The startling news of Greg Hanna’s death in late 2006 has not been able to shake my memory of his consistently buoyant presence during school. It’s disconcerting, but maybe ultimately reassuring, to have that irrepressible grin as an enduring image of him.
“He had struggled with mental health issues for many years,” his cousin Tom Hanford ’62 said in a note to the College. “He was the grandson of Henry Hanford ’33. He was thus part of the extended four-generation Hanford family connection with Amherst.”
“Greg came to Amherst in the fall of 1984 from Rochester, NY,” writes classmate Bill Ackerman, “bringing with him a beaming smile, proud Amherst heritage, an overextended to do list, and multiple talents (sports, brains, social skills and the absolute inability to say no to any proposed game, adventure or challenge). Rooming with the Doz (Tim), annoying his New York City neighbors (Joe and Vic), pairing with Weige (Luis) on the volleyball team and challenging the stronger side of Valentine (Bill and Craig’s) to squash, tennis, soccer or anything, he soon was a great friend of all of us—and one that would last.”
Sad as it is to deal with Reggie’s death, we are all finding how joyous it is to recall the numerous incidents, capacities and moments that we experienced with Reggie. Each of us could list a million, but we came up with the following:
• His visits to our homes and weddings and the wake left afterwards (lost retainer, missing refrigerator doors, sea urchins, broken trombones, renovations, Joe’s anguish, lost car keys at Craig’s wedding of platitudes)
• Vehicles—the crazy red moped with no brakes, the Flintstones-like van with Route 2 physically in sight, combined total spent on three cars under $150 and multiple impoundings
• Food—stale yogurt, mayo, peanut butter—tasty! And was there anyone who ate more than Reggie (actually Doz, but that’s a different story)
• Sports—skinny ankles, bad back and eyesight and all, Greg played five varsity sports (skiing, volleyball, squash, tennis, golf), and almost led Carver high to the 1987 intramural championships!
• Fearlessness—he wasn’t afraid of any activity, encounter or situation and was most fearless in social situations—speaking up for what he thought was right even when it might have been inadvisable or tactless.
We all cherish these situations. As we’ve tried to deal with Reggie’s death (and we are still struggling), we’ve seen one good outcome—his Valentine boys are all back in touch! We will get together soon, probably in Amherst and make a Genesee-backed toast to one of our best friends in one of his favorite settings.
Greg is survived by his wife, Ann Seymour Hanna; his lovely daughter, Allison Hanna Moulton; and Allison’s mother, Shawna Moulton; others surviving him are his parents, Barbara & Michael Hanna; siblings, Elizabeth (Daniel) Morrison, Katie (John) Duchock, Michael C. and Denise Hanna; and countless other relatives and friends and to each of them we pass our love and fond memories of Greg.
—Bill Ackerman ’88
—Joe Aglione ’88
—Tim Cardoza ’88
—Rick Cunningham ’88
—Luis Alberto Ferre ’88
—Victor Lagmay ’88
—Craig Selzman ’88
—Tom Hanford ’62
—Jed Miller ’88