Cover photo for Robert T. Hannigan's Obituary

Robert T. Hannigan

June 8, 1927 — September 17, 2022


Robert T. Hannigan


Robert “Bob” Thomas Hannigan95, known for his love of meat and potatoes, passed away on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Bob is predeceased by his wife Jayne, who he now will have eternity to annoy in various and sundry ways. Bob is survived by his two children, one of them his favorite, Robyn (fave!) and Tod (not fave), his three granddaughters, and four boys who were the sons of his older sister Mary.


In 1945, Bob received a personal invitation to join the army.  Despite his mom’s best efforts to decline said invitation, Bob accepted Uncle Sam’s offer. Some say it was mere coincidence that we won the war shortly after Bob gave his talents to the military effort.  We agree.  Contrary to what he may have told you, he did not serve at Iwo Jima, and did not receive the scar on his palm from a bullet wound taken on the beach.  He did serve at Fort Knox, where he and his friends discovered that if you go over a ditch fast enough in a Jeep, you can completely sheer the undercarriage off!  Then, as part of the tank corps, Bob learned that, in a flame thrower tank, the fire sometimes goes back into the tank and that this could make you less popular with the crews. 


After an honorable discharge about a year later (we have no record of who his mom paid off to bring her baby boy home), Private First Class Hannigan used the G.I. Bill to begin his studies at Northeastern University.  His time at Northeastern did nothing to diminish his ego and seems to have stoked a small dose of ambition sufficient to lead him to gainful employment at Monsanto.  As a smoke stack engineer (read large chimney sweep) and the only unmarried guy in the entire Engineering Department, he met his future wife Jayne.


Bob worked for multiple (but not too many as to be suspicious) major corporations before retiring from BASF as Director of Construction.  During his time with BASF he traveled to Europe, Canada, and several states earning the self-titled position of “global know-it-all”. His skills in this area always made for TV and movie watching fun and guaranteed he would not come on family vacations with his grown children, because everywhere “is awful” and everyone “is out to get you”.  That, and the fact that his favorite thing to do on vacation was to go back to work.


In his early days as a family man, Bob worked at renovating the kitchen at his home in Mendham, NJ, managing to light both himself and it on fire.  After beating his flames out, he went to work on installing a new washer machine, where he learned the importance of hose clamps on the drain and water lines.  Ever over-confident, Bob never stopped fiddling with and un-fixing things.  This includes his eyes which became, in his 50’s, his hobby.  One could set your watch by the regularity with which he would close one eye and check the other for function and nary a wall was lacking for an eye chart.


After retirement, and being fired from his first part-time security job for being a know-it-all, he worked as a part-time security guard for AT&T until leaving New Jersey, where he had lived with his son Tod, daughter-in-law Sandy, and two granddaughters Lauren and Kelley for what seemed like ages. While in New Jersey he added to his eye hobby and penchant for home repairs, a new favorite activity - chasing a leak in the skylight, which kept him entertained for years.  After numerous trips to the hospital from falling off the roof (fortunately landing on his head), he moved to a bachelor pad in Attleboro MA. He finally had ample space to entertain, but never did because he preferred to harass people while they were still in the parking lot. While living in Attleboro he discovered a fondness for Applebee’s, and his daughter Robyn will always be grateful for their patience with him, especially after his second black Russian cocktail.


Bob joined Robyn and her husband Alan and their daughter Cami in Potsdam NY when they all moved there in 2019. Together they survived the 2020 pandemic by isolating as they always had though never with other people which created a renewed commitment to being introverts. It was in Potsdam that Bob found his new hobby - riding his motorized tricycle around town. Reliving his teenage years, his new motto was “You can’t tell me what to do!”.  Street signs, rules of the road, impassioned advice, other motorists, even begging and pleading all proved equally futile against Bob and his tricycle!  After numerous head wounds, and physical therapy (as well as psychiatric therapy for everyone else), Bob and the Potsdam crew moved to Collegeville PA in July 2022, where Bob returned to having his own bachelor pad, finally free of yapping dogs and family members.


While his time in PA was short, it was filled with hot air like only Bob could produce.  Telling stories to new people, making up new stories, and always moving.  Bob remained, till the end the very best Dad, grandfather, and uncle we could afford.


We love and miss you Daddy!  There will never be anyone like you again. And for those who missed you on these past 95 trips around the sun, they really missed out on something special.


In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Bob may be made to Seasons Hospice Foundation


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