Red’s company and were well known in the oil industry, they soon became the leading well control company in the world. Employees remembered Boots as a demanding, sometimes dictatorial boss, but one who was fair, generous, and concerned for their safety. He knew it was hard, dangerous work, and appreciated loyal, conscientious employees. Although he never completed high school, Boots was a natural and gifted engineer, designing much of the specialized equipment used in their work.

By 1990, both Boots and Coots were ready to retire. Unfortunately, world events got in the way. At the end of the First Gulf War, Saddam Hussein’s retreating Iraqi army ignited approximately seven hundred oil wells in Kuwait, creating the worst man-made environmental disaster in history. The first company called into to extinguish those wells was Boots and Coots, and Boots was one of the first men on the scene to survey the damage. Although contracts were given to many well-control specialists, Boots and Coots put out more well fires than any other company. It was a spectacular end to a long and storied career.

An avid yachtsman, Boots and his wife Beverly wanted to spend much of their free time on the water or in the Bahama Islands. Knowing that if they stayed in Houston it would be difficult to get completely away from the business, the couple purchased a waterfront home in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. From there, a series of yachts, all named “Chandon,” travelled to and from the islands until declining health forced Boots to give up life on the water.

Mr. Hansen is survived by his wife Beverly, son Asger III (Ozzie), adopted daughter Kimberly, and granddaughters Taylor and Alicia. He is predeceased by his sister Mary Ellen and daughter Becky.

Mr. Hansen requested that no services be held, and Mrs. Hansen has asked that those who wish to make a remembrance please donate to their local hospice in the name of Asger “Boots” Hansen.

Services

No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Asger "Boots" Hansen Jr.

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A D Stone

August 2, 2019

Papa,
So many memories both offshore and on.
The time I spent working, and playing, with you are the most memorable of my career. I cherish and relive the memory of the jobs and time spent with you.

Stoney

Tony Billick

July 30, 2019

So sad to hear that Boots is no longer with us. I have many memories of working with him on subsea blowouts.
A massage to the family (Ozzie and Beverley) if you contact me, through a series of events I have many memories of Boots specifically from when he was the Navy Submarine Corps. When Boots left Houston he did not want his belongings in his office and told Martin Kelly to throw them away. Martin kept them and I now have them.
Please contact me so I can arrange to have them delivered to the family.
God Bless and keep those great memories of Boots in your hearts.
Tony

Heidi & Shawn Fay

June 25, 2019

Boots was one of the few remaining, true "Good Ole Boys". He worked hard, he played hard, he was always a good friend, he was a gentlemen, and just an all around great guy!

We will surly miss Boots!

David L. Groves

June 23, 2019

Some simple pressure situations with both Boots and Coots while with Otis Engineering Corp. One of my CT units for Union Oil of California offshore. coit tubing across all valves in Christmas tree, Happened when coming out of hole. guessed that the Camco Flapper had closed on the tubing it parted. Operator had closed all preventers including the blind cutter. Solution cut the coil with the middle valve. Coots ''Groves have you done this before'' Me "nope but have cut 1'' CS hydril tubing. Vic Brunson, Co. Man, '' Then what?'' me ''Pressure up the control line on the Camco flapper valve and when it open you will hear the control fall free, you said you had plenty of rathiole that would take of the 3,500 feet of 1'' coil. Another Mobil Vermillion Blk 46 serious sub-sea blowout. Their WL Crew had set Safety Valves on B Mandrels (choke Cup) simply pulled them from the well no worry about being blown up hole only pas the hole in tubing, and production casing, load 3 sections with stem and short spang jars, it was a gas well situation so it was freefall to past the hole got blown up about 5 feet the slips on the W mandres set then jarred up to set the W element did that on the short string and watched the flow become less but took several days to agree that the wells were contained only two thank the Lord. PUCKER TIME CAME I when I was at the office and my night dispatcher Joe Smith said Red Adair is on the phone, I had been on a couple where Red was there, so he knew my name. he said " I want you to freeze the 13 3/8" and the 7'' production the well is high pressure and the BOP Stack holding the 7800 psi are BOP are 5;s, I have ordered the Ice from Pelican Dairy out of New Iberia . I said ''Red looks like you got her on you hip go ahead an freeze it."" Not my like of work get you butt over here cross the bridge East out of Patterson, you will see the rig. Boots, Coots, the Crews and I froze the well. Red leased 6 - 10M BOP stack to produce the well.

Rob Lannom

June 21, 2019

I went hunting with Boots, Coots, and their wives in the 1968-69 time frame, with Clayton Williams. Great few days, great people.

Suzanne Kennedy

June 20, 2019

I knew Boots and Bev as a neighbor long after his oil well days, but I was blessed with lots of great stories-many funny, and many exciting. They were always generous and welcoming , and I will always treasure my time with them in their beautiful, memorable, loving household. Boots was such a GOOD man!

Albert Highfield

June 19, 2019

I was working for an oil well service company in March 1972. A well blew out and oil was spraying over several hundred acres uncontrolled. After blowing for 2 days Boots was called in by owner to try and cap the well. The first thing he said was blowing wells scared the he— out of him. Throw a match on it and I’ll put it out. Long story short we capped it with a blowout preventer and Boots’ expertise. I was 19 years old and I’ll never forget the experience. Great man!

mark wamp

June 19, 2019

I worked with Boots on two wells in Iran, RagSafied 38 and
Sediran 5 in 75 and 76. Me a Dowell guy bet $100.00 with Boots and Raymond that we would pump it out before they could Top kill the Sediran 5 well, and I won the bet

Then we had lunch and drinks in the Mason Jar and I paid, a few months later in Houston

Great Guy Boots, sure knew his Business

Nat Cartmell

June 19, 2019

In the mid 60's I was working for Southeastern Drilling Co. in Iran. We were near Ahwaz drilling in the Rag Safid Field when our well suffered a blowout and caught fire. The blowout and fire was huge and our management in Dallas (Bill Clements) called Red Adair and Boots to come put out the fire and cap the well. They were there with us for about 10 days and during this time Boots and I shared a two man portable bunk house. I was the drilling rig mechanic and worked with Red and Boots the entire time they were there. When the fire was out and the well capped, Boots left me a new pair of his red coveralls because we were the same size. (42 regular). I still have them and would love to share them with Boots son, grand son or great grand son. Contact me via E-mail. He was a great guy, a gentleman, a Veteran (I am as well) and I will always treasure my memory of working beside him. Rest in Peace Sir.

Dave Cochran

June 19, 2019

I joined Boots & Coots in 1989 with B&C Fire and Protection. After the separation of the two companies, I rejoined B&C in 95 to run the Industrial and Marine Division. This became the highlight of my career, and remains so today. One had to know this was the elite company, and soon the Red Adair team and the B&C team were one. It was a hoot when Boots and Coots began telling stories. With Bud, James, David, Wayne, it was pride and to see the warehouse in all white equipment how neat and clean it was. Thanks Boots, I will always remember the elite organization while it lasted.
Dave

FROM THE FAMILY