Mary Jane Hanavan
Visitation: MONDAY January 31, 2022: 3-7 PM at the Dietrich Funeral Homs Inc., 2480 Kensington Avenue, Amherst
Service: TUESDAY Feburary 1, 2022: A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 AM by St. Aloysius Gonzaga, 157 Cleveland Dr., Cheektowaga HANAVAN – Mary Jane (nee Sullivan)
January 25, 2022. Mary Jane died
peacefully at home, under Hospice
care, after a recent hospital stay.
Beloved wife of the late Lt. William J.
Cole, U.S.A.F. of 1943, and former
wife of Eugene J. Hanavan, Jr. MD.
Loving mother of John P. and Daniel
T. of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, Michael
E. and Eileen M. Hanavan of Buffalo,
and the late Sheila M. Hanavan of Iowa
City, IA; dearest sister of the late Mrs.
Ellen (Elmer) Hammer, the late Timothy
Sullivan, and the late Mrs. Patricia
(Francis) Griffin. She was the daughter
of Timothy and Mary Ellen Sullivan.
Mary Jane was born and raised in
South Buffalo. She graduated with
Honors from South Park High School
in 1936, and studied the Classics: Latin
and Greek. She was a graduate of
State Teachers’ College, now Buffalo
State, with her Undergraduate and
Masters’ Degree in Education, with a
focus on Primary Education. She began
her Student Teaching in a One Room
School House in East Aurora. Her first
full time job was at Bell Aerospace
in Wheatfield as an assistant to the
Test Pilots. From here, she began her
teaching career: teaching First Grade
on Goundry Street in North Tonawanda
for ten years. Once her children were
older, she returned to teaching First
Grade at Buffalo Public School #18,
on Hampshire Street, for 25 years;
she retired in June 1993. She enjoyed
teaching and always thought she would
teach a foreign language – and as her
student body changed over the years,
she did teach English as a Second
Language to many students, newly
arrived in the Buffalo area from other
locations throughout the world. Mary
Jane enjoyed the textiles and arts. She
studied Costume Design and Draping
in the Summer of 1943 in New York
City at what is now Fashion Institute
of Technology. She continued with her
love of clothing design, construction,
and draping throughout her life.
She was an expert knitter, with her
grandmother teaching her at a young
age, she enjoyed selecting various
patterns to create her unique designs.
She made many Fishermen Knit
sweaters for her children. In addition,
she enjoyed Interior Design. Family and
friends may call on Monday from 3-7 PM
at DIETRICH FUNERAL HOME, 2480
Kensington Ave., Amherst. A Mass of
Christian Burial will be celebrated at St.
Aloysius Gonzaga, 157 Cleveland Dr.,
on Tuesday at 9:30 AM. Entombment at
Holy Cross Cemetery. Face coverings
and social distancing protocols will be
in place. In lieu of flowers, contributions
in Mary Jane’s memory may be made
to the Hospice Foundation of WNY, 225
Como Park Blvd., Buffalo, NY 14227.
Online condolences may be offered at