Cover photo for Marry Ellen Hanson's Obituary
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1946 Marry 2023

Marry Ellen Hanson

June 30, 1946 — October 16, 2023


Mary Ellen Hanson

Mary Ellen Hanson passed away on October 16, 2023. The daughter of Salvatore and Odette Cranno, and sister of Stephen Cranno, she is survived by her husband Carl A. Hanson. Born in Sioux City, Iowa on June 30, 1946, she grew up in Iowa and Arlington, Virginia. She graduated from Wakefield High School in Arlington then returned to Iowa to study at Morningside College. She went on to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, from which she graduated with a BFA in Art Education in 1968. Mary Ellen next moved to Colorado where she earned an MA in Library Science at the University of Denver in 1969. She met her husband Carl there and they married in June 1969. The couple moved to Albuquerque in 1970 and Mary Ellen joined the library faculty at the University of New Mexico in 1971. She worked at Zimmerman Library as a reference librarian and cataloger until 2012, retiring as an Associate Professor. She was active in university governance, including the faculty senate. While at UNM Mary Ellen completed an MA in Art Education in 1976 and a PhD in American Studies in 1993. Her dissertation, Go! Fight! Win! Cheerleading in American Culture was published in 1995. Mary Ellen also published scholarly articles and chapters in books as well as serving as a co-editor of The Zimmerman Fire: (re)collections (2008), a work that compiled memories of the 2006 library fire. Following retirement, Mary Ellen devoted herself to charitable giving, particularly to animal causes. A cat lover, she sometimes had as many as six cats at home. Mary Ellen also pursued her love of mysteries, reading hundreds of them. An avid football fan, she and Carl attended UNM football games as season ticket holders for decades. They also collected paintings by Albuquerque area artists. Anyone wishing to make a memorial contribution should send it to Animal Humane New Mexico.

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