James E. Hanson
Jim Hanson, a reporter for The Islander newspaper since 1995, died on the Fourth of July surrounded by family and friends.
Born in Montana, Jim was a graduate of the University of Montana. He joined the U.S. Navy and served as a captain of a PT boat off New Guinea during World War II. He then continued his military career in Central and South America.
Upon returning to the states, he went to Seattle to work for a newspaper, eventually becoming managing editor. He was later invited to become legislative assistant for U.S. Sen. Henry Martin “Scoop” Jackson of Washington State, and moved to Washington, D.C., to run Scoop’s legislative office.
Jim then went into the lobbying realm, working for Amtrack among other organizations.
Jim retired to Longboat Key in the mid-1980s and, after three years, decided to go back into journalism. He became a writer for the Longboat Times, later becoming its editor. He then worked for the Weekly newspaper, the Pelican Press and The Islander.
Memorial services will be at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at 2990 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. A memorial fund has been established in Jim’s name in care of the Anna Maria Island Privateers, with proceeds to go to a youth journalism scholarship. Checks should be made out to AMI Privateers and mailed to The Islander, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach FL 34217.
He is survived by wife Amira; sons David of Arlington, Va.; Brian of Bristow, Va., and Eric of Clifton, Va.; daughter Laura of Texas; stepson David Yeces of Sarasota; stepdaughter Diana Nunoz; and many grandchildren and step-grandchildren.
Clara Barns Kojak, 92
Clara Barns Kojak, 92, of Anna Maria, died July 16.
Clara was born in Elmira, N.Y., and moved to Anna Maria Island in 1980.
She served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the nursing corps as a first lieutenant.
She was very active in her community and church, St. Bernard Catholic Church in Holmes Beach.
A celebration of Clara’s life will be held at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 24.
The family has requested memorial donations be made in Clara’s name to St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach FL 34217.
She is survived by her two sons, Jimmy (Mary) of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and Andre of Deland; brother Harry Sheehe (Ethal) of Elmira, N.Y., six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
Jon Timothy ‘Tim’ Lease
Jon Timothy Lease (Tim), 45, Bradenton, formerly of Holmes Beach, died July 16.
There will be a celebration of Tim’s life for all friends and family members from noon-3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Palma Sola Botanical Gardens at 9800 17th Ave. N.W., Bradenton. People are encouraged to bring photos of Tim and stories to share to complete a lasting memory for those who loved him.
Survivors include mother Loretta of Bradenton; sisters Kathy Harris and Terry William; and brothers Tom, Ken, Steve, Dan, Jim, Ric, Matt and Jeff.
Mildred P. Wager
Mildred P. Wager, 87, died July 12. She moved to the Bradenton area from Orchard Park, N.Y., in 1970.
She was a local watercolor artist, having attended Pratt Institute and the Art Students League, followed by commercial and advertising art positions in New York City. She was a member of the Art League of Longboat Key, the Art League of Manatee County and the Florida Watercolor Society.
A memorial service will be held at Langdon Hall in Bradenton. Memorial donations may be made in Mrs. Wager’s name to the Art League of Manatee County (Artcenter Manatee), 209 Ninth St. W., Bradenton FL 34205. Arrangements by Toale Brothers Funeral Homes.
Mrs. Wager is survived by son Bruce A. of Dataw Island, S.C.; daughter Diane Stewart of Erie, Penn.; two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.