A heartfelt response to a tragedy

Saturday July 20, 2013

To the editor of THE EAGLE:

Our family’s tragedy of losing a friend, a husband, and a father to three beautiful children so unexpectedly and suddenly has been heartbreaking to us. James B. Hanson was my husband, my first love and we were inseparable since we were 15 years old. He was the proud father of Morgan, Garrett, and Christopher Hanson and son to Bill and Judy Hanson. [James B. Hanson died in an ATV accident on June 9.]

Our family cannot thank the Canaan, New Lebanon and Red Rock, N.Y. volunteer fire companies and N.Y. state troopers enough for helping to find my husband. They did not give up through the night until the morning hours when at last he was found. It had been difficult to locate him because cell service does not work in that area and the terrain was difficult.

We have been so blessed to have family, friends, our community, my husband’s coworkers at Western Massachusetts Electric Company (Northeast Utilities) and also my coworkers at Chatham Central School District at our side throughout this unbearable sadness. The love, caring, comfort, and understanding, along with all of the visits, flowers, plants, food, cards, emails, phone calls, hugs, thoughts and kindness, have wrapped us up in a blanket of comfort and has given us strength to carry on.

We have been further moved by the many donations made to the James B. Hanson Scholarship Fund started as a remembrance to my husband by the Chatham Central School District. This scholarship will be for students showing interest in the electrical lineman field. Our family feels that James would be glad to acknowledge a student from the school he graduated from in 1985. My husband was known as a proud and knowledgeable lineman by those who worked with him. He worked in the electrical industry for 30-plus years and was a foreman at WMECO. He was someone you could depend on for help and safety. As a lineman, he worked many overtime hours, worked in many storms, and missed many holidays and family time on weekends to keep the lights on. We always missed him, but knew this is what he did to take care of us.

His legacy will live on through his children and his scholarship. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. What you have done for this family has been beyond our imagination and gives us strength each of these days afterwards!


Canaan, N.Y.

The letter was also signed by Morgan, Garrett and Christopher Hanson.


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