Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
HANLEY, John Lawrence
John Lawrence Hanley, age 85 of Fairfield, Ohio died at home on Sunday, October 22, 2023. He was born on November 6, 1937 in Indianapolis, Indiana to the late Maurice Hanley and Helen Agnes (Bloom) Hanley. On January 4, 1969 he married Kathryn “Katy” Louise Clouse at St. Mary’s Church in Tiffin, Ohio. He was most recently a member of St. John Newman Catholic Church.
Survivors include his wife Katy, his three children Kathleen “Kathy” Renee (Hanley) Warner, Barbara “Barb” Colleen Hanley, Brian Carl Hanley, his four grandchildren Tyler Warner, Zach Warner, Sierra Hanley, Kaila Hanley, his sister Alice Gertrude (Hanley) Haupt and 17 niece and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brothers Lawrence Francis Hanley, Joseph “Joe” Vincent Hanley, Paul Maurice Hanley, his sisters Mary Ellen (Hanley) Keegan, Patricia “Pat” Ann (Hanley) Spicklemire, his niece Jacqueline “Jackie” Adele (Hanley) Lawrence and his nephew Vincent “Vince” Hanley.
Despite losing both his parents as a young teenager, John was able to finish school at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis in 1955. He went on to put himself through college at Marian College, now Marian University, earning a degree in chemistry in 1959. After graduating college, he worked as a graduate assistant at the University of Florida at Gainesville while at the same time beginning his pursuit of a master’s degree in analytical chemistry. After a year at the University of Florida, the Midwest’s pull was strong, so he moved back. That is when he first took a job at Carlisle Chemical Works Inc. in Reading, Ohio. Although the company would go on to change its name many times over the years, John would ultimately spend his entire career at that one location retiring in the year 2000 with almost 40 years of service to the company.
After working for two years at Carlisle Chemical Works Inc., he left to serve in the United Staes Navy on the USS Boyd during the Vietnam Era. He served on active duty from April of 1963 to November 1965 after which he served as part of the US Naval Reserves. When on active duty, he was stationed in San Diego and fell in love with the city. He always said that if he could have found a job in his field in San Diego, he never would have left. In later years he was able to share his love of San Diego with his family during an unforgettable family vacation there.
From San Diego he returned to Cincinnati where he once again worked for Carlisle Chemical Works Inc. He also continued his work on his master’s degree, this time at the University of Cincinnati. The move back to Cincinnati was a fortuitous one, because that is where he met his “Always & Only,” Katy, on a Mystery Bus Ride with the Catholic Alumni Club. After marriage and welcoming two young daughters, John was finally able to finish his course work at the University of Cincinnati in 1971, earning a Master’s Degree in Analytical Chemistry.
John loved his family dearly. They were the most important thing in the world to him. He was a loving husband, the most amazing Dad and a doting Grandfather. Proud of his Irish heritage, and having grown up listening to his grandmother speak Irish, he would sing Irish folksongs to his children at bedtime. Friends were also very important to him. He especially enjoyed being Papou to Catherine (Dannhausen) Bentz.
John loved sports - playing football and basketball himself and always supporting the local college and professional teams. When his children were young and a “new sport” called soccer became popular, he got a book and taught himself how to play so he could coach their teams. Not only did he coach their teams, but he was active leader in various soccer organizations helping to map out practice soccer fields throughout Fairfield. He was also an avid bridge player earing the ranking of master in duplicate bridge.
Additionally, he had a passion for gardening which he always attributed to his own Dad, Maurice, who used to talk to him about his dream of owning a farm one day. John was always working in the yard as late as his early 80’s. He even completed the Master Gardner training at the age of 75. He always said he thought it was sad when people were bored in retirement. He felt he could never live long enough to do everything wanted to do. In his retirement, despite the hand he was dealt, he definitely did as much as he could, for as long as he could.
An early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s altered the travel plans he and Katy had had for their retirement. However, he gladly filled his days helping to care for - and spoil – his two grandsons. He and Katy were overjoyed to get to see the boys every day, watching them so their mom could go back to work. His granddaughters came along a little later. At that point he was further along in the disease process, but watching them play when they would come for a visit would always bring a smile to his face.
A journey with Alzheimer’s has many challenges. The family, and Katy especially, is grateful for the Alzheimer’s Association support group. The family found the group through the amazing Memories in the Making program. In the program the caregivers would meet once a week and get support while their loved ones participated in quality art making experiences which were designed to trigger memories through the art making process. The caring facilitators fostered mutual support and enabled tremendous bonds to form between the caregivers. Another indispensable support on the family’s journey with Alzheimer’s was Crossroads Hospice of Cincinnati. The hospice support in general, and the daily care of the aids in particular, was the reason the family was able to keep John at home up until, and including, the very end.
The funeral mass will be held at St. John Newman Catholic Church on a date and time to be announced. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
Donations may be made in John’s name to Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana.