Obituary of Edward John Hanlon
Edward John Hanlon, a high school teacher and Veteran of two wars, passed away after a long illness on Friday, January 4, 2019. He was 87 years old. Ed was born in Medford. He was the son of Irish immigrants, Edmond and Ellen (Keefe) Hanlon. He grew up in Arlington and was a 1950 graduate of Arlington High School. Shortly after graduation he enlisted in the Air Force and in 1963 transferred to the Army. He was a Veteran of both the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam. During his career he received numerous commendations, service awards, and medals including the Bronze Star Medal awarded for meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces. With over 20 years of service at the time of his retirement in 1970, he held the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 3. Ed was a humble and private man, who never talked about his military career with family or friends.
After retiring from the military, Ed completed his Bachelor of Science Degree at the Hampton Institute in Newport News VA. He immediately moved his young family back to Massachusetts where he began his new career as an Industrial Arts Teacher in the Waltham Public Schools. His specialty was in Power Mechanics and eventually taught at Waltham High School. From his years of military training he was methodical, organized, prepared, direct and never wanted any student to fail. To give his students the best experience, he salvaged old lawnmower engines so that each student could have their own engine to work with during class. He loved seeing his students in action putting the book theory into practice.
Ed was a man devoted to his family. He was the loving husband to his wife, Nancy, for 58 years. But their romance started a decade earlier while still in their teens. As a couple, they managed to overcome the challenges of military life when their children were growing up including moves to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Alabama, and Virginia. After retiring from teaching, Ed and Nancy traveled the United States visiting family, National Parks, and vacationed a few times in Ireland. They also enjoyed visits to England, Scotland, Wales, and Nova Scotia in Canada. Ed was a strong role model to his children. He didn’t preach, but rather led by example. They helped him as he worked around the yard, home, and the cars. It was here that he taught his children the skills needed to accomplish projects and complete repairs. They saw how once a project was started, it needed to be finished and grew up to live his advice of “Don’t be afraid to work hard”. He was a strong provider and gave his children the tools, skills, and confidence to go on to be strong parents, employees, and members of the community for which they are forever grateful.
Ed was the beloved husband of Anne P. “Nancy” (Hannon) Hanlon. He was the loving father of Patricia (Young) Davis & her husband Gary of Scarborough, ME, John Hanlon & his wife Elizabeth Cousins of Roslindale, and James Hanlon & his wife Kimberly of Fort Mill, SC. He was the brother of Mary T. Kenngott of Woburn and brother-in-law to her late husband Arthur H. Kenngott. He was the proud “Poppi” of Evan, Eamon, Brennan, Conor, Liam & Holly Hanlon, Amanda (Young) Page, Emily Young, Christopher & Benjamin Davis.
A visitation will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home on Wednesday, Jan. 9 from 10 -11:30 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Malachy’s Church, 99 Bedford St., Burlington at Noon. Services will conclude with a burial with military honors at Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. Memorials in Ed’s name may be made to Lahey Hospital Palliative Care Service www.lahey.org. For directions, obituary & online guestbook see www.saint-malachy.org or www.sullivanfuneralhome.net
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050