Retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 James Strickland Hanson, 73, of Henderson passed away Feb. 25, 2021, at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. Funeral services were 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, at Bethel Baptist Church with the Rev. David Tull officiating. Burial followed in Sanford Rodgers Cemetery. The family received friends at Bethel Baptist Church from noon-2 p.m. on Wednesday. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to one of Jim’s favorite charities: Samaritan’s Purse (www.samaritanspurse.org) or Army Emergency Relief Fund (www.aerhq.org).
He was born Oct. 3, 1947, in Birmingham, Ala., the son of the late James Neely and Dorothy Jane Strickland Hanson. Following in his father’s military footsteps, he volunteered for the U.S. Army at age 17 and then became a helicopter pilot. While training at Fort Wolters, Texas, he met his future bride, Mary Ann Braly. He flew two combat tours in Vietnam, where he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was a Master Aviator who also completed tours in the Panama Canal Zone, Central and South America, and South Korea. After 22 years of active duty service, he retired from the Army and became an instructor pilot at Fort Rucker, Ala. He later flew as a defense contractor in the Middle East.
He and Mary settled in Chester County in 2006, where they built their dream home and enjoyed a second retirement. He was a devoted family man who was adored by his wife, three daughters and their families. He was also an active member of Bethel Baptist Church and considered its members to be part of his family.
He regularly attended reunions of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association and the Robin Hoods (173d AHC), maintaining close relationships with his fellow pilots and brothers-in-arms for more than 50 years.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mary Ann Braly Hanson of Henderson; daughters, Heather (David) Conkle of Fort Bragg, N.C., Christen (Stephen) Stasevich of Chesapeake, Va., and Mary Beth Howell of Enterprise, Ala.; nine grandchildren, SGT David Hanson Conkle, Jason Conkle, Mary Kate Stasevich, Emma Howell, Anna Stasevich, Meghan Conkle, James Stasevich, William Howell and JonRyan Strickland Howell; and a brother, Joe (Teri) Hanson of Atlanta, Ga.