School 13

Dora Lou Hansen

September 1, 1936 ~ October 20, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old
Obituary Image

Dora Lou Hansen Obituary

In loving memory of Dora Lou Hansen, who passed away peacefully on October 20, 2023, at the age of 87 in Escondido, California.  She is survived by her two daughters and sons-in-law, Melody and Ken Sands, and Molly and Chad Tosh, and her sister and brother-in-law, Joy Waggener and Richard Jackson.

Dora Lou Hansen was born on September 1, 1936 in Kansas City, Missouri. Her parents were Thomas A. Waggener of Tennessee and Beula I. Woolfolk of Kansas. Within a few years, the family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where Dora Lou grew up with her siblings, Sara, Joy and Alton.

As a young person, Dora Lou accepted Jesus Christ as her savior and began to sense a calling on her life, to become a missionary. Active at her Southern Baptist church and Youth for Christ throughout her teen years, she taught vacation bible school to kids in rural Jackson. Thus began her great love for children which would ultimately lead her into a life-long career as a teacher.

She graduated from Moody Bible Institute, with a focus on Biblical education and missions training. After her exciting time at Moody, she moved back to earn a teaching degree at Mississippi College. While a student there, she was asked to fill in for a Bible conference summer camp counselor and reluctantly accepted. In a crowd of attendees, she heard a young man mention “Moody”, which allowed her to break into the conversation and introduce herself to him. That man became her future husband, Bill Hansen, of Oakland, California. He had served in the Air Force and had become a student at Philadelphia College of the Bible and was also preparing for a life of service in overseas missions.

They married and were sent by their home Bible church in Philadelphia to serve as missionaries with Central Alaskan Missions, a Christian organization that ran a hospital, a radio station, a Bible college and did village work. While Bill served as a radio station engineer, Dora Lou taught Sunday School, and wrote and read on-air radio advertisements with humor and flair. While there, Dora Lou gave birth to their first daughter, Melody. After two years of service, Dora Lou and Bill made a choice to leave the mission, which was in a time of transition.

They settled in Southern California and Dora Lou gave birth to their second daughter, Molly, at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. Eventually, they moved to Escondido, California, where Dora Lou and Bill raised their two daughters. Dora Lou taught mainly preschool through second grade throughout those years, though she was a substitute teacher even in the local public school system, while Bill worked in electronics repair for the science departments at San Diego State University.

For over four decades while in Escondido, Dora Lou taught at various schools in North San Diego county, including at Oceanside Christian School, Tri-City Christian School and Light & Life Christian School, where her daughters attended and graduated. Her final years of teaching were devoted to preschoolers at Westminster Woods preschool which was located on the same campus as her beloved church, Westminster Presbyterian Church of Escondido, where she was also the much beloved Children's Ministry Director for many years. She finally retired from teaching, quite reluctantly, at the age of 78, after spending a lifetime loving children and investing in their hearts and minds, and always pointing them to Jesus.

Dora Lou was truly one of the kindest, friendliest, funniest, most beautiful, godly and delightful souls you could ever meet. She made everyone she met feel loved and special, and she never wavered from her life long mantra, “With every breath and every step, love God and love people with ALL you’ve got!” And she did that very thing all the way up to her last moments on earth. We are warmed and comforted by the thought that her last breath on earth was followed by her first breath in heaven, and she finally heard those longed-for words from her beloved Lord Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Donation suggestions:  Moody Bible Institute or Youth for Christ

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dora Lou Hansen, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Dora Lou Hansen?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Dora Lou's memory.


Memorial Church Service
November 5, 2023

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Westminster Presbyterian Church
1500 South Juniper Street
Escondido, CA 92025

Please note

Family and friends are invited to RSVP to this service.

Reception to follow services

Westminster Presbyterian Church
1500 South Juniper Street
Escondido, CA 92025

Please note

Family and friends are invited to RSVP to this service.

Please note
Light refreshments will be served at the reception. As a reminder Day light savings time ends on Sunday November 5th at 2:00 am. We will be falling back one hour. Please set your clocks accordingly.


Youth For Christ

Moody Bible Institute


© 2023 California Funeral Alternatives. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility