BLACKFOOT — When it came time to leave his job in Kansas City for a move back west, Dennis Hansen turned his attention to Blackfoot, Idaho.
"My brother (Larry) had moved here two or three years earlier and liked it," said Hansen, who grew up in Nebraska and Wyoming. "I wanted to go somewhere in the West and back to the mountains."
That was 37 years ago. Hansen and his wife Gloria built a home and a life in Blackfoot.
After moving to town, Hansen began work as a salesman for Sears. He held that job for a year before buying the Montgomery Ward franchise. He operated it for eight years before moving into land and home sales with Snake River Real Estate.
Eleven years later he opened Blackfoot Real Estate. He will close the doors of that business at the end of September.
"It's been a great ride," Hansen said. "I'm just grateful because, to me, being successful is a blessing."
While he was running his businesses, Gloria worked as a dispatcher for the Blackfoot Police Department, at OK Hardware and at Alliance Title. She retired a few years ago.
The couple raised three children. They now have nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. They've enjoyed spending time at their activities.
"I don't know what I'm going to do," Hansen said of his immediate retirement plans. "It's been said if you're not involved in your community, you can't complain. So I may get involved so I can complain.
"I hunt, I fish and I like to travel," he continued. He and Gloria have been to the East and West Coasts and to the South and will do more of that.
"I'm going to start playing golf again," he added. He noted that he's a licensed pilot and would like to begin flying again.
The key to his success, Hansen said, has been the people he has dealt with.
"I've been successful because of all the people I've met," he said.
"There have been ups and downs, but you have to be committed to ride out the storms," he said.
" It's kind of sad in a way," he said of his decision to retire and close his office, "but it's just time to do it."