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ROGER JAMES HANSELL, Q.C.
Born: Jun 25, 1929
Date of Passing: Feb 13, 2019Offer Condolences or Memory
ROGER JAMES HANSELL, Q.C. June 25, 1929 - February 13, 2019 Roger was the second child of Herbert and Alice Hansell. He grew up in Winnipeg and attended Champlain, Queenston, Robert H. Smith and Kelvin high school, followed by the University of Manitoba and the Manitoba Law School. Roger excelled in his studies, and won many scholarships and academic awards. Roger pursued a military career while completing his university education. He was on active service in the Canadian Officers Training Corps for three summers during his undergraduate years. By the time he graduated with a B.A. degree at age 20, he had been promoted to the rank of Captain. He spent a great deal of time with his Reserve Army unit while completing law school. He was an instructor at the Royal Canadian School of Artillery. By 1957 he had become Commanding Officer of his Reserve Army unit, but retired in order to focus on the practice of law. Roger graduated from the Manitoba Law School in 1954. He was Valedictorian at his class graduation. John A. MacAulay, who was President of the Canadian Bar Association at the time, was in attendance, and invited Roger to join the law firm then known as Aikins, MacAulay, Moffatt, Dickson, Hinch and McGavin. In the late 1950s Roger met Nora Thorvaldson. They married in 1960 and had four children - Thor, Stef, Liz and Jane. The family grew up in River Heights, first on Elm Street before moving to Oxford Street in 1970, where Roger continued to live until last September. Roger always found time for his children, attending their school and sporting events, and helping them as they became adults and started their own families. He told his children that they were his greatest asset and that he was the wealthiest man in the world. Sunday dinners at Oxford were magnificent and included countless guests over the years. Stef continued the tradition in Roger's later years, and he always looked forward to dinner at Stef's, right up until a few weeks ago. In 1969, Aikins, MacAulay & Company amalgamated with Thorvaldson & Company to form Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson, Manitoba's largest law firm. The fact the amalgamation united Roger in the same firm with his father-in-law, Senator Solly Thorvaldson, was of great significance to the family. Roger practiced law at Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson for 54 years until he retired from the firm in 2008. He practiced as a sole practitioner for a few years after that. An anachronism in today's world of legal specialization, Roger practiced in almost every area of the law. He acted for numerous large clients for many years. He appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada on several occasions, including some landmark cases. He had extensive expertise in labour and employment law, and was involved in countless arbitrations, labour negotiations and employment matters. As Roger's family grew up they spent every summer at the cottage at Granite Lake. Roger would take time away from his busy practice to be at the lake camp with his family every weekend. In more recent years, he loved watching his grandchildren enjoy the lake. Roger continued going to Granite Lake, swimming his laps and enjoying the company of close friends until about two years ago. Granite Lake was a very special place for him and his family for more than 55 years. Roger was a longtime member of the Winnipeg Winter Club, where he played badminton for many years. He was also a longtime member of the Manitoba Club and St. Charles Country Club, although he would say he was far too busy practicing law to ever become very good at golf. Roger was known for his enthusiasm, drive and sense of humour. Having studied Latin for many years, and other languages as well, Roger was a bit of a linguist and a fierce grammarian. He was a true wordsmith, and his many speeches, toasts, limericks, and odes will be fondly remembered by his friends and family. Roger was predeceased by his parents, his sister Joy in 1983, his wife Nora in 1997 and his daughter Liz in 2016. He leaves behind son Thor (Nada - Jocelyn, Gillian, Thomas), daughter Stefanie Cupeiro (Paul - Tate, Alex, Reed), granddaughter Meg Hansell (Liz's daughter), and daughter Jane Hansell (Charles Dawes). A service to celebrate Roger's life will be held on Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., at St. George's Anglican Church, 168 Wilton Street, (at Grosvenor Avenue), in Winnipeg. NEIL BARDAL FUNERAL CENTRE 204-949-2200 neilbardalinc.com
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 16, 2019
Condolences & Memories (5 entries)
I regret I was absent from the city when Roger died. I was enjoying my vacation in Mexico, a place Roger feared to go since it was, in his view, dangerous. He was a valued member of the 1954 Law Graduating Class monthly luncheons. Regretfully, there are few of us left. I will always remember Roger fondly for his wonderful recovery at our Class Grads Farwell when due to a mix up by the Chairman he was called on for his Valedictory address after our guest speaker, the Hon. Sam Freedman, being reminded of the Navaho Indian witnessing an atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert, who commented “Gee I wish I could have said that”. In that address Roger gave our class its mantra that we should follow every day “Today I shall not make a fool of myself”. He will be missed. Allan Cantor. - Posted by: Allan Cantor (Classmate) on: Mar 14, 2019
Roger practised law for many years with my father John Lamont at Aikens. I think the best way to describe them would be "cronies". I heard my father speak about Roger on many occasions with much admiration for his skill as a lawyer, and also about his sense of humour; I know he enjoyed their friendship very much, and I remember him as a guest at our home, there was always a lot of animated discussion and hilarity. I send you my condolences at this difficult time. Wonderful that Roger lived so long in his family home. - Posted by: Maria Lamont (daughter of John Lamont) on: Feb 26, 2019
Mr. Hansell Was one of the favourites of the back shop kids, everyone knew his number as he loudly would announce 564! For everyone that worked there it was probably the only number that we all could remember. Mr. Hansell Also took a lesson from me one day. As I watched him swing I couldn’t help but notice that he kept hitting himself in the shoulder on his follow-through. I was fairly new to teaching at the time and I asked him if it hurt when he hit himself in the shoulder...To which he replied, “I’m hitting myself in the shoulder?” I forgot to mention that he was there to correct his slice, the root cause was a very poor grip but he also mentioned at the start of the lesson that he didn’t want me to change his grip. He was quite a character and I’m sure he will be missed. My condolences to his family - Posted by: Cathy Burton (Former Golf Pro at St. Charles) on: Feb 19, 2019
What a lovely tribute to an accomplished and unusual man. I knew Roger for a long time as a friend of Jane’s and was one of the kids hanging around the house. As an adult, Roger represented me in a legal matter and boy, they didn’t see him coming! Not only resolved to my satisfaction, I had the chance to interact with Roger in a different fashion. Erudite, a stickler for decorum but a lot of fun to argue with over a beer. He leaves a space. Best to all the family. Reegan Charad - Posted by: Reegan charac (Family friend) on: Feb 17, 2019
We are so sorry for your loss Jane (Charles) and will be here as we can for you upon your return to BC. - Posted by: Richard Ens, Christina Smith (Friend) on: Feb 16, 2019
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