Live Oak —
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, will always be remembered by family and friends of 19-year-old Jake Austin “Baby” Hansen of the day he passed away. Although Jake was taken early and suddenly, those who knew Jake will forever cherish the memories.
Jake was born on May 28, 1995, in Avon Park to James and Michelle. Jake had one brother, Joshua, and two sisters, Erica and Sierra.
He was an avid hunter and was a motorcycle enthusiast. He loved sports and played both baseball and football. During his senior year, Jake wore jersey number four and played as the running back and linebacker.
He graduated from Branford High School in 2013 and made a lot of friends along the way.
“He has touched so many lives with his huge heart and unpredictable sense of humor. Our hearts will never be the same and only through God’s grace and each other’s love and support will we make it through each moment to come. Thank you to everyone that has came into our beloved Jake’s life. He enjoyed life and the simple things because all of you were a part of it.”
From Mom, Donnie, Joshua, Erica and Sierra
One of Jake’s former coaches Billy Bony recalled Jake’s decision to accept Christ and will remember his smiling personality.
“I have known Jake since he was in grammar school. I was fortunate enough to coach Jake a few years in football. Jake also escorted my daughter when she was homecoming princess when they were freshmen,” said Bony. “What I remember about Jake is his smile and his great sense of humor. Also, I was very happy for Jake when he trusted Jesus Christ as his personal savior at youth camp. We often don't understand but just remember that God is in control. Jake will be missed and I just pray for God's strength and comfort in this tough time.”
Sean Santos, who knew Jake since the second grade and former football teammate, shared his memories of their 11-year friendship.
"Jake was the kind of guy that people just gravitate toward. There was never a moment where you could be upset or hurt for long around him, because he wouldn’t let you,” Santos said. “He was the type that would pick you up when you needed it, and just wanted everyone to have fun and smile. That was Jake. I know his friends and family will hold his memory dear to their hearts."
Josh Kirby, who knew Jake since childhood years, said he was “his little brother.”
“I've known Jake for 16 years, and we played sports together growing up, me, him, and his older brother. He lived with me for about a year and a half. He was basically my little brother. As far as a memory of Baby Hansen, I have too many. But, I can speak of his character. Baby Hansen was Mr. Perfect. Anything he tried, he was great at. Sports, hunting, school, anything. And even with all that, he was humble,” Kirby said. “Would never tell you he was better than you at anything, even though everyone knew he was. But in his mind everyone was on an equal playing field. He was the funniest guy anyone had met, you couldn't be around him more than a minute without laughing. And he was loved by everyone, no one disliked him. He was an amazing athlete, an amazing son, an amazing brother, and an amazing friend. He is the most irreplaceable person in my life.”
Travis Bass, a friend of 10 years and former football teammate, recalled how Jake brightened a room.
“To start, Jake was a great guy that every younger guy including myself looked up to. He had a great character, and was a great ball player,” said Bass. “He brought joy in every room he walked in, and he loved everyone and everyone loved him. We had a lot of memories together, some great ones. He'll truly be missed by everyone that knew him.”
Seth Dickerson got to know Jake over the past four years, and lived together for about a year. During that time, Seth developed a bond with Jake, stating he “became a brother” to him. Seth is also a former football teammate.
“There is so much I could tell you about Jake Hansen. He was an amazing friend and someone who everyone looked up to. A person who could always make light of a bad situation and put you in a good mood,” said Dickerson. “I considered him my brother, we have so many good memories. It was a great honor to have been able to have a friend like Jake. Jake will be missed by many and forgotten by none. Rest easy, buddy.”
Matt Dickerson, one of Jake’s closest friends, said he impacted his life.
“Jake was the most vibrant person I’ve ever met, he sure knew how to make someone feel better about the situation they were in. I’ve known him for a few years years but these past two years are really the ones that he impacted my life,” said Matt Dickerson. “My greatest memory of him is just from a couple weeks ago Jake and I stayed up all through the night raising hell like we always did. We rode around every where, he was helping me get through some .things that were taking a toll on me. I’ll never forget how he was and how he was always there for me no matter what the cost. He died doing what he loved and no one can take that away from him. He’s forever in our hearts he branded his spot forever.”
Memorial services for Jake will be conducted on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 11 a.m. in the First Baptist Church Christian Life Center in Branford. The family will receive friends on Friday evening from 5-7 p.m. in the Chapel of Dees-Parrish Family Funeral Home in Lake City. Arrangements are under the care of the Dees-Parrish Family Funeral Home of Lake City, 458 S. Marion Ave., Lake City, Fla., 32025.