Emmy Hansen was born in Verst, Denmark on the family farm named Hulsroj. One of seven siblings Emmy was the youngest.
At the age of 16 she left home to take a job at an “old folk’s home” where she worked until attending a culinary school. After several years Emmy found herself in Copenhagen. Once there, she was primarily employed by private families to cook, shop and maintain the household.The most unsettling event to occur during her time in Copenhagen was the occupation by the Third Reich for the duration of WWII. This was especially problematic because many of her employers were Jewish families, some of whom escaped to Sweden to avoid a dismal future.
It was during this time period that Emmy set her sights on America. She had three uncles who previously immigrated to America. One to Florida, one to Wyoming and one to Salinas, California. Uncle Meyers Nissen was to sponsor his niece for passage to California. Her next stop was Iceland where she worked in a hotel restaurant. It was here she met numerous Americans who helped her with her English and even offered to teach her how to play golf. Her focus was America. Emmy absorbed the English and diligently saved her money, trading Icelandic currency for U.S. dollars courtesy of her new American friends. But she declined the golf lessons.
In 1948 Emmy arrived in Salinas where she took a temporary job at “The Pub”. Through a network of new friends Emmy moved to King City where she was introduced to Jerry Keefer who promptly hired her to work at Suk’s Tavern, later known as Keefer’s Restaurant.
Soon Emmy saved enough money to buy her first car, a 1948 Chevy. Only problem…. she couldn’t drive. Along came a young man named Bill Clark to teach her. He may have had ulterior motives; he didn’t own a car himself – only a truck – no double dating there. He must have done a damn good job because she drove until she was 94!
William (Bill) Clark and Emmy Hansen were married in Solvang in 1950. They had one son, William Jacob Clark. Besides her family, Emmy’s passions extended to her love of golf and playing bridge. She played golf in King City, as well as Corral de Tierra, where afternoon bridge always followed. As anyone who played against her will attest she considered these endeavors as “blood sport”. She won many championships and accumulated eight! holes-in-one. The last time Bill and Emmy played golf together Emmy scored a hole in one. Bill picked up his golf clubs and went home– that was the last time he played golf.
A lasting memory of Emmy’s final Christmas was of her spending time with her family enjoying Danish cuisine with a proper amount of Dansk Akvavit and beer combined with the secondhand smoke of a good cigar to remind her of early life at Hulsroj Farm where her father enjoyed his customary evening smoke.
Emmy is survived by her son William (Sonoma), grandchildren Dreux (Guy Miller), Rendl (James Kroeker), Tiffiney Thomas and numerous nieces and nephews, most of whom still reside in Denmark. Not to be forgotten is her dearest friend Elda Hulbert whom Emmy had known for over 65 years. Many rounds of golf, many hands of bridge, many wonderful memories.
Heartfelt thanks to those caregivers dedicated to Emmy’s last years. They include Erica Sonne, Maria Turrado, Lupe Mendoza, Keyla Peters, Vanessa Suarez. And thank you to neighbors Rayanne and Ruthann for always being there for Mother. Also many thanks to John McEmoyle who provided insight into the mysteries of pharmaceuticals and gave much of his time to facilitate a better understanding of the use of prescription drugs and the elderly.
Predeceasing Emmy were her husband Bill, parents Mette and Jacob Hansen, sisters Kirsten Hansen and Anna Breiner, brothers Leo Hulsroj, Krestin Hulsroj, Kaj Hulsroj and Hans Hulsroj. The brothers Hansen realized at an early age that the surname Hansen was the equivalent of Smith or Jones in this country (apologies to Smith and Jones). They agreed to change their surname to Hulsroj after the family farm. The Hulsroj name is unique in this world; all those Hulsroj that cross one’s path are related to Emmy.
Those wishing to make contributions in her honor may donate to the King City Library or to a charity of their choice. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.