Forever Chucky: Former Sen. Alicia Hansen Dies at 70

Former Sen. Alicia “Chucky” Hansen is being remembered for her devotion to community, political savvy, and charm. 

Outspoken former St. Croix lawmaker Alicia “Chucky” Hansen passed away Monday at the age of 70. As word of her passing spread across the Virgin Islands, it was met with praise for a woman considered a passionate advocate for underserved and underrepresented Virgin Islanders.

Some who knew her called word of her death unexpected, but one unconfirmed media report said Hansen suffered from a lengthy illness. Many who worked with her called her gregarious, charming and politically astute.

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. called Hansen “a trusted supporter and advisor to me, and for that, I am deeply grateful.”

Senate President Novelle Francis recalled the one legislative session where they worked together as colleagues as “a masterclass in seeing her wield her charm, humor, and tenacity to accomplish her legislative goals.”

They were qualities that helped her pursue those goals in the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 24th, 29th, 30th, and 32nd Legislatures.

The public figure known as Alicia Hansen was born in Puerto Rico to Martini Pickering and Medora Paulis Williams; she was raised by Leon and Viola Hansen. Educated in Puerto Rico, she attended the University of the Virgin Islands and trained for a while at the Virgin Islands Police Academy before working as a translator for the Justice Department.

She also taught Spanish and ran a small business on St. Croix called Chucky’s Boutique.

But Hansen also lived through controversies and setbacks, among them a federal indictment in 2004 for her alleged ties to Global Resources Management, a company that only existed on paper but won a $3.6 million wastewater contract. Charges against her were later dropped.

She came under scrutiny again in 2008 when she was found guilty of tax-related charges. The more serious counts were pardoned by then-Gov. John de Jongh, but the misdemeanor count resurfaced in 2014 when Hansen ran for the office of lieutenant governor.

An eligibility challenge brought by a member of the Board of Elections led to her name being taken off the ballot.

But through it all, Chucky Hansen persisted and endured. Her personality and outgoing nature won over many who knew her, including Sen. Dwayne DeGraff, who served alongside Hansen in the 32nd Legislature.

“Alicia ‘Chucky’ Hansen, as she was affectionately known, was an icon in her beloved Virgin Islands,” DeGraff said. “She held the title for receiving the most votes in a senatorial election for that district. Senator Hansen was a true servant of the people and a champion for ‘bread and butter’ issues concerning her constituents. Her voice was a common household staple through her radio show ‘Keeping in Touch.’”

Another colleague from the 32nd session was then-senator, now Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach. He called Hansen’s passing “a tremendous loss — personally and also for the community.”

“I value Chucky as a political leader and a force in our community. I think I was one of the people who worked with her, who was also privileged to call her friend,” he said.

Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett also recalled Hansen’s participation with the American Legion Chapter on St. Croix and her devotion to family.

“Senator Hansen was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother to her family. There was no doubt that she was just as passionate about her family as she was about her engagement and influence in our community, if not more so,” the delegate said.

And former Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory crafted a condolence message directed to Chucky’s husband, Edsel Hansen Sr., and their children.

“ … [I]t is my hope that you find solace in the knowledge that Chucky will be missed by many,” Frett-Gregory said.