James “Jim” Hansen, age 81, of Yankton, South Dakota, passed away peacefully at home, under hospice care on July 8, 2020. His wife of 53 years, Judy, was at his side.
Funeral services will be 10:30 AM on Monday, July 13, 2020, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Yankton, South Dakota, with Reverend Jeff Otterman officiating. Masks will be required to attend the funeral. The funeral will be live streamed online at www.facebook.com/WintzRay/live as well as on Jim’s obituary page at www.wintzrayfuneralhome.com. Burial will be in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Yankton. Visitation is from 5:00 to 7:00 PM on Sunday, July 12, 2020, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with a prayer service at 7:00 PM. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church in Yankton.
“Jimmy” was born on February 5, 1939 in Irene South Dakota to William and Anna Hansen. He grew up doing chores on the family farm, and after the 8th grade he devoted all of his time to farming and helping care for his brothers and sisters. It is during this period where Jimmy developed an unparalleled work ethic and a devotion to his family for which he would earn legendary status.
As a young man, Jimmy had a passion for racing at Westside Raceway dirt track with friends, and driving his beloved 1958 T-bird convertible. In 1966, he met the love of his life, Judy (Roth) at the Deep Rock Café in Yankton, and the couple was married on February 3, 1967 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Irene, SD. The couple eventually settled in an acreage just East of Yankton where Jim spent the rest of his life. Jimmy took a job working for Cimpl’s, where he was a valued and loyal employee for 34 years. He also launched his own lawnmowing business, and loved collecting and tinkering with his lawnmowers. He was also a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, and a regular volunteer at the “Feeding South Dakota” program.
On those rare occasions when Jimmy wasn’t hard at work, Jim loved boating and camping with family, tinkering in his shop, traveling, and playing and performing music. Despite a slight speech impediment, Jim was famous for being one of the most social characters in the region. He loved to “go uptown” to meet his fellow members of the “Coffee Club”, who would solve the world’s problems every morning at Yesterday’s café. He treasured his vast 8-track collection of Americana music, most notably Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings. He was also an avid fan of Minnesota Twins baseball, Seattle Seahawks football, and John Wayne westerns. He also had a soft spot for animals, which was mutual.
Jimmy was probably best known simply for his gentle and kind disposition. Those that knew him described him as being a person who was always honest, kind, and friendly. Nobody ever knew him to complain, and even as he faced his own mortality Jimmy would often display his warm, kind smile.
James was preceded in death by his parents William and Anna (Geraldson), and brothers Jack, Sydney, and John. He is survived by his wife of 53 years Judy (Roth), daughter Jodi and Paul (Smith), Brothers Ron, Kenny; sisters Betty (Collins), Connie; grandchildren Randee (Landon) Pederson, Alex and Ella Smith, great grandchildren Carmyn, Milo and Willow (Pederson); brother-in-law Danny Roth, Reuben (Kathy) Roth, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.