Mary Ann Hanson
1943 - 2021
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of Lakewood Ohio, died peacefully at home with her family present on May 6, 2021 after a short battle with cancer. She will be remembered as a charismatic, engaging, and loving person who continually reinvented herself as she navigated a unique course in life. Mary Ann leaves behind husband Michael Abraham, children Angela Hanson and Bruce Hanson, stepdaughters, Beverly and Michelle Abraham, grandchildren Samantha Hanson (and her husband, Avery Sears), Kenneth Hanson and Gerald Hanson. A well-known Lakewood business owner, she was born in rural Henderson, Kentucky in 1943. Mary Ann was largely and lovingly raised by her Grandparents, Mack and Molly Newman, owners of a small general store. Watching her Grandfather run his business, a vital hub of the community, Mary Ann formed the driving foundation of her life and career: advocacy for those underserved, a genuine interest in the stories of others and an entrepreneurial spirit. She was intrinsically involved in the activism and social causes of the late '60's and early '70's. Her actions helped to make lasting policy change for civil and women's rights, the causes closest to her heart. In the late 1970's, Mary Ann also became one of the top, and only female, hydraulics salespeople in the country, culminating in recognition as Borg Warner's Salesperson of the Year. Mary Ann also took her social enjoyment of Bridge to the next level, competing nationally in Master's Bridge tournaments, even playing side by side with Omar Shariff. In the mid-1980's, Mary Ann started the first Medicaid HMO in Ohio, providing comprehensive healthcare to women and children in Southern Ohio. Following this, Mary Ann transitioned into a career in senior living care facilities. It was through this advocacy for the dignified care of older adults that she found her passion. In 1991, she became the Executive Director at The Normandy, in Rocky River, Ohio. Settling in Lakewood, she finally found "home". Understanding there was a missing piece between independent living and the next level of care, assisted living, led Mary Ann to take a leap of faith in 1995 and start Hanson Services. Today Hanson Services is centered in Northeast Ohio and the west coast of Florida but its heart remains in Lakewood, Ohio. Mary Ann, understood and valued the contribution of all her caregiving employees, many of whom immigrated to this country possessing a respect for the elderly and an uncompromising work ethic. Mary Ann met and married Michael Abraham in 2002. The two enjoyed twenty years of family, friends, music and travel adventures. Michael has been a long-time Hanson Services employee. Mary Ann has garnered many professional accolades for Hanson Services, including placing #8 in the Weatherhead 100 in 2003 and being featured in COSE's 2005 book, "Bedtime Stories for Entrepreneurs". She was also a Rotarian, actively engaged in the International Student Exchange program, hosting two students herself. In 2011 she received a Distinguished Service Award, Rotary's highest honor. Mary Ann also served on the Board of Directors for the School of the Art Institute of Cleveland where her two stepdaughters and granddaughter graduated from. A Celebration of Her Life will be held on her birthday, June 16th, for family, friends and employees. In lieu of flowers, donations should go to WVIZ/PBS Mail to: Ideastream, PO Box 74141, Cleveland, OH 44194-9900 Note: write "In memory of MAH" in memo of check. Donations can also be made online at Indicate in memorial of Mary Ann Hanson when requested

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Published in The Plain Dealer from May 13 to May 14, 2021.
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2 entries
May 14, 2021
Angela Hanson
May 14, 2021
Marianne was an inspiration. I am grateful for the mentorship that she gave me as a fledgling entrepreneur. Her support of animal rescue is also commendable
Cindy hoppes
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