Former Osseo businessman Jim Hance dies in fatal crash on 75th birthday

The Osseo business community has lost a former business owner.

Jim Hance, the owner of the former Hance Hardware, died tragically Wednesday, April 16 ,as the result of a traffic crash. It was also his 75th birthday.

Jim Hance, owner of the former Hance Hardware in Osseo, died as the result of a traffic crash April 16, his 75th birthday.
Jim Hance, owner of the former Hance Hardware in Osseo, died as the result of a traffic crash April 16, his 75th birthday.

According to reports, Hance died of injuries he suffered when his vehicle was struck head-on by another driver, Jorge Juarez, 20, of St. Louis Park. Juarez was suspected of drunk driving and had a revoked license.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner Office said the crash happened about 9:15 p.m. April 15 at the intersection of Minnetonka Boulevard W. and Cobblecrest Court in St. Louis Park.

Hance was transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where he died from the “injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash,” according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

St. Louis Park Police and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner continue their investigations.

Hance owned and operated Hance Hardware in Osseo with his wife Mary for 20 years from 1985 to the store’s closing in 2005. The store specialized in cutting keys and even sold fishing bait, not typically found in hardware stores. Hance Hardware even did lawnmower repairs and could special order for some specific items not in the store. In September 1996 the store caught fire and was a total loss. The store was rebuilt and opened the following year due to community demand.

He also owned and ran the Hance Ace Hardware store in Hopkins for more than 50 years. He was a third generation hardware store owner.

Hance is survived by wife, Mary; children, Jeff (wife Danielle), Pete (wife Paula), Julie, Robert (wife Melissa), Angie, Angela and Arnie; grandchildren, Alex, Clara, Theo, Oliver, Emma, Kirsten, Liliana, Noah, and 9th grandchild on the way; siblings, Dee (Dick), Lee (Pat), Joan (Bill), Craig (Karen), Robyn (Nick), Scott (Cathy), Nancy (Dave), Samra and Ricky; and former wife, Pat. He was preceeded in death by his brothers, Ed and Tom (wife Margie).

Jim was born in Dorothy, and was a resident of Brooklyn Park. A graduate of St. Thomas and a member of the U.S. Army, he was also active in the Hopkins Rotary for 50 years with perfect attendance and a member of the Knights of Columbus.

He enjoyed his backyard pond and landscaping, his pool, cabin and pontoon, and had the brightest Christmas light display on the cul de sac. Tuesday night was set aside for the bowling league and one long weekend a year was reserved for a fishing trip in Canada with relatives.

Interment was Monday, April 21, at Fort Snelling Nationa Cemetery in Minneapolis.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: Tuttles, c/o The James M. Hance Scholarship Fund, 107 Shady Oak Road, Hopkins, MN 55343.

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