Cover photo for Frank Hansel's Obituary
Frank Hansel Profile Photo

Frank Hansel

January 29, 1962 — June 21, 2024

Belton

Frank was born on Jan. 29, 1962, the oldest son of Bernie and Judy Hansel. Brother, Mark, and sister, Gina, soon followed.

Much like his parents, Bernie and Judy Hansel, Frank always saw himself as kind and warmhearted with an entrepreneurial spirit. Frank wanted to be that person who was always ready to help people and who would rarely, if ever, say no if you asked him for a favor. One of the greatest things Frank would like to pass on is the willingness to help others.

These values started in the home where his dad worked two jobs to provide more for his family but still found time to coach Frank’s grade school basketball teams and his brother Mark’s youth league baseball teams. Frank’s mom was always helping others whether it was in school projects or even being a Den Mother for Cub Scouts. While his dad passed in 2009, his mom’s love and care for her family continues to this day.

Frank loved to laugh and credits both parents with his sense of humor and the ability to come up with a quick joke or quip. Frank loved comedy. (He took his wife, Beth, to a comedian concert for their first date). Frank often said that “there is one (cutup) in every group, and that it is usually him.” For Frank, comedy was a great way to relieve stress and lighten a tense moment.

Frank credits his dad with instilling in him a love of sports, especially baseball. One of his best memories is sharing season tickets to the Kansas City Royals game for a couple of years. It was a great place to not only recall memories but make new ones, which included taking both parents to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.

One thing his dad and mom took seriously was education, and they did everything possible to make sure their children had the opportunity to pursue a higher education.

Frank was first introduced to writing while he was in high school. A journalism teacher there had a big influence on him, so much so that he eventually became the editor of the St. Joseph High School paper. After graduation and brief flirtation with junior college, Frank eventually found his way to the University of Kansas where he pursued a Journalism degree. While at KU, Frank worked on the University Daily Kansan as a reporter, associate sports editor (where he covered the Jayhawks 1986 trip to the Final Four in Dallas) sports editor and eventually editor.

One of Frank’s proudest moments was walking down the Hill at the University of Kansas during graduation ceremonies. He looked up into the stands and caught a glimpse of his dad with a big smile from ear to ear. Frank knew and was much appreciative of all the hard work everyone had done to make this moment possible. Both of his parents had encouraged Frank to pursue a journalism degree at KU.

After leaving the University of Kansas, Frank got his first job in Chanute, Kan. as sports editor of the Chanute Tribune. While in Chanute, Frank took first place in the 1987 Harris Contests in the category of Newswriting Sports Stories and second place in the 1988 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence for outstanding Sports Coverage Daily 1.

During his tenure in Chanute he became engaged to his college sweetheart and love of his life Beth Zuvanich, who was finishing her senior year at the University of Kansas. The two were engaged on April 4, 1988 (the same day that the Jayhawks won the men’s basketball national championship). Frank often joked about which was the more significant event of that day. The two were married on April 29, 1989.

Love of family and especially his upcoming marriage to Beth, brought Frank back to the Kansas City area in 1988. After a short stint with the Shawnee Herald, he became sports editor and photographer at The Belton Star-Herald. There he received a third-place award in 1991 from the National Newspaper Association’s National Better Newspaper Contest for Best Sports Pages, Weekly Division, circulation less than 5,000.

The desire to stay in the KC area led to Frank leaving the newspaper business to become a sales representative at Dutchboy Printing in 1993 where his college roommate and close friend, John Creighton, worked. One of his clients at Dutchboy was an accomplished photographer, Thomas Martinez, who mentored Frank in portrait and wedding photography.

While at Dutchboy, Frank continued to be involved in journalistic endeavors, mostly photographic at this time, assisting with weddings, taking portraits and action shots of friends and family. After leaving Dutchboy, Frank increased his entrepreneurial and photographic work. He started working for himself. For more than 12 years, he took action photos for parents at a couple of local high schools, Blue Valley North and Olathe South, as well as taking both action and team photos for an Upward Sports program in Olathe.

The expansion of the internet led to some more writing opportunities. Working with a colleague and mentor, Eric Chia, Frank started writing website content, blog entries and e-mail blasts as projects came about from Eric’s clients and connections.

