Holmes Rolston ‘J.R.’ Hansel Jr., 75, enjoyed an adventurous career as a pilot

Holmes Rolston 'J.R.' Hansel Jr.
Holmes Rolston ‘J.R.’ Hansel Jr.

Holmes Rolston “J.R.” Hansel Jr., 75, of Virginia Beach, passed away peacefully Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, at home with his family by his side.

He was born Sept. 20, 1943, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to the late Eloise (Taylor) Hansel and U.S. Navy Sr. Lt. Junior Grade Holmes Rolston Hansel. He grew up in South Charleston, West Virginia, and graduated from South Charleston High School with the Class of 1961. He attended Marshall University. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, proudly serving as an aviation electronics technician third class petty officer and given the nickname of J.R. for his own protection! While stationed in Brunswick, Maine, he met and married the love of his life, Louise. After leaving the U.S. Navy, he began his lifelong career as an airplane pilot. He had many adventures piloting as a corporate pilot, private charter services, medical ambulance, aerial surveying, FedEx and skydiving. What he loved most was his wife Louise and raising their family together in Maine. He was an avid sailor, enjoyed reading, NASCAR races and spending time with his grandchildren.

In addition to Louise, his wife of 54 years, he is survived by his daughters, Katheryn Hansel, and her partner, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Charles Bunker Sargent, of Greene, Maine, and grandchildren, Joseph and Meaghan Spagnolo, Kirsten Sala, and her husband, R.J., of Glastonbury, Connecticut, and grandchildren, Dylan, Cameron and Andrew; and Keri Estabrooks, and her husband, retired U.S. Navy Aviation Ordnanceman First Class Petty Officer Dale Estabrooks, and grandchildren, Derek and Taylor.

The family will receive friends from 4 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 7, at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Princess Anne Chapel. A funeral service will follow at the funeral home chapel at 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research, Shriners Hospital for Children, Autism Speaks.

Share online condolences with the family at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home & Crematory.

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