Gary Alan Hanson passed away on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at the age of 69 at Sanford Hospital, Fargo, ND with his wife and family at his side.
Gary was born at home in Adrian, ND on March 21, 1946. He was the seventh son of Charley and Inez (Kleinheksel) Hanson. With two older sisters and six older brothers, he had built-in friends to play and get into mischief with; there was plenty of that to do on the farm. Later five more siblings would join the family, making fourteen troublemakers to add to the mix. Gary loved his family and the farm. He especially liked the cattle part of the operation. Until his dying day, he dreamt of owning a ranch in Montana. Gary attended school at Banner #3 Country School then Nortonville Public School. He graduated from Edgeley High School in 1964.
After graduating, he completed a Commercial Pilots rating at the Sawyer School of Aviation in Phoenix, AZ. He entered the United States Airforce on August 16th, 1966. On February 11th, 1967, he married his high school sweetheart and friend, Sandra S. Robert. They were married at the Church of the Transfiguration in Edgeley, ND. Gary passed away on the day of their 49th wedding anniversary. Together Gary and Sandi had three sons Charles (Svetlana Pagoda), Justin (Jenaah McLeod), Fargo, ND, and Jay (Theresa Diede) Duluth, MN.
During Gary’s military career his tours included Glasgow AFB Montana and an unaccompanied tour to Kadena AFB on Okinawa, Japan during the Pueblo crisis, a tour at Beale AFB, CA, several TDY tours, two tours at Minot AFB, and lastly a tour at U-Tapas AFB in Thailand, which would be his last tour. Gary was critically injured while on tour in Thailand, Aug 14, 1973. He was medically retired at 100% disability on November 30, 1973.
Gary gave his life for his country and as he said, “He stayed alive for his family.” He had an inward strength and profound love of God. He was a wonderful father and husband, providing for his children, seeing them through college and beyond. He was so happy to see his grandchildren come and enjoyed giving them rides on his lap in the wheelchair.
Gary spent many years at Hi Acres Manor in Jamestown, ND. For the past three years he has resided at the ND Veterans Home in Lisbon, ND, which he truly loved. He was always so grateful for all the help he received.
Gary was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents, one brother, Lyle; a son and daughter-in-law, Charles and Svetlana Hanson; parents-in-law Adolph and Jeannine Robert; and brothers-in-law Leighton Smith, Brian Robert, and Larry Kitchel. He is survived by his wife Sandi; two sons, Justin and Jay; 9 grandchildren, Ingrid, Thorin, Jacelyn, Karsten, Casey, Bjorn, Annika, Potter, and Fletcher; brothers Alvin, Arnold, Donald, Dale, Gene, Kenneth, Randell, and Brian Hanson; sisters Mavis Smith, Karen Lagodinski, Debra Kitchel, and Tracy Dale; Sandi’s sisters Anita Krieger and Annette Lewis; sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family is grateful for the love of Gary and especially the lessons he taught us through his example. He will forever be missed.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be designated to the ND Veterans Home – Activities department in Lisbon, ND or FACE Foundation, Saint John’s Academy, Jamestown, ND.
Mass of Christian Burial: 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at St. James Basilica, Jamestown.
Visitation: None scheduled.
Interment: Sunset Memorial Gardens, Jamestown.
An online guest book is available at www.liskofuneralchapel.com.