Jeff is one of five children born to the late Eugene and Lucille (Waldmann) Hans of Jefferson, Wisconsin. He and his four sisters grew up on the family farm and experienced raising many animals, with some being quite unique (buffalo, black bear, Scottish Highlanders, and domestic yaks). Jeff graduated from Jefferson High School in 1973. His life has been dedicated to the family business, Hans Bros., Inc., started by his parents, that he currently owns and operates.
Debbie is the youngest of four children born to the late Kenneth and Helen (Wolfram) Andrews of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. She graduated from Lakeside Lutheran High School in 1975, and continued her studies at MATC. Following graduation from MATC she was hired as an Administrative Assistant by the late Attorney John Lampert of FortAtkinson before marrying and starting a family. She worked part-time for the family business prior to beginning her current job of 38 years with the School District of Jefferson as the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent. In 2010, she took over the bookkeeping responsibilities for Hans Bros., relieving her mother-in-law, Lucille, after 60+ years in that role. In 2017, Debbie received Jefferson’s Ray O. Fischer Citizen of the Year award.
The royal couple met at Capn’s Corners (local pub) in 1976 and were married on April 30, 1977, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fort Atkinson. After purchasing their home in Jefferson, they joined St. John’s Lutheran Church. Their marriage was blessed with two beautiful daughters. Oldest daughter, Ellie, resides in Middleton with her husband, Dan Roekle, and their two children, Carter (17) and Kylie (14). Daughter, Abbie, formerly of Fitchburg, relocated to Australia in October of 2020 to be with her love, Craig Tasborski, and to continue her work with Boston Scientific Neuromodulation.
Jeff and Debbie enjoy dancing, boating, following the Green Bay Packers and attending games, watching their grandchildren play sports, occasional trips to the casino, and spending time with family and friends. Within the past four months, they have sold their Jefferson home of 43 years and relocated to Jeff’s homestead, also in Jefferson.
Jeff’s paternal and maternal ancestors originated in Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate; Baden-Wurttemberg; and Warsin, Kreis Pyritz, Pommerania, Germany and France. Jeff’s paternal great grandfather, John Hans, was active at local fairs and won many first prizes for grains and seeds. He also had an aptitude for brewing wine and applejack and had frequent visitors from local farmers to partake. John was remembered as an industrious farmer. Jeff’s great grandmother, Susan Hornberg Hans, was a member of a large family in Germany and her father managed to raise money for one of his children to travel to America and Susan was selected. Susan too was active in local fairs and won prizes for cakes, cookies, bread baking, and sock sewing. Throughout the generations and noted in census records, the “Hans” name had several spelling versions in the mid-1800s that included Hens, Hanz and Hance, before resting on the spelling of “Hans” around 1900.
Debbie’s maternal ancestors originated in Germany in the areas of Hannover, Niedersachsen; and Pommern, Cochem-Zell, Rheinland-Pfalz, as well as Kurtzdorf, Regenwalde, Prussia. Her paternal ancestors originated in Belfast, Ireland.
Both sets of parents of the King and Queen previously owned and operated local taverns. The Ox Yoke and Depot, both in Jefferson, were owned by Jeff’s parents; Ken & Helen’s Tavern, in Fort Atkinson, was owned by Debbie’s parents, and later purchased by her brother, Denny.
While the journey to May Ball 2021 has been long and unique due to COVID, the King and Queen were continually supported by the unwavering selection committee members who were committed to keeping the excitement in the forefront for the past 15 months.
A special THANK YOU is extended to committee members Jeff and Tiffany Schmidt (2019); Brad and Tonya Umbarger (2018); and Dave and Jennie Fischer (2017) for their guidance, support, and friendship in preparing the King and Queen for this wonderful adventure. Thank you also to the Gemuetlichkeit Days organization for your hard work and dedication in preserving such a wonderful tradition for our community.
Cheers to 50 years Gemuetlichkeit Days! We are proud to serve as your 2021 King and Queen. Ein prosit!
Please print this form and use it to submit your choice for the 2020 royal couple.
The only requirement is that the couple lives in the Jefferson School District.
Nominations must be received by January 31, 2021
2021 King and Queen will be officially announced at the
May Ball on Saturday, May 16th, 2021 at Fairview Inn. Please attend this event to see if your nominees have
been selected and to welcome our new royalty. Please download and send the nomination to:
Jeff and Tiffany Schmidt
511 N. Stevens Ave.
Jefferson, WI 53549