James David Hanretty
79, Towner, N.D.
Due to COVID-19, a private family service with military honors was held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Towner for James David Hanretty, 79, of Towner, N.D., who went home to Jesus on Thursday, Oct. 29 in Minot, N.D.
James David Hanretty was born to Elizabeth (Miller) and Eldon “Hap” Hanretty on April 29, 1941 in Rugby, ND.
He grew up in Towner on the Hanretty ranch. He attended school at the Red Cross School House and Towner High School. After high school, he served in the United States Army from 1962 until 1964. He was stationed in Korea and had fond memories of the people who served with him.
After military service, he returned to Towner and loved being active in his hometown. He was a proud member of St. Cecelia’s Catholic Church, the VFW, the Eagles, the North Dakota Beekeeper’s Association and the Towner Golf Club. His most notable career was beekeeping. He worked for Gunter Honey for over 40 years. He went on to own and operate Hanretty Honey in addition to being associated with Ag Pollen.
He met the love of his life, Sandra Schwan, in 1980 and married in 1981. They lived a full life built on a foundation of faith, family and hard work. Some of his greatest joys came from raising their three children and proudly watching their grandchildren grow. He and Sandy enjoyed traveling together and spending time with friends. Their marriage has been a beautiful example of mutual love and respect. In recent years, when faced with challenges, they supported each other with unconditional love.
His years as a beekeeper took him across the country. Much of that time was spent in Texas and later in Mississippi. Through these travels and his work, he met many people who became lifelong friends.
Some of his other great joys came from cooking good food and entertaining people in his home. He treasured times sharing a cold one over good conversation and telling mostly funny jokes. No one he met stayed a stranger for long. He was a self-proclaimed jack of all trades, master of none, always willing to lend a hand.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Survivors include his wife, Sandy; children, Misty Anderson (Bill) of Eagan, Minn., Travis Hanretty of Fargo, N.D., and Beth Wilson (Jed) of Mayfield, Ky.; 12 grandchildren, Sydney Dawson (Ludwig), Andrew Hanretty, Jacob Anderson, London Anderson, Aden Hanretty, Jason Wilson, Ashton Hanretty, Roman Wilson, Sylvee Hanretty, Laney Wilson, Riley Wilson and Elliot Wilson; siblings, Mary Jean Jacobson (Ron), Sandy Newman (Mike), Cliff Hanretty (Mary) and Jeff Hanretty (Karen); nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Online condolences can be left at www.funeralsbyanderson.com.
Anderson Funeral Home of Towner was in charge of arrangements.