Patricia Ann “Pat” Hannon died on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 at the BridgeHaven Care Cottage in Lawrence. The staff there and the Visiting Nurses Association Hospice looked after her with loving care, for which we feel very blessed. Pat was born 14 October 1930 in Glendale, California, the daughter of William Apsley Smale and Nelle Phyllis Leggitt Smale. Her mother died following the birth of Pat and her twin brother Bill. Her father was in the US Consular Service. As a result her first eight years were spent in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. These were followed by eight years in Cork, Ireland, by one year in the United States, and two years in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she first met her future husband Norman Leslie (Les) Hannon.
After meeting Les at parties and dances and a few dates, some on his motorcycle, she moved with her family to CapeTown, South Africa, where her father had been transferred as the US Consul-General. So began two years of letter writing every two weeks. Les had mentioned that he was thinking of emigrating to South Africa; Pat wrote that her dad was thinking of retiring to Ireland; Pat said that it would be like two ships passing in the night; so Les proposed to her in a letter; Pat cabled back “Yes”, and they finally met again. On 2 June 1951 they were married in Claremont, CapeTown.
Mrs. Hannon was home schooled in Mexico before attending fairly formal (uniforms) school for eight years in Cork, Ireland. She then had the culture shock of one year in high school in Calexico, California. She attended the Technical College in Belfast and Michaelis University in CapeTown.
Mrs. Hannon and her husband moved extensively. The first move from Johannesburg S.Africa to England was mainly because if they had children they did not want to bring them up in the then current apartheid atmosphere. Her husband’s consulting work resulted in lengthy assignments for the family in Nigeria, Sydney Australia, Ireland and England.
In 1963 the family moved to the United States, where they lived in New Jersey, Maryland, Quebec Canada, Kansas City, and Ohio. In 1973 Mrs. Hannon moved with her family to Lawrence Kansas. Over the years she was a Den mother and Brownie leader, and a founding Board member of DCCCA. She was very active in AA since 1968, still attending five meetings a week and helping many others. She was recently awarded her 44 years in AA Medallion. She was also involved in a number of other volunteer activities; she particularly enjoyed for many years, with Les, taking Christmas Day dinners to shut-ins especially in Eudora.
In 1976, her son Mike was killed when a car ran into him on his motorcycle. Pat became very active regarding Organ Donation; she worked with the Kidney Foundation in Topeka; she spoke widely in North East Kansas at many schools, at KU and was interviewed on Radio, TV and for the Lawrence Journal World. She was the one who really held the family together during that very tough time.
Over the years she enjoyed collecting antiques of many kinds. She was very skilled in tapestry work and sewing which she loved doing both for decorating her home and for bringing new life to battle-scarred antique furniture. She was a career homemaker.
She is survived by her husband Les, son Philip (Sandra) in Shawnee, Kansas, daughter Sarah Hannon-Dahm in Bixby, Oklahoma and four grandchildren, Derek (Becca), Trevor, Clayton and Erin. Also by her sister Mary Pilgrim in CapeTown S.Africa, and her half-sisters Juanita Spearman in Dublin and Amy Ramsden in Cork Ireland. As mentioned above her son Michael preceded her in death in 1976. She was also preceded in death by her twin brother Bill Smale in Ireland in 2012. Her body was donated to medical science.
A Gathering of Remembrance and time of sharing will be held at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.
The family suggests memorials in her name to a charity of donor’s choice and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.