Karl Richard Hansen, 73, of Paso Robles, CA, passed away on July 11, 2022, after a prolonged struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Karl was born in January 1949 in Glendale, CA, to Rudolph C. and Helen E. Hansen, the second of four siblings. He grew up in College Greens Sacramento, where his parents channeled his precocious interest in electricity into classes with the local 4H club. After serving in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, Karl attended and graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and metallurgy with a concentration in welding. Except for a brief time in Van Nuys, CA, after college, he lived in San Luis Obispo County for the rest of his life. 

Karl’s early employment included positions in underwater surveying, metallurgy, and airplane maintenance, before he settled into a twenty-year career as an electrical engineer, much of it with San Luis Obispo based Cuesta Systems Corporation. His early hobbies included scuba diving in Morro Bay for fresh scallops and abalone, photography, and playing endless games of chess.

In 1974 he married Kathryn Sims and settled in Santa Margarita, CA, where they raised their two children, Helen and Clovas, until their separation in 1992. Karl was a devoted father, a great cook, and a member of the United Methodist Church of San Luis Obispo, where he sang in the choir and attended meetings of the United Methodist Men’s Club. He later joined St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atascadero, and in 1995 he met his current wife, Pamela Hermann (formerly Weaver), adding stepchildren (and a spouse) and step-grandchildren to his family.

Karl had a lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder, having begun the monumental task of controlling his disease as an adult. He and Pam continued the process, proving that folks with mental illness could lead productive, functional lives. Karl enjoyed traveling; he and Pam visited Washington DC and took a train trip to Chicago to visit family. As well as being a dad and husband, one of his proudest achievements was his 23-year service on the San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Health Board. Karl volunteered for many organizations over the years, including KCBX, Atascadero Loaves and Fishes, and the El Camino Homeless Organization. He was a vocal proponent of human rights and fair pay for all, was optimistic, and genuinely cared about the people he met every day.

Karl was preceded in death by his parents, Rudolph and Helen, and his brother John. He is survived by his wife, Pam Hermann, his siblings Larry and Kris Rich (Dan); his children, Helen Herbek (Brian) and Clovas; step-children Rob Weaver (Anna) and Lysa Weaver; step-grandchildren Ariana and Mariah Weaver; his nieces Keri and Erin and their families; and his dogs Pip and Squeak.

A Celebration of Life potluck will be held at 4 pm Saturday, September 10, 2022, at Oak Creek Commons, 635 Nicklaus St, Paso Robles. Please park on the street and carpool if possible. In lieu of flowers, donations to Transitions Mental Health Association, KCBX, SLOCDP, or a charity of your choice would be appreciated.