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Robert Benjamin Hanna

Robert Benjamin Hanna

Robert "Ben" Hanna made his transition on Friday, January 6, 2017, in Gilbert, Arizona, after living with Alzheimer's for eight years. We are especially thankful for the caring staff at Sunrise Senior Living for making his last two years a place where he could sing and dance.

Ben was born on September 21, 1934, to Robert L. and Margery F. Hanna in Fargo, where he grew up and attended grade school and junior high. He graduated from Shattuck Military Academy, and thereafter joined the US Navy in 1954. Ben served on a destroyer in the Pacific. Following his service, Ben attended NDSU and Arizona State University where he studied electrical engineering and architecture.

In 1960 he married Connie Kimbrough in Moorhead, Minnesota. In 1963 they moved to Mandan, where Ben and his brother Dan became the owner/managers of the Lewis and Clark Hotel which was built in 1917 by their grandfather, Louis B. Hanna, former Governor of North Dakota. After selling the hotel, Ben designed and built furniture and sold real estate.

Ben was a member and President of the Rotary Club, participated in the Seventh Cavalry, was a Mason, a member of the Roughrider Snowmobile Club, and a State Director of the North Dakota Hospitality Association.

Ben and Connie were the parents of three children, Robert, Jason and Margery. Family togetherness was important to Ben, and due to his diverse interests, our life with him was an adventure. The journey began with building race cars, followed by riding and showing horses, maintaining a hobby farm, learning to play the guitar, camping, boating, tennis, golf, skiing and snowmobiling. One of his greatest projects was designing and building a lake house on Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. This became their second home and was a centralized location for friends and family to gather. In 1996 they built a home in Arizona and became snowbirds, wintering in Arizona and living at the lake house in the summers, surrounded by children and grandchildren in both locations. In the end, the lake house was one of his final and most fond memories.

Ben is survived by his wife of 58 years, Connie; his three children, Robert "Bob" Hanna (Zue Zan), Jason Hanna (Heidi) and Margery Ault (John); and, eight grandchildren, Robert "Ben" Hanna (Annie), Mark Hanna, Courtney and Connor Sheridan, Courtney Ault (Britni), Carissa Cramer (Brett), Samantha Collins, and Jeremy Hanna. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Dan.