Former Hill resident Norma Hansen died June 11, 1999, in Portland, Ore., at the age of 83 following a stroke. Many will remember her fondly as "The Cake Lady," creator of those delectable masterpieces she prepared for weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions. She learned cakemaking at Mrs. Gates' School of Decorating, cramming a six-month course into two weeks.
In addition to making cakes, Mrs. Hansen kept minutes for the Idyllwild Fire Department, was secretary for the Idyllwild Property Owners Association, taught a cooking and sewing class at the Town Hall, prepared breakfast every Thursday morning for the Soroptimists and the Community Church Men's Discussion Group, and still managed to teach a Sunday school class. She also worked at the Honey Bear Lodge, The Grey Squirrel, and the Silver Pines Lodge.
Mrs. Hansen always found time to help the sick and elderly, as well as manage five cabins on the Hill, which required her to do plumbing, tiling, and painting. She worked extensively with young people in Scouting and Bluebirds and was the recipient of an Award of Merit given by the Boy Scouts of America. She loved to paint and won a scholarship to a summer session at ISOMATA. Mrs. Hansen played the piano as well as the accordion, and was an accomplished seamstress. She started a doll collection while living in Idyllwild, casting and hand painting the porcelain pieces herself. "I like to do everything," she said and she did, including hiking the Swiss Alps while in her 70s. Mrs. Hansen was predeceased by her husband, Tom, and is survived by two sons, John and Tom, a daughter, Beth, eight grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.