After losing their miniature schnauzer Fritz, who was 1 week shy of his 14th birthday, Beth and Frank decided to look into adopting retired racing greyhounds. That led them to the Woodlands Race Track in Kansas City, Kan. and its adoption program, Pups Without Partners. Frank volunteered his services and took portraits of the greyhounds for their website. The couple made several friends, like Shelley Lake, in the greyhound world and provided a home for several retired racers. 

Another passion that developed later in life for Frank was his faith.

Frank has been a practicing Catholic since early childhood, graduating in 1976 from Christ the King School in Kansas City, Kan. as well as St. Joseph High School in Shawnee, Kan. (now known as St. Thomas Aquinas) in 1980. However, it was not until 2012 that he had his metanoia (a transformative change of heart or a spiritual conversion) that one hour in church a week was not enough for him to completely develop his relationship with God.

When Gina returned to school in pursuit of a Master’s degree and Mark entered Culinary School Frank was motivated to further his education. He completed a three-year course called Living Stones, which prepped participants for ministry work in his local parish, St. Sabina in Belton. While that ministry work could be in a church setting, it could also be in other life experiences, such as work or home.

It was during the Living Stones classes that Frank was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and began chemotherapy and radiation treatments. He was convinced that the many prayer warriors from the church and other facets of his life played a large role in his complete recovery 7 months after the diagnosis in 2014.

At St. Sabina, he began to help with the parish website, lector at masses and help to create a weekly video series called Do You Know, a 6- to 8-minute video on some aspect of the Catholic faith. These videos can be viewed at www.StSabinaParish.org/do-you-know.

Each year Frank would design and print a 24x36 collage featuring all the parish members that passed away during the previous year. The collage would be unveiled each year on All Souls Day and hung in the gathering area of the church for the entire year as a reminder of those who have gone before us.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and people were forced to stay at home, St. Sabina starting live streaming masses as well as other events, including funerals. Frank was a key member of the “Stream Team” - the streaming team that brings videos to people who cannot attend church.

After Living Stones, Frank began to view other life experiences as ministry work. A prime example would be his time as an Uber Driver. When he first started driving for Uber in 2016, it was simply a way to earn extra money. It was nothing special. However, as time went on, Frank realized that he was performing a service that people really needed. From taking riders to doctor’s appointments or to work, as well as getting them home safely if they drank too much, he began to see this service in the same light as the ministry work that he did at church. 

In September of 2023 Frank officially became the Communications Coordinator for St. Sabina. He was already performing many of these duties as a volunteer. He published the weekly bulletin, updated the website he helped design, handled all written communication, welcomed new families to the parish, and did intake for Emergency Assistance. He expanded his role on the “Stream Team” by coordinating the recording, editing and posting of Adult Formation Classes.

Frank passed away on Friday, June 21st at The University of Kansas Medical Center due to complications from diabetes. He spent his last earthly hours surrounded by his family.

Frank is survived by his mother, Judith Hansel; his brother, Mark Hansel, and his wife, Beth Ann (Feistner) Hansel; his sister, Gina (Hansel) Moorehouse, and her husband, Michael; his wife of 35+ years, Beth Michele (Zuvanich) Hansel; and several nieces & nephews: Eric White; Austin White; Jacob Well, and his girlfriend, Lexi Rawlings; Jordan Well, his girlfriend, Caroline Lujano, and her children: Aedan Wooley, Ava Wooley, and Alex Wooley; Ashley (Feistner) Adkins and her husband, William; Olivia (Zuvanich) Cook and her husband, Walker; Jared Hansel, Julia (White) Carver and her husband, Grant; and Rachel Zuvanich as well as great nephew, Jaxstyn Francis Well, and great niece, Emersyn Leigh Carver.

Visitation will be Monday, July 1st from 6pm-8pm at Amos Family Funeral Home on 10901 Johnson Dr, Shawnee, KS 66203

Services will be Tuesday, July 2nd at St. Sabina Catholic Church 700 Trevis Ave, Belton, MO 64012. The church is livestreaming the mass, and can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/StSabinaParish

Rosary will be 10:30am. Mass will start at 11am with lunch and time of sharing afterwards.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Frank Hansel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, July 1, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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The Amos Family Funeral Home & Crematory

10901 Johnson Dr
Shawnee, KS 66203

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Rosary

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

10:30 - 10:45 am (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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