The Honorable James A. Hanson, retired Alaska Superior Court Judge, died on Dec. 21, 2018, in Phoenix, Ariz., from complications after a heart procedure. The Judge, as he was widely known, was born in 1934, in Northwood, N.D., the oldest child of Arnold and Jennie Hanson, big broth-er to Carolyn (Gadberry), Jeanette (Rau) and Ruth (Stefonowicz). A 1952 graduate of Fargo Central High School, he joined the Navy, serving in Florida and South Carolina during the Korean Conflict. Following his Naval service, he returned to school at University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He graduated from law school in 1962, and arrived in Alaska that same year, work-ing as a law clerk in Juneau before being appointed to the District Court in Anchorage in 1963. Appointed to the Superior Court in Kenai in 1970, he raised his family there with his wife, Mary, and was a widely respected and active community member.
He was instrumental in de-veloping the youth hockey pro-gram on the peninsula, and coached youth hockey and little league. Jim was a skilled pilot and shared many adventures with his family and friends. He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Kenai, where he sang in the choir.
He retired in 1986, but continued to use his legal expertise in private dispute resolution He and Mary moved to Anchorage in 1990, where he continued his business, and they became snowbirds to Payson, Ariz., exchanging winter for sunshine. In Arizona, he was an ardent trap and skeet shooter with the Birdbusters of Payson. In 2005, they left Alaska and moved to Glide, Ore., where he realized a life-long dream of owning a small ranch, then to Roseburg, Ore., in 2018.
Jim was a tough but compassionate man who offered advice based on his convictions and was a counselor to many. He will be greatly missed.
Jim was preceded in death by his oldest daughter, Charli; and his sister, Jeanette. He is survived by his wife, Mary; his sons, Robert Hanson and Jake Glotfelty (Beth); and his daughters, Laura Irby (Sherman), Greta Horn (Casey) and Heidi Conway (Patrick); 12 grandchildren; and his lifelong friend, Bruce Leverson (Kay).
May he Rest In Peace