B. "Marilyn" Hannah

April 2, 1943 ~ July 3, 2016
" Marilyn lived life completely. Her days were
filled with adventure, service to others,
laughter, family, and love."

Marilyn Hannah stood atop a ski slope in the Alps. She looked down and said, "This is as high as I've ever been. If I fall I am never going to stop!". And then she summoned all her courage and headed down the mountain. Marilyn lived her life like she faced that mountain, acknowledging challenges and embracing them with grace and style.
Marilyn Hannah passed away July 3, 2016, at home with her family by her side after facing her greatest challenge, Alzheimer's disease. She did not focus on the "why" of this disease, but instead on how she could be used as a conduit for learning about and ultimately finding a cure for this devastating disease. She volunteered for clinical trials and research studies in hopes of helping others.
Marilyn was born to Jack and Betty Pannell on April 2, 1943, and raised in Longview, Washington. She graduated from R.A. Long High School. Marilyn lauded education. She earned her teaching degree from Saint Martin's College and later successfully pursued a Master's degree from Lewis and Clark College while teaching and raising her two daughters.
Marilyn was an elementary school teacher in Onalaska, Washington and with Vancouver Public Schools. Many of Marilyn's former students shared that she was a favorite teacher who set high standards and showed she truly cared about them.
Marilyn was also a passionate volunteer who did fundraising, mentoring, crisis counseling, and was a friend to any and all who needed one. Marilyn frequently supported causes that were focused on promoting education, services for children and juveniles, women in crisis, and building a rich and diverse community. Marilyn also worked and served with many organizations including Rotary, her PEO group, YWCA, Children's Home Society, Vancouver School District Foundation, Crisis Counseling Hotline, SWIFT, and Clark College to name a few.
Marilyn had a genuine heart
that made each and every person
she met feel special, valued, and important.
Marilyn also loved to have fun and found many opportunities to celebrate life and continue learning. She sought ways to improve her skills or pick up a new one. She took lessons in cooking, exercise, piano, skiing, tennis, golf (and more golf), and she relished every opportunity to try something new. She was a longtime member of Royal Oaks Country Club, Columbia River Yacht Club, The Tradition Golf Club and the former Oxford Athletic Club.
A highlight of Marilyn's life was getting to travel to some of the most spectacular places in the world. She loved to experience new cultures, meet new people and see incredible sites. She traveled throughout Europe, visited Hong Kong, Vietnam, Australia, Russia, through the Panama Canal and the Amazon Rainforest, went on an African safari, explored the Holy Lands in the Middle East, and numerous tropical locations around the world.
As much as Marilyn enjoyed her travels, her favorite place was home. Nothing was more important to her than family. Many happy memories were made with family on the boat, in Sunriver and on family vacations. She was delighted to spend time with her children and be Nana to her grandchildren. Family celebrations were filled with chaotic fun and generous amounts of love, laughter, good food and drink.
Marilyn is survived by her husband of 40 years, Richard "Dick" Hannah; her children, Dana (Kelly) Gwinn, Amy (Bob) Mesick, Jennifer (Jeff) Dougherty, and Jason (Maggie) Hannah; her grandchildren, Justin and Jacob Gwinn, Ryan and Colby Mesick, Margaret and Charlie Dougherty, James and Elizabeth Hannah; and her sister, Nora (Jerry) Bain.
Our family would also like to thank and acknowledge the phenomenal love and long-term care provided by Terra (Grace) Joy Gronewald, Saane Motuliki, and Alex Cammack.
A memorial service to honor Marilyn will be held Friday, August 12, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. at Columbia Presbyterian Church, 8715 St. Helens Ave., Vancouver, WA 98664. A reception will follow at the home of Marilyn and Dick Hannah.
If you would like to make a gift in honor of Marilyn's life, please consider donating to OHSU Foundation-Layton Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center.
Please visit and sign Marilyn's guest book at:


Funeral Home

Evergreen Memorial Gardens Funeral Chapel
1101 NE 112th Avenue Vancouver, WA 98684
(360) 892-6060

Published in The Columbian on July 17, 2016