Dante Alighieri Society of Washington
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It is indeed sad news for Dante Seattle to hear of the passing of Terry Hanlon. Terry was a long-time member of Dante and someone whose kindness, enthusiasm and hard work endeared her to everyone. Caterina Wartes and Gini Harmon made contact with Terry’s family this week after a long time not hearing from her, and learned that she passed away in February. Thanks to Gini, Caterina and others who have already shared some memories below about Terry. Anyone who wishes may send their own thoughts about her for inclusion in upcoming tributes to joyce@danteseattle.org.

“Terry grew up in New Rochelle, NY. Her parents were Italian immigrants who made their living in their Mom and Pop candy store. Terry was married for over fifty years and had four children. She loved to travel and took advantage of the standby flights she was entitled to because her daughter worked for the airlines. She was very adventurous, often traveling alone and staying in hostels well into her senior years. At Dante she was a bread and butter member; someone who could be depended upon to do a good job at the many roles she volunteered for. Among them, playing La Befana at the annual children’s party, hospitality coordinator at our meetings, not only seeing that we had beverages and snacks, but greeting those who were new, making them feel welcome. And, everyone remembers and enjoyed her deviled eggs. She was at every meeting, English and Italian whether she was interested in the topic of the evening or not. Is it any wonder that she will be missed?”

“A little bit of my heart is broken – our Terry, who I called Teresa, was often at the old meeting site on Beacon Hill before I arrived to open up. Together we chatted and prepared for the evening, she joyfully greeting each person as they arrived. Teresa knew where everything was in that big old cumbersome cupboard! If any of us could not find something – “go ask Terry” was our answer! She was ALWAYS there!! If she was not, we all noticed. She was a key member of the little crew that made Festa di Natale per i Bambini happen. For many years Teresa’s favorite job was to make cookies for the La Befana gift bags. And then one year we needed a new Befana and Teresa accepted the role. This was about 8 or 9 years ago. Teresa wore the long black skirt and shall and perfected her performance year after year until she could do it no longer after shoulder surgery. The children and their families always looked forward to this moment when she swept the floor around them as the story was being read. I knew Teresa loved being La Befana. After every Natale was over she would come over to me at the next meeting with the long black skirt neatly packed for me to guard until the next year’s event. We had a little bond that I can hardly explain, but that I know was there. Con speranza e affetto mia cara Teresa…tua Caterina”

“This is indeed sad news about Terry and a complete surprise. She was such a gracious person and will be forever missed by DAS.”
“I’m so sad to hear the news about Terry, to me she has always been “the welcoming face of Dante”, Dante hospitality itself, generous with hugs, and one of the much-loved La Befana impersonators for many years at Festa di Natale per i Bambini. Her warmth and smile brightened the room at all our gatherings, and her energetic outlook and zest for independent travel abroad were remarkable – she truly never seemed to age.”

“I am really sorry to hear that Terry has passed. I guess I felt that she would always be with us, bringing deviled eggs and flowers to our meetings, cleaning up in the kitchen and serving as our Befana.”

“I’m so saddened to learn the news about Terry. She was always such a warm and welcoming presence at the Dante meetings. I’m grateful that I got to see her at the Christmas party. I searched for her obituary in the Seattle Times but didn’t come up with anything.”

“I am so sorry to hear this sad news. Terry was one of the first Dante members I met and connected with. She always had such a sweet, joyful, and welcoming presence about her, even when facing serious health issues and her husband’s increasing needs and care. Terry’s beautiful spirit will live on in our fond memories of her.”

“I am so sad not to see her again. She was pleasant all the time, I will miss her.”