Laulette Irvin Hansen, 94, died Monday, Aug. 20, 2207, formerly of Great Falls and Clear Lake, at her residence in Missoula after a brief illness.
A service was held for family and friends Aug. 24 at the Cremation and Burial Society of the Rockies. A memorial service is planned at a later date in Great Falls. Laulette will be interred in her family’s plot in Oakwood, Ohio. She was born Laulette Louise Irvin to Laulette Parrot and James Montfort Irvin in Dayton, Ohio, where her father was mayor, on Jan. 17, 1913, the year of a great flood. She attended Goucher College and Columbia University, where she received a master’s in public law. After teaching at George School in Pennsylvania, Laulette started graduate work at the University of Chicago, where she met Ermal Hansen, from Montana, also a graduate student, in political science. Laulette and Ermal were married in 1941 and moved back to the family ranch in the Clear Lake district near Fort Benton in 1942, where Ermal ranched until 1992. They had one daughter, Laulette, born in 1942. She began flying in the 1950- 60’s and together with Ermal was active in the Montana Pilots Association and the Montana Flying Farmers and Ranchers. She served as state chairman of the Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots for two years and enjoyed flying until her retirement. Laulette worked for thirty years as Director of Public Assistance in Hill, Liberty and Cascade counties and on the Rocky Boy Reservation. She is remembered as a loyal friend, a just and compassionate administrator and a woman with an outstanding grasp of public law by all who knew her. Laulette was a life-long member of the Episcopal Church. In Great Falls she served on the vestry of Saint Francis parish, was president of Soroptomists, received commendations from the Red Cross for outstanding service, and found time to work with her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and filled all positions with skill and responsibility. She made a life of public service appear as the challenging and worthy calling it was and will be remembered for her compassion and wit by friends, colleagues and clients. One of her favorite sayings was “Those of us entrusted with positions of power must remember never to abuse it by failing to respect those who seek help.” She also played a great hand of bridge. She was a staunch defender of small dogs and animals and should be met in the future life by a bevy of small angels and greeters. Laulette is survived by her daughter, Laulette L. Hansen of Missoula; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. The family suggests that memorials be made to The Humane Society or the ACLU.