James Handboy, WWII and Korean War veteran, passes
James Monroe Handboy, 91, journeyed to the spirit world on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
James was born July 5, 1921, in Promise.
He is survived by his daughters, Silvia Schmidt, Lisa Parish, Rita Handboy, Roberta Handboy, Teresa Handboy, Jackie Handboy, and Ann Severson. He also leaves behind many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews, as well as his sister, Irene (Phoebe) Thompson of Mobridge.
James served in the United States Army during World War II and the Korean War, where he earned several medals, including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and an Army Presidential Unit Citation. James served his country as a sergeant and private first class during his military career.
He grew up in the nearby Promise area. He was one of 12 children of Joseph and Julia Handboy. As a child he was quiet and well mannered. He loved riding horses and couldn’t wait to be outside and ride every day.
James was drafted into the Army at the age of 21 years old. He was inducted at Ft. Snelling, Minn., and was stationed in Camp Forrest, Tenn., in 1942. In 1943, James served in continental Europe and England, which then put him in the path to land on Omaha Beach and participate in the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 7, 1944. He continued to serve his country as a medic, going to Germany in 1944 and the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. His heroic and meritorious service in WWII earned James these other medals of honor: the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, WWII Army of Occupation Service Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal and WWII Victory Medal.
James returned back to the states for a few years, but because of his discipline and patriotism he learned in the Army never left him, he rejoined to serve in Korea in 1952 and Japan in 1953. He returned and received other commendations for his dedication and bravery that included: the United Nations Korean Service Medal, Korean Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
Upon returning to the states, James made Minneapolis his home until his passing. Being a traditional man, he loved his Native American culture. As his request, the funeral service was held at the Indian Ministries in Minneapolis. In his honor, a Native American Medicine Man attended the ceremonies to send him on his final journey home. A local drum group, “Hoka Hey” filled the room with the Lakota words that were spiritual and comforting to the family. The sacred pipe ceremony was held during the service to honor James. This is a ritual for connecting physical and spiritual worlds. The pipe is believed to link the earth and the sky in Native American culture. After the prayer service, James was laid to rest at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery with military rites. The beautiful ceremony included the Memorial Rifle Squad, the Color Guard and a bugler who played “Taps.” The honor guard unit provided the final salute to SGT and PFC James Handboy.
Family that attended the funeral from Mobridge included nieces Julie Weninger and Grace Thompson and their families, Stan Sulzle, Rose Weninger, Randy Runnels, Kayla and Todd Hauck, and Kaye Weninger of Mill Neck, N.Y.
James was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Julia Handboy; sisters, Mavis Handboy, Mary Handboy, Ellen Bartlett and Lavina Phillips; brothers, Taylor Handboy, Oliver Handboy, Johnny Handboy, Raymond Handboy, Charles Phillips, Percy Phillips and Skylar Phillips, all of the Promise and White Horse area; also, including most recently, nephews Dallas Thompson and Vincent Thompson.
James Handboy, known to his family as Jimmy, will be remembered as a loving brother, uncle, grandfather, friend and soldier, but most of all a “Gentleman.”
Rest in peace James Handboy. Your family will never forget and your country salutes you.