Ellen Mangon Thomson Hanly
September 5, 1926 – October 24, 2015
Ellen, beloved mother, grandmother, aunt and friend, was born the youngest of 5 in Nainital, India, to Disciples of Christ missionaries: Clinton and Bertha Thomson. After the untimely death of Clinton, Christmas 1927, Bertha moved the family back to Peru, Nebraska and established her medical practice.
Ellen graduated from the University of Nebraska in Sociology. While attending a university picnic, she met her dear husband, John A. Hanly and the two were wed December, 1948 at All Soul’s Unitarian Church in Lincoln. The two cornhuskers moved to the Pacific NW in 1950 to start their family after hearing that roses bloom in winter there!
In 1960, John and Ellen joined with fellow Unitarians to found a fellowship in Kirkland which later became Northlake U U Church. Both were very active within the church: after John’s death in 1998, Ellen continued to sing in the choir and helped with the care committee. She pursued Modern Dance for a time, (a season ticket holder for the PNB)but then went back to school for her Master’s degree and began a career as a school counselor at Tyee Middle School. John and Ellen loved bike riding with the Mountaineers and also took their bikes to Europe. In the winter they enjoyed skiing.
Ellen was passionate about politics: door belling for her candidates well into her 80’s. She most enjoyed her family and always hand wrote a thank you for the deserving person.
She developed memory loss lately and moved to Auburn to be closer to her daughter. Her health declined after two hospitalizations this year and she died peacefully October 24th at her daughter’s home.
Ellen is preceded in death by her parents, two siblings, and beloved husband. She is survived by two sisters, Katie and Alice; daughter, Joellen; sons, Mike(Barb), Ed(Delia), John, Phil(Elizabeth); 10 grandchildren; 2 great grandchildren, and favorite cat, Bocelli.
A memorial service will be held at Northlake UU Church, Saturday, November 14, at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Northlake UU Church, Nature Conservancy or Global Fund for Women.