Rev. Matthew Williams
Cedar Park Neighbors was saddened to hear of the passing of Rev. Matthew Williams, Retired Pastor of The People’s Baptist Church. We wish to acknowledge Rev. Williams contribution to our neighborhood and we send our condolences to the congregation of People’s.
Residents throughout the neighborhood and CPN members were shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of our friend and colleague Bruce Jay Hansen, who died from a heart attack at age 36.
From their arrival in Cedar Park, Bruce and his wife, Sarah, were committed to community involvement. Bruce served on the Cedar Park Board from 2005 to 2009. Bruce not only contributed enthusiasm, humor and a memorable hearty laugh, but was active in many facets of the organization. Bruce helped with the early development of the CPN website, organized CPN elections and assisted on the Fair Committee. Bruce was most committed as a member of the CPN Property Housing Task Force. Bruce brought his interest and expertise in City Planning to CPN efforts to wrestle with the problem of blighted and abandoned property and land. He was instrumental in mapping properties for the Baltimore Avenue Conversation and that map continues to be crucial in helping us analyze and communicate about properties within the area of focus for Baltimore Avenue improvement. Bruce was also active in the Chester Avenue Community Garden and the West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship.
Bruce was from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communications at Elizabethtown College, where he met his wife, Sarah. Following their marriage in 1999, Bruce and Sarah served from 2001 to 2003 as Peace Corps Volunteers in the Ukraine. Upon returning to the U.S., they settled in West Philadelphia, and Bruce spent several years working as a web designer. In 2008, Bruce and Sarah welcomed their daughter, Sadie. Later that year, Bruce began graduate school and in 2010 earned his Master’s of City Planning from Penn.
The Bruce whom so many knew and loved had an unmatched laugh and ability to find humor in almost any situation. He lived life thoughtfully and deliberately. He accepted others openly and without judgment. He was kind and good and genuine and he will be deeply missed.
We extend our deep sympathies to Bruce’s wife, Sarah, and their daughters Sadie and Beatrice, as well as to the extended Hansen family. Beatrice Jane is a brand new Hansen baby who was born on October 14th. We extend our welcome to Beatrice as our newest Cedar Park resident and know that her arrival will be a blessing and comfort to her mom and big sister at this most difficult time.
Many have asked how they can help the family. Donations in memory of Bruce Hansen may be made to:
Bruce J. Hansen Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 724
Phoenixville, PA 19460.