Kermit Pete (Pete) Hansen's diary part 6

Civilian Life

Pete met Margaret Elizabeth Duff (known as Peggy) in 1942 when Pete was a cadet in Santa Ana, California. Pete’s roommate, Louis Grush’s wife, Anabelle was Peggy’s sorority sister at U.C.L.A. Anabelle and Louis invited Pete and several other cadets to Anabelle’s parents home for dinner. Anabelle also invited some of her sorority sisters, one of whom was Peggy who drove the cadets to the dinner. Pete remembers her blond curly hair. Pete took Peggy home that night, and she remembers that he did not kiss her goodnight.

Peggy worked at the Bank of America. She saved her money and at a cost of $14 for an airplane ticket, flew to attend Pete’s graduation at Roswell. She took the bus back home. They corresponded while Pete was overseas and through his aunt learned that he had been shot down and was a prisoner of war. They corresponded and she sent packages.

Pete invited Peggy to come to Hartley in June 1945. He proposed and they were married on July 15, 1945, with Pete’s family, Peggy’s parents, and maid-of-honor, Durette Scott, in attendance. The bride and groom honeymooned for one week at Lake Okoboji in the Lake Region near Hartley. Pete had $5,000 which he had accumulated while he was in the service.

Pete and Peg purchased a 1939 Chevy for $800 and drove to Santa Monica, California, to start their life together. They stayed for a week at the Del Mar Club, which was made available for all former POWs. Pete was reunited with other POWs. He was given a physical examination, promoted to captain, and was given his discharge papers. Pete was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with Silver Cluster signifying 30 raids, the Purple Heart, and the POW medal, which was awarded several years later.

Pete and Peg rented an apartment on Patricia Avenue in West Los Angeles. Peg worked at U.C.L.A. evaluation credits for student athletes while Pete went to school at U.C.L.A. for one year and one summer session. His tuition was paid by the G.I. Bill.

Pete then went to work for Peg’s father in the Gordon Duff, Inc. welding supply business. He worked there for 17 years. Peg’s mother and father were like another mother and father to Pete.

In 1949, Pete and Peg bought a lot and built their first home in North Hollywood. It had two bedrooms and one bathroom. When their family started to grow, they moved to a larger home in Van Nuys. Their third home was in Northridge where they lived for 33 years. Peg’s mother had passed away and her father lived with them until he died. Pete and Peg have three children:  Janet, Nancy, and Tom, and two grandchildren, Kenny and Nissa.

In 1962, Pete went to work for Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., of Appleton, Wisconsin. They manufactured welding machines. Pete was District Manager for the West Coast and Arizona for 13 years. He then became their Account Executive. He sold equipment, making sure their customers purchased the right equipment. He held this position for seven years until he retired in 1982.