Obituary: Mary Ellen Hanley White |

Obituary: Mary Ellen Hanley White

Mary Ellen White, 66, passed away Saturday evening, February 25, after suffering from complications of COPD. She died in the loving presence of her husband of more than 29 years, Tom Card; John White, her former husband and grandfather of her grandchildren, and a dear friend, Lisa Wilson. Mary Ellen spent only hours at Covenant Hospice following nearly six days at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola.

Mary Ellen’s family loved her and she doted on her grandchildren. She was a good friend of Bill W. and Dr. Bob and became dear friends with many of their friends.

Mary Ellen shined with the sun. Her generosity, diplomacy, and graciousness gave her a special place in her family and in the hearts of the numerous people whose lives she touched. She was kindly regarded in communities where she lived, including the San Francisco Bay area and Carson City, NV. Her humor and wit made her a delight to be around; she could throw a good zinger capped by wonderful laughter. She loved her husband dearly and was very kind to the father of her children.

First generation Irish, born in Detroit, Mary Ellen graduated from St. Gabriel High School and attended Marygrove College before graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in History. She maintained friendships with some of her college friends until her death.

Mary Ellen’s parents, James and Anna (Nancy) Gibbons Hanley, emigrated from Ireland. James worked as a tool and die maker for GM. James’ brother married Anna’s sister and their offspring reside mainly in the Long Island, NY area.

After moving to Carson City, NV, she contacted her cousin, Jerry Hanley, who was the then pastor of St. Teresa Catholic Church. Her faith blossomed as did her renewed friendships with Jerry and his side of the family.

Before moving to Carson City she worked as a CAD systems progress researcher and writer and as a financial analyst in securities in the Bay Area. After working in the social work field she served as a representative for the director to the Nevada Legislature. Mary Ellen obtained a master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Nevada at Reno while working fulltime in for Nevada Child Protective Services. Her master’s thesis was published.

Survivors also include her daughter, Laura Duncan of Apex, NC; grandchildren Sarah, Will and Matt and their father John; son, Terry White of Gulf Breeze; granddaughters Natalie and Chloe White and their mother, Kathy White. Her brother, Jim Hanley, preceded her in death in 2009. He was her big brother. Her sister, Kathy Elias, resides in Parkland.

Her remains were cremated. A closed memorial mass was offered at St. Jude Catholic Church in Cantonment, FL, this past Tuesday. Many attended the social gathering and memorial service at the Faith Chapel North Funeral Home in Cantonment last Tuesday from 5 to 6.

Should you wish, donations will be accepted at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church in Cantonment, FL, or the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Both have websites.