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1937 Dan 2024

Dan Buchanan

August 16, 1937 — June 10, 2024

Daniel E. Buchanan, longtime local attorney, died at home on Monday, June 10, 2024, at the age of 86. 

He was born in Jamestown, N.D., on August 16, 1937, to Mark A. and Esther (Fredricks) Buchanan, the youngest of three children. 

His early education was at Jamestown schools, receiving a bachelor’s degree from Jamestown College in 1959. During his prep school and college years, he played the drums, performing in concerts, athletic events, pep rallies and parades. He attended law school at the University of North Dakota, graduating in 1968. He then began his legal career in state agencies until establishing his private practice in Jamestown in 1972. 

While in Bismarck, he met his wife Francoise (Auvray) when she was an exchange teacher at Mary College. The following year they were married in her hometown in Normandy, France. Over the years, they and their children made a good number of trips to her home country. Those events created for Dan a lifelong affection for the people, culture and language of France. In 1995, Dan was privileged, through selection by Rotary International, to lead a group to the historic French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. 

Dan was drawn to public service and he was elected as Jamestown municipal court judge from 1974 to 1982. At the time of his death, Dan was completing his third term on the city council, where he served in various capacities, including chairing the Police and Fire Committee to honor the important work done by those individuals. Dan was also very proud of his years in the North Dakota Army National Guard, where he served as Company Clerk in the 142nd Engineering Battalion Company in Jamestown from 1954 to 1957, completing his service at the rank of sergeant.

Continuing education was important to Dan and he wrote about and taught legal topics to lawyers and the general public. A man of many interests, he engaged in birdwatching and gardening with passion. He and Francoise spent days on end cultivating their yard and were featured on a number of garden tours in the city. And perhaps contradictory to his bird watching hobby, Dan equally loved his many pet cats over the years, and was a supporter of the James River Humane Society.

Dan is survived by his wife of 53 years; three children: Emily (Brett Gutzmer) Buchanan, St. Louis Park, Minn.; William Buchanan, Fairfield, Iowa; and Sophie Buchanan, New York City; and four grandchildren.

He is predeceased by his sisters Mary Twomey and Margaret (Peg) Guyer. 

 Visitation will be held from 4-7 pm Monday, June 17, at Haut Funeral Home in Jamestown, with a brief memorial service at 5:30 p.m. 

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to a charity of your choosing.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dan Buchanan, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, June 17, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

The family will accept friends from 4-7

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