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Mary Lou Hanify passed on June 4, 2013.
She was born June 10, 1921, in Castle Rock, Washington, to June (Moorhead) Price and William Ellsworth Price. She moved to Port Angeles in 1931 when her mother married Harvey M. Johnson. She graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1939.
While a student at University of Washington, she married John Marshall "Jimmie" Miller and had a daughter, Gretchen Ann Miller. Jimmie was killed August 1, 1944, in France in World War II.
On June 7, 1947, she married Charles B. Hanify and had three children, Laura Lynn, Charles Bruce and Carol Christine Hanify.
While raising a family, Mary Lou attended Peninsula College and the Port Townsend Summer School of the Arts. She wrote four books and had more than 100 articles published, for which she received 22 writing awards, including the Sugar Plum Award from Washington Press Women for "outstanding achievement in the field of communications" in 1968.
She was very active in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association in the 1960s and served in numerous capacities, including as a speaker on various occasions.
In 1989, Jean Gardner, wife of Governor Booth Gardner, hosted an autograph party and tea for Mary Lou at the Executive Mansion in Olympia for her book First Families: A Collection of Stories About First Ladies of the State of Washington and Their Families.
She was later honored for her historical work at a luncheon held at the Executive Mansion by Mike Gregoire, husband of Governor Christine Gregoire. Her book was included in the Washington state historical archives.
The book she co-wrote with Craig Blencowe, Guide to the Hoh Rain Forest, was published in 1977 by the Pacific Northwest National Parks Association and was quite popular, going through numerous editions over the course of 30 years.
She also wrote For the Love of a Ranger about being married to Ranger Bud Hanify and raising her family in the Hoh Rain Forest.
Mary Lou was a member of the committee that established a memorial to war veterans at Olympic Medical Center, originally named Olympic Memorial Hospital in honor of veterans. The infantryman on the plaque was modeled after her first husband, Jimmie Miller.
Mary Lou was very proud of her country and of the contributions made by veterans and their families.
Mary Lou was a beloved friend and mother to many young people over the years. She never spoke ill of anyone and always found the best in them. She had a great sense of humor and was a true friend to many.
She is survived by her four children; six grandchildren, John Fiorella, Leanne Fiorella, Nathan Neal, Lily Neal, Caitlin O'Brien and Casey O'Brien; and three great-grandchildren, Emily Mason, Meredith Mason and Percephone Lynn Reade.
A memorial for Mary Lou Hanify will be held at Drennan-Ford Funeral Home, 260 Monroe Road, Port Angeles, on Saturday, June 8, 2013, at 1 p.m.
Mary Lou requested that donations be made to either the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society, www.ophumanesociety.org; or the North Olympic Library System, www.nols.org.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on June 7, 2013
Drennan & Ford Funeral Home and Crematory
260 Monroe Rd. Port Angeles, WA 98362