Marianna Hannigan, formerly Mary Ann Doyle of Malden, died on Saturday, July 13, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, of colon cancer. She was 75.
Marianna was the daughter of the late John J. Doyle and Alice (Smith) of Malden and wife of the late Frank E. Hannigan, Jr. She is survived by her five children: Theresa M. Hannigan (and husband Keith Dyer) of Manchester, NH, Francis E. Hannigan, III (and wife Jame Richards) of Monroe, CT, Joseph M. of Randolph, Julie A. of South Burlington, VT, and John P. of Quincy, MA. She is also survived by four grandchildren Joceyln Girton, Nicholas Dyer, Grace and Frances Mae Richards-Hannigan. She is also survived by her beloved brother John J. Doyle, Jr. and his wife Patricia Cuqua Doyle of Waltham and many nieces and nephews.
She graduated from Mt. St. Joseph Academy in Brighton and graduated from Regis College in 1959 with a degree in sociology. Fresh out of college she volunteered for a year as a third-grade teacher in Corozal, Puerto Rico, under the auspices of the Regis College Lay Apostolate. Her community in Puerto Rico called her by the Spanish translation of her name and thus she became “Marianna” for the rest of her life. In 1960 she began working as a social worker for the state’s Division of Child Guardianship in the Lawrence office. After receiving her master’s degree in social work from Boston College in 1964, she continued working as a social worker for the state of Massachusetts in the Adoption Placement Unit until 1970.
During the 1970s she deepened her involvement in the community. She was a founding board member of the Neponset Health Center in 1971, helping to bring much-needed healthcare to the citizens of Dorchester. She also became active in local politics, working to elect Kathleen Sullivan to the Boston School Committee and serving as a local coordinator for Michael Dukakis’ campaign for governor. She was named an Associate Commissioner of the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) for four years. She was also a member of the Ashmont-Adams Neighborhood Association.
A daily communicant and very active parishioner in St. Mark’s Church in Dorchester, she served as a lector, Eucharistic Minister, Pre-Cana instructor, wedding coordinator and member of the Saint Mark’s Area Civic Association. She was also president of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and member of the board and treasurer of Friends of the Sick and Poor.
Known for her benevolence, she helped many people find jobs, apartments, clothes, furniture, and she helped many understand and overcome bureaucratic red tape to take advantage of life-changing opportunities, many of which she had brought to their attention. Many people found meals, advice, warmth and comfort in the home she established in Dorchester 43 years ago with her husband, Frank. She will be tremendously missed by all who had the good fortune to know her.
Visiting hours will be held at the Dolan Funeral Home, 1140 Washington Street, Dorchester Lower Mills, on Wednesday from 4-8 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint Mark’s Church, 1725 Dorchester Avenue in Dorchester on Thursday, July 18th at 10 AM. Interment at Milton Cemetery. Relatives and friends invited.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Marianna’s name may be made to St. Mark’s Church, 1725 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02124 or The Boston Latin School Association, 101 Huntington Avenue, Suite 200, Boston, MA 02199 or www.blsa.org.