Robert E. Hansen, 94, of Summit Twp., passed away peacefully at his home on July 21, 2016.
Born in suburban Philadelphia in 1922, he graduated from Corsica Union High School and joined the US Army air corps. He was bombardier in a B-17 making the first daylight raid to Germany (Bremen). Shot down in April, 1943, he spent the rest of the war in Stalag XVII from where he escaped several times, but always recaptured. After the war he married Ann Bryan, graduated from Clarion State College, and earned a master degree from Penn State. He did post graduate work at Oak Ridge National Laboratories and elsewhere. He taught high school math and science at Mckean and Girard high schools, and then became a physics professor at Edinboro State College. In 1969, he was asked by the governor to be the first director of the State Bureau of Science and Technology, becoming administrator of the year for 1971. From there, he became president of Great Lakes Research Institute, directing the basic research needed for the clean-up of the bay, and by extension, all the great lakes. He was instrumental in setting up Associated Clinical Laboratories. He then returned to the classroom at Fairview High School to finish his career. He was a private pilot, and an instrument flight instructor. His anonymous generosity was a foundation of his life. He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, and son, Jim, of Salisbury, Md. He is survived by a son, Thomas and his wife Teresa of Waterford, daughter in law April Hansen of Salisbury, Md., granddaughter Jamie Hansen of Boston, Ma. And sister, Ann Pfaff of Bradford.