Cover photo for John Poulsen, Jr's Obituary
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1924 John 2020

John Poulsen, Jr

August 6, 1924 — April 18, 2020

Poulsen, John Hans, Jr.

Hans Poulsen, born August 6, 1924, died peacefully at his home in Selma, Alabama on April 18, 2020. A life-long resident of Selma, he was preceded in death by his parents Gertrude Brislin and John Hans Poulsen, Sr., his sisters and brothers-in-law Tina Poulsen and Richard Kerlikoske, Lucy Gertrude (Tuter) Poulsen and Robert Houston Young, Sr, Lewis Moore, his son-in-law Jim Cox and his step-daughter Oneida Sherling.

A graduate of Albert G. Parrish High School, Hans served in the United States Air Force during World War II beginning at the age of 18. He was stationed in the Galapagos Islands operating the weather station and monitoring possible invasions of the Panama Canal. After the war ended, he remained an extra six months in the Galapagos Islands to assist in the development of the weather radar system in use today.  Hans then returned home to Alabama and graduated from Auburn University where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order.  Hans remained a proud supporter of Auburn football through victory and defeat.

His lifelong love of hunting and fishing took him to creeks and rivers, fields, and forests all over Alabama as well as the Gulf Coast. Active in civic, community and social affairs, he was a life-long member of the American Legion in Selma and active member on the boards of the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Selma, Sturdivant Hall and was chairman of the Selma Tree Commission. Hans also enjoyed membership in the German Club, Cotillion Club and the Knights of Revelry.  Professionally, he owned and operated Superior Dry Cleaners for many decades.

Hans is survived by his wife of 38 years, Oneida Moore Poulsen, his daughters Elizabeth Poulsen Gilbreath (Gordon), Tina Poulsen Cox and Mary Poulsen Cole (Steve) and step-children Dan Sherling (Denise), John Sherling (April) and David Sherling.  He is also survived by his nephews Bob Young (Florence) and Marc Childers (Margaret) and niece Nancy Lansing (John) and special cousins Lee Jones (Sidney) and John Poulsen (Karen).

He will be greatly missed by his grandchildren Jonathan and Sidney Gilbreath, Ware Cox (Kelly) and John Cox (Sarah), Logan Cole, Kaylon Cole (Shanna), Daniel Sherling, Lee Sherling, Lainey Sherling, Russell Sherling (Whitney), William Sherling and Samuel Sherling, as well as by his great-grandchildren Dawson Cox and Lucy Dora Cole.

The family of Hans Poulsen expresses deep gratitude to New Beacon Hospice and to his special friend and care-giver Oliver (Joe) Eaton. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Cornerstone Presbyterian Church at 301 Broad Street, Selma AL 36701 where Hans was a lifetime member or to the charity of your choice.

A private funeral service will be conducted at New Live Oak Cemetery by the Reverend Steve Burton. Hans Poulsen’s life motto is reflected in the words to this song he loved so much:

“A heart full of joy and gladness

Will always banish sadness and strife,

So always look for the silver lining

And try to find the sunny side of life.”

Jerome Kern

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


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