Library, Town of Stoughton Thank Helen Hansen for Service
Hansen was honored before the start of Thursday’s Library Board of Trustees meeting.
“When you are in your 90s, you have to give up something,” joked Helen Hansen before the start of Thursday’s Stoughton Public Library Board of Trustees meeting, held at the library.
After 45 years of serving as a library trustee, the 94-year-old Hansen was stepping down, and taking the title of trustee emeritus.
Hansen served as a library trustee from 1946-1979, and then again from 1990 until this year. She was honored before the start of Thursday’s meeting with a proclamation from the Stoughton Board of Selectmen and a celebratory cake.
After selectman John Anderson read a proclamation from the Board of Selectmen recognizing Hansen for her “dedicated service to the Town of Stoughton,” a number of those in attendance spoke to how Hansen impacted their lives.
While she was being honored for her service to the library, she also made an impact as an educator.
The former Chemung Hill School now bears her name as the Helen H. Hansen Elementary School. Before becoming principal at the Chemung Hill School in 1962, she was an assistant principal at the South School and a sixth grade teacher at the Jones School.
Former students, Selectman Cynthia Walsh and current library trustee Peggy Sewcyk, said Hansen was the reason both of them became teachers. Sewcyk affectionately called Hansen “Mrs. H.”
Town Moderator Howard Hansen (no relation), also a former student of Hansen’s, recalled how she helped to fuel his interest in history, with a lecture on E.A. Jones and the Town Seal.
The newest library trustee, David Allen Lambert, who is succeeding Hansen, was a student at the Chemung School when Hansen was the principal there.
Hansen was born in May of 1917 in Stoughton and also has served on the Historical Society and Cultural Council, in addition to her work with the schools and library.
Also in attendance at Thursday’s event was Town Manager Francis T. Crimmins, Jr., Director of the Library Pat Basler, Library Secretary Sue Hargreaves, and Hansen’s son, Rawley.
Prior to honoring Hansen, Harvey Levensohn, chairman of the library trustees, unveiled a plaque in the library’s boardroom listing all of the library’s trustees dating back to 1874.
Basler said Senior Tax Volunteer Ann O’Grady helped to research the names, using old town reports to assemble the list. Howard Hansen also helped to verify the names.