School 16

Eric Lowell Hansen

February 18, 1957 ~ April 27, 2021 (age 64)


Hansen, Eric Lowell, 64, of New York passed away on April 27, 2021 after a 45-year joyride on the streets of New York City. He arrived in 1975 to go to Columbia College (BA Political Science, Minor in Music, ‘84) and never left. Coursework often came secondary as New York City had so much else to offer, including the burgeoning new wave music scene. He was a devoted follower of The Residents and remained so throughout his life. He was also a devoted fan of Tom Waits and, like Tom, would rather have a bottle in front of him than a frontal lobotomy.

Eric was also a performer in his own right. He was a longtime member of the Columbia University Glee Club, the Collegiate Chorale and The Dessoff Choirs. He was also the bass section leader and soloist in the St. John’s Episcopal Church Choir in Larchmont for many years. He enjoyed nothing more than lugging his keyboard to open mic nights and doing his best Tom Waits impersonation, which evolved into his much admired “Tom Waits for No Man” finale performance in the annual Blowhole Theater show at Barbes Brooklyn. A little-known fact about Eric: as a child living in Kentucky, he was a studio musician (cello) for the Happy Goodman Family.

Before arriving in New York, Eric lived in North Dakota, Kentucky and Colorado. He was born on February 18, 1957 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, which his family left before his budding hockey career could take flight. His formative years were spent in Madisonville, Kentucky, where he graduated from North Hopkins High School as the class valedictorian in 1975.

Eric loved to travel, and he loved family gatherings of any sort. He always showed up for a Hansen Reunion no matter where it was held, and he will be greatly missed for his singing performances and leading erudite and clever conversations with all. Not that Eric needed to travel to keep in touch; multiple volumes could be filled with his internet blog postings. Online, he kept a running sardonic commentary on life in these United States with aphorisms such as this: “We’ve had social distancing for decades, but apparently it’s more marketable than alienation.”

He leaves behind his longtime partner, Anna; mother, Carolyn; sisters, Sonja (Dave), Kristen (Trent) and Rachel (Todd); brothers, Paul (Pi-Hsun), Daniel (Stacey) and Peter (Heather); nieces, Sierra, Sonja, Rose and Sarah; nephews, Aaron, Kyle, Christian and Daniel. He was predeceased by his father, Dan Erick and nephew, Lance Merric. Due to the pandemic, memorial services for Eric will be held at a later date in New York City and Lakewood, Colorado.

The Hansen family is profoundly grateful to Jeff and Sarah Gerecke for their support during Eric’s time of need.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Dessoff Choirs; donations in Eric’s name can be made on The Dessoff Choirs website at or by check. 

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