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Mary Ann Hanley

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Mrs. Mary Ann (Lawson) Hanley, of Waltham, MA,  died Sunday, November 5, 2023 in her home following a brave battle with cancer. She was 92.

Family and friends will honor and remember Mary Ann’s life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham, Tuesday, November 14 from 4 to 7 p.m. and again Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. before leaving in procession to Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church, 880 Trapelo Road, Waltham where her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Burial will follow in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge.

Mary Ann was born in Benson, Minnesota,  March 27, 1931, the daughter of the late Donald M. and Mary Edna (Kenny) Lawson. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the College of Saint Catherine in St. Paul and later her master’s and doctorate from Boston University. She was an esteemed and respected college professor of psychology for many years until her retirement.

She began her career as a high school teacher in San Francisco, California and later moved to Boston to continue her studies. It was there she met her future husband, Leo Hanley. The pair spent many happy years together until his death in 1987. Mary Ann became a professor at Fitchburg State College in the Psychology department, and following her retirement in 1996 she took a position assisting with administrative work for the college. In 2007, she moved to Arroyo Grande, California where she lived for a few years until embarking on her next journey; post retirement Mary Ann embraced her love of travel and visited places all around the world. She visited all seven continents and made a lifetime of memories. In addition, Mary Ann loved playing mah-jongg and trivia with neighbors and friends.

In addition to her husband, Leo, she is reunited with her son, the late Michael L. Hanley, and her brothers, the late Donald W. and James K. Lawson.

She leaves her daughter, Kathleen A. Hanley of Waltham, and many nieces, nephews, and their families.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741 or by visiting

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