Stewart (Stew) Hansen Obituary

Stewart (Stew)  Hansen
Stewart (Stew) Hansen

September 26, 1929 - January 26, 2023
Born in Omaha, Nebraska
Resided in West Des Moines, Iowa
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Stewart Gene Hansen (Stew), 93, of West Des Moines, passed away on January 26, 2023. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Cleo and Esther Hansen.

Stew grew up in Audubon County, Iowa. During his youth he spent a great deal of time in Poplar, Iowa with his grandparents who were Danish immigrants. At an early age, Stew left home and worked to help support his family. After high school, Stew enlisted in the United State Navy and served for two years.

Stew’s charismatic personality led him to the automobile business. In 1952, he started as an adjuster for Motors Insurance Corporation; in 1966 worked at Sumner Ramsey Pontiac in Des Moines. In 1974, he purchased Stew Hansen’s Dodge City with partner John D. Ramsey. He made numerous trips to Washington, D.C., lobbying for the bailout of the Chrysler Corporation. He was known for his strong management and work ethic and went on to build one of the most successful Dodge franchises in the United States. One of his motto’s was “Be fairly forgiving”.

Throughout his tenure with the Chrysler Corporation he earned many awards year in and year out. For over 20 consecutive years he was awarded “Charger” for sales volume and customer satisfaction after the sale; Chrysler Award for Excellence again for making customers happy; the Five-Star Excellence Award and membership in the Mopar Masters Club.

Additionally, Stew was chairman of the Iowa Automobile Dealer Association in 1994; the 2005 Time Magazine Quality Dealer of the Year Iowa; and a member of the Dealer Advisory Council.

Stew was proud of his Danish heritage. He was a member of the Danish Brotherhood Lodge 15, the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, Iowa and the Danish-American Rebild National Park Society. In 2009, he was honorary mayor for the day of the city of Aalborg, Denmark, that hosts its annual Rebild Festival which serves as a homecoming for Danish-American immigrants and is considered the largest 4th of July celebration outside the United States. He was a 50 plus year member of the Masonic Home Lodge No. 370.

Stew loved the Iowa Hawkeyes and was an avid fan and supporter. He was a member of the I-Club, the Kinnick Society, the University of Iowa Foundation President’s Club, Varsity Club Honorary Letter Winner and was National I-Club Hawk of the Year. He and LeNore had great times cheering at Kinnick Stadium and Carver Hawkeye Arena. His legacy will continue for many generations as evidenced by the Stew and LeNore Hansen Football Performance Center at the U of I.

Stew was married for 74 years to his high school sweetheart LeNore. They loved to travel and went on many trips throughout the years. His favorite place to be was at their home on Lake Panorama enjoying a boat ride, a Crown Royal with friends while listening to Willie Nelson. We can all be sure of one thing…Stew is on the road again!

Stew was preceded in death by his wife, LeNore; parents; sister, Mary Lee; son, Dennis and granddaughter, Jennifer Madison. He is survived by his children, Mary (Steve) Madison, Brent (Rosa) Hansen and Julie (John) Phillips; ten grandchildren; nine great grandchildren and six siblings.

The family would like to thank all the caregivers who have cared dearly for Dad at his home and at Walnut Ridge. A visitation will be held at Stew Hansen’s Dodge City, 12103 Hickman Road, Urbandale, on February 5, 2023 from 1 to 3 p.m., with a service to follow at 3 p.m. Private interment for Stew and LeNore will be held at Iowa Veterans Cemetery.

For those unable to attend, the service will be livestreamed. A link will appear on Stew’s obituary page at, where you may also leave online condolences.

*livestream available here or at the bottom of this page.*

Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel.





Stew Hansen's Dodge City
12103 Hickman Road
Urbandale, IA US 50323
Sunday, February 5, 2023
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Stew Hansen's Dodge City
12103 Hickman Road
Urbandale, IA US 50323
Sunday, February 5, 2023
3:00 PM