Dr. Hans Willer Laale, PhD. was born at Taarbaek, a town North of Copenhagen in Denmark, on April 20th, 1935. He completed his high school education from Torben Brex Boarding School in 1949 and joined a trade career as a sailor on Skoleskibet “Denmark” which had taken him to explore Africa in his teenage years 51-52 and his very first visit to Canada in 1953.
Hans’ academic credential began in the year 1956 when he decided to come over to U.S. and attended Bob Jones University at Greenville, South Carolina. He earned his B.S. in Biology in 1959 and without wasting any time after his graduation, he migrated to Canada the same year. Hans began his graduate school in biological science at the University of Western Ontario in 1959 and received his master degree from UWO in 1961. The final hurdle of his triple jump landed at University of Toronto. Dr. Laale received his doctorate degree from UofT in Embryology the year 1966 and he started his teaching career as a professor at the University of Manitoba the same year upon his PhD graduation.
Hans made three separate trips to the Far East as a visiting scholar. First, the Hong Kong Baptist College between 61-63, second, Chung Chi College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 66-67 and Tunghai University in Taiwan the year 73-74. His Chinese name 羅漢思 was given by Johnny Tan in August 1961 and the name that he was so fond of which you could find a seal of this Chinese name on every single book that he used to own thereafter.
Dr. Laale decided to retire from UofM as of January 1st, 1997 after 30 years of services that earned him 7 research works with 18 citations and 56 reads. As a senior scholar with a full professorship, Dr. Laale continued his writing career after his official retirement. He published three books: Once They Were Brave, The Men of Miletus in 2007; Ephesus (Ephesos): An Abbreviated History from Androclus to Constantine XI in 2011; and The Seed, the Covenants and the Prophecies in 2017. These books give us a glimpse of his passion in art, history and literature outside his formal scientific trainings. He was more than just focusing on English literature but the Latin and Greek literature also in their respective worlds – the space between Roman history and Greek mythology that intersects the past of the Jewish covenants and the future of the Biblical prophecies.
Throughout all these years at different academic institutes, Dr. Laale had never ceased to show forth his love and care towards the Chinese students. He participated at Winnipeg Chinese Christian Fellowship during the 70s, teaching Sunday schools, leading Bible studies and organizing gospel trips in his Christian conviction and serving as advisor to the Chinese Student Association with his Chinese cultural conviction. He often joked about himself as a reversed “banana” – a self-teased and self-pejorative term for a Caucasian who had adopted a Chinese cultural identity. Hans was an avid player on both the Chinese chess and the Go game.
On October 22nd, 2019, with an overcast morning and a beautiful afternoon, Dr. Laale passed on peacefully to be with the Lord. He was running, like Eric Liddell, towards his Creator during his earlier years but now resting in the bosom of his Heavenly Father. He was 84.
In lieu of flowers or gift vouchers, family and friends can make a donation to the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation
on Hans’ wishes. Hans was very thankful to the medical cares he received at the Eagle Ridge Hospital.