Gina Ann (Hansen) McKenna
June 6, 1978 – June 26, 2022
Gina was a mother, sister, daughter, teacher and friend. She approached life full of passion, laughter, music and knowledge. An avid reader, she learned everything she could about any topic that interested her. She was a writer, an artist, a debater but most of all she loved helping people. She loved deeply and made a huge impact on those around her. She will be missed beyond compare.
Gina always marched to her own drum and loved a good dance party, so to help us celebrate her life, the family encourages you to leave the traditional dark colors at home and wear something more colorful.
VISITATION: Friday, July 1st from 6pm to 8pm at the West Center Chapel. SERVICES: Saturday, July 2nd at 11:30am, West Center Chapel. In lieu of flowers, any donations will go toward Gina’s passion of furthering her daughters’ educations.
Gina Ann (Hansen) McKenna was born June 6, 1978 in Omaha NE to Alan and Denise Hansen. She grew up in LaVista, NE with her sisters Alana, Lori and Krystal. Gina was married to Luke McKenna in 2006. Though they eventually divorced they remained friends, sharing the love of their two children, Eliana and Graysen.
Gina’s creativity knew no bounds. Her love of techno music and spontaneous living room dance parties led to her getting a drum set several years ago so she could do more than just dance to the music, she could make it. The family hamster had a regular rotation of themed cage decorations based on whatever topic she was currently diving into, and she loved to make mythologically themed paper dolls with the girls. Calm days would often find her outside, working on her next spray paint art canvas generating incredible space scenes. Holidays, especially Halloween allowed her to practice her art and makeup skills on family and friends, creating elaborate face paintings.
We could write a novel about the things Gina loved, and honestly Gina did just that. For many years she journaled like crazy about everything in her life, including her current obsession – favorites included Egyptology, mythology, the Mafia, astrology, professional soccer (also known as proper football). Once she got started on a subject, Gina would read everything she could find on the subject and then share her newfound knowledge with her family, friends or anyone she ran into.
Gina had a passion for interacting with people and found her niche in the restaurant industry where she spent the last 15 years with Olive Garden. She was known by her co-workers and customers for her speed, accuracy, smile and sometimes corny jokes that always got if not grins at least an eyeroll. During her time at the “OG” she ended up a lead trainer and loved sharing her knowledge, skills, and wit with the next generation of team members bringing out those endless breadsticks.
Her job helped enable one of her favorite past times – talking to her ‘lovies’ and making people feel at ease. Her kids’ most recent accomplishments, updates on friends and family, how great it was to be a Gemini or the latest shenanigans of her fat cats Purrsedion and Purrsieus were common topics. She was smart, clever and witty – always quick with a pun or a comeback and loved to debate anyone on anything if they gave her the opening. Many times, she’d have you completely turned around on your own argument while she sat back laughing.
Time zones or borders didn’t stop her desire to make friends and learn about other areas, eventually leading to significant friendships across the world but most prominently in India. She was able to visit India several times and was frequently sharing her plans for her next trip with those she knew.
A testament to her strength, Gina beat Hodgkins Lymphoma 4 years ago.
Gina left this world on June 26, 2022 in a tragic car accident at 44 years old.
Gina leaves behind her daughters, Eliana and Graysen; parents Dave and Denise Jansen and Sharon (Bobby) Hansen; sisters Alana (Clint) Whitmarsh, Lori (Sean) Moore, and Krystal (Logan) Benteman; nieces and nephew Hailey and Ava Whitmarsh, Ashley and Sammie Moore, and Cecilia and Dawson Benteman; many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her father Alan Hansen; grandparents Don and Eleanor Hansen, Irvin and Lavaughn Schultz, Velma Angel, and Fred and Rita Jansen.