Obituary: James R. “Bob” Hanson: 1918 – 2017
Today a true American hero rode off into his last sunset. His story began on the plains of South Dakota, born on the family farm in Bison to James Henry and Elsie Bertina (Knutson) on October 3rd, 1918. His mother taught him and his siblings in grade school, he went on to attend high school in Bison and ag school in Brookings.
He was drafted in the first round, but elected to enlist so he could pick his branch of service. Being a horseman, he chose the cavalry. He arrived in France June 9th, 1944, three days after D-Day. He was injured and captured on August 4, 1944. He was held captive for 10 months, weighing only 85 pounds when he was liberated on May 8th 1945.
Upon returning to the family farm, he found and courted his leading lady; Donna Wright, a local school teacher who had many admirers. On December 9th, 1946 the two snuck off to Broadus, MT to get married, in a suit he borrowed from his brother Leland. They completed their posse with 3 boys; Terry, Jim, and Erick (Ricky). This posse roamed all over the west, settling in such places as Broadus, Moorcroft, Recluse, Hullett, and Bison.
After retiring from the Sheriff’s office in Bison, he and his leading lady set up camp in Washington state coming to the aid of his kinfolk, Erick and Kathy as they settled their homestead. As always Bison called to this cowboy. Upon their return they settled in the house on Rogers street.
This cowboy never met a stranger, and has touched the lives of many people. He always had a joke or story to bring a smile to your face, and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He broke horses and blacksmithed into his 90’s, teaching these trades to anyone willing to learn. One of his many legacies that will live on.
His last few years were spent with family in Gillette, it took a village to keep up with him.
Awaiting his arrival on the other side are his leading lady Donna, posse members Terry, Jim, and Erick; parents Jim and Elsie; brothers Bud, Leland, and Llewellyn; sisters Genevieve, Mildred, and Evelyn (Tootsie)
Hands left to tend the camp are Daughter-in laws: Kathy and Jo. Grandchildren: Sheila (Doug), Tanya (Ray), Josh (Michelle), Adam (Cas), Amber (Tim), Dawn (Brandon), Justin (Christina), Teresa (John), and Shane (Krista). 20 great-grandchildren and 13 Great-Great grandchildren
Funeral services will be 1:00 pm, Saturday, January 28, 2017 at the Bentley Building in Bison SD with Pastor Brad Abelseth officiating, with visitation starting at 10:00 am.
Burial will be 11:00 am, Monday, January 30, 2017, at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to your favorite charity in his name.
